Jewish History Lectures and Series

Series

Jewish History in Six Chapters

Six-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

In this six-part series, David Solomon explores the past 4,000 years of Jewish history, filled with extraordinary events and remarkable figures whose contributions changed the world.

Divided into 500-year blocks starting with the period of the Bible and continuing up until today, these dynamic talks will allow you to fully contextualise and comprehend the expansive landscape of Jewish history.

Women who have Shaped the Jewish world

Three, four or seven part series – each talk approximately 90 minutes long

Throughout Jewish History, women have made significant contributions to Jewish life, thought and culture, but many of them remain relatively unknown. David will discuss these remarkable women and their achievements and the impact they have made on our world today.

The Two Temples

Four-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

In this powerful four-part series David explores the history and themes of the two temples in Jerusalem; their construction, duration and destruction.

Players upon Thrones: Kings and Queens of Israel

Six-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

For more than a thousand years, the nation of Israel was led socially and politically by monarchs. Kings and queens of the Jewish people gained the throne of sovereign power through a wide variety of means: some through Divine selection, some through inheritance, and others through violent rebellion. Most were exceptional, but some were banal; many were wicked, but a few were righteous; most were hated, but some were truly loved. David explores the historical role of Jewish kingship, outlines its main epochs, discusses every monarch in their historical context, delves into remarkable personalities and seeks to understand the dramatic events that drove them or defeated them.

Listen to the first podcast episode.

Chazal in the Age of Empires: an Overview of the Talmudic Period

Three-part serieseach talk approximately 45 minutes long

When we think of the first five hundred years of the Common Era (0-500 BCE) in Jewish History, we are often focused on the destruction of the Temple and the clash between the Jewish People and Rome. But this period was also one of tremendous activity for the great rabbis of who were shaping the Jewish world, learning to adjust to its new reality of exile. This three part series examines the extraordinary figures and events of First Century Palestine while also placing them in the broader context of the revolution which was talking place in Jewish life and the work to preserve the continuity of the Jewish people in their new reality of exile.

Listen to the first podcast episode.

The Geonic Period: Jewish History of the 6th to 10th Centuries

Three part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

Jewish life in the 6th to 10th was took place inside a context of shifting empires and massive historical changes.  In this fascinating three-part series David examines how broader historical changes were reflected in the movements of Jewish communities from Babylonia and the Land of Israel, to Spain and Western Europe. He explores important historical, spiritual and cultural developments in Jewish life during the period as well as the lives and contributions of significant figures from this time.

Listen to the first podcast episode.

From the Rambam to the Zohar: Jewish History of the 12th and 13th Centuries

Four-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

Listen to the first podcast episode.

Worlds in Transition: Jewish History of the 16th Century

Four-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

David Solomon examines fascinating religious and secular developments of the  1500s in Europe and Asia and the consequences they would have for Jewish populations – both positive and negative.  David also discusses the emergence of a range of remarkable Jewish figures during this period as well as influential new texts in Jewish mysticism, history, law and commentary, and science – and an explosion in the printing of Jewish books which would have significant impact on the spread of learning and ideas across the world.

Communities in Search of Meaning: Jewish History of the 17th Century (part 1)

Four-part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

With a background of war, emerging superpowers, and the Enlightenment, Jewish History of the 17th century is largely seen through the prism of communal experience. In this series, David explores the fascinating, terrible and intriguing stories of communities across Europe,  the Americas, and  the Land of Israel over this 100 year period. In examining doing so, David also weaves in portraits of individuals, showing how their contributions and situations were reflected in the broader picture of shared Jewish experience.

Revelation and Revolution: Jewish History of the 18th Century

Four part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

The 18th century is the source of much that comprises the modern Jewish world.  In this fascinating four part series, David Solomon discusses and explores some of the outstanding personalities, intellectual themes and deep issues that have shaped the last two hundred years of Jewish History. Among just some of the movements and ideas discussed will be the influence of the Ramchal, the rise of Chassidut, the life of the Gra, the school of the Rashash, the impact of the Haskalah, and several antinomian movements.

Dinkum Diaspora – Highlights of Australian Jewish History

Four part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

Jews have lived in Australia since the first day of European settlement, some travelling as convicts in 1788 with the First Fleet. Since then, Jews have arrived from more than 22 countries around the world, and today more than 100,000 Jews call Australia home. Looking at the characters and stories that have shaped remarkable communities, David maps the course of Australian Jewish history from its earliest rough beginnings to its proud and important contributions to Australia and the world. 

Listen to the first podcast episode.

Great Battles of Jewish History

Four part serieseach talk approximately 90 minutes long

Individual lectures

How to Convert the Pope: Successful and Failed Attempts to bring the Messiah

Approximately 90 minutes long

Pseudo-messianic figures from Jewish History have often attempted to convert the pope as part of their mission. In this talk, David Solomon explores in detail the historical circumstances, motives and impact of various brilliant and tragic figures who were captivated by this idea. David also speculates on what it might actually take to convert the current pope to Judaism.

Listen to this lecture here.

The Jewish Nation and the Rise of the Modern World: the Last 500 years of Jewish History

Approximately 90 minutes long

The period of the Acharonim (the latter ones) sees the Jewish world as we know it today emerging into focus. Scattered with an array of hugely influential figures and movements, this period reveals the emergence of the modern streams of Jewish existence such as Orthodox and Reform Judaism, Chassidism, and the Jewish Enlightenment (the Haskalah). It also brings us the idea of the emancipated Jew, sees the rise of zionism, mass migrations of world Jewry, the horrors of the Holocaust, the State of Israel and much more…

The Loss of Centre and the Codes for Survival: Jewish History from 1000 to 1500

Approximately 90 minutes long

Often referred to as the period of the Rishonim, the years between 1000 and 1500 are known as a time of great upheaval in Jewish History; yet this fascinating period also saw immense spiritual contributions, which have determined the character of Jewish life today. Framed by enormous historical developments and terrible events which impacted deeply on Jewish communities of the time, the period covers the rise of Ashkenazi Jewry, the crusades, the expulsion of the Jews from England and then Spain, the career of the Rambam, the revelation and impact of the Zohar, and much more. null

 

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