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Verein = Society

Contact: Ralph Graff or Richard Gavatin for more info
In the early 1800's, a group of young intellectual Berlin Jews founded “Der Verein fur Wissenshaft der Judentum” (Society for the Scientific study of Judaism).The positions taken would prophecise changes in Judaism leading to Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodox Judaism. In recognition, we have chosen the word Verein for the name of our Discussion Group.
To be Continued here 
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Verein Presents series: 
Jews in Science 2021 - 2022

Did you miss one?  All previous programs available here!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

May 15, June 19, July 17, August 14
 

View a short video, 1 minute 30 about our upcoming programs
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Our July Program:
Live from Paris, France

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Session # 17 in our Series Jews in Science
The Jewish Enlightenment 
Read about our special Session here.

And register here


Our Immediate past program
The Verein Group’s monthly series on Jews in Science has been, in the words of several of the participants, “awesome”. The speakers are fabulous, and their topics have been very educational AND entertaining.

Gus Schoenfeld
Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine 
Washington University School of Medicine June 19 at 4 PM
Video Available - here
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Jewish Genealogy Presentation - here in PDF format.
RBG, View here

March 20, 2022:  session 13 - Primo Levi A picture containing wall, person, person, necktieDescription automatically generated
Gifted Italian Chemist and Talented Writer
Presentation now available in our Gallery!
 
February 20, 2022:  Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice
Sandy Boxerman talked about this pioneering Supreme Court Justice - Brandeis became nationally known as the “People’s Lawyer,” 

 
January 16, 2022:  Nathan  Newmark, Pioneer in the science of earthquakes 
Speaker Dr. Phil Gould

The recording of the session featuring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, presented by Larry Friedman  - can be found on our Galleries. 
 
Thanks also to Marc Levin for giving us this: Scientific American piece discussing her loss in terms of impact on science, environment etc  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ruth-bader-ginsburgs-death-is-one-more-terrible-blow-in-a-year-of-loss1/
 
You can watch past presentations, at kolrinahstl.org/videos.
July 11, 2021: Eric Kandel, Neuroscience pioneer, presented by Dr. Deborah Rubin
Continuing the Science Series organized by the Verein Discussion group, we will hear from Kol Rinah member Dr. Deborah Rubin, who will discuss Eric Kandel’s remarkable life story and research accomplishments. His memories of his Jewish childhood in Nazi occupied Vienna shaped his life and life’s work, as he sought to not only understand the basic mechanisms of how the brain makes and retains memories, but also to ensure that the Holocaust would be remembered in his place of birth many years later. 
     Link to Dr. Rubin's Presentation here.
Dr. Rubin's References:     
Kandel Nobel Lecture: 
https://nobelprize.org/uploads/2018/06/kandel-lecture.pdf
Kandel Nobel Biography: 
https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2000/kandel/facts/   

 
   His latest book, "There is life after the Nobel Prize", is very entertaining! (Click book to learn more)
 
 
 
 
 
   Kandel ER, In Search of Memory. The emergence of a new science of mind. WW Norton and company, 2006 (DVD/Movie – same name)  (Click book to learn more)



          
 
Biological description  of Aplysia:
https://aplysia.rsmas.miami.edu/biology-of-aplysia/biological-description/index.html
Rosenstiel School of Marien and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami.

July 2022 Verien Article

Session # 17 in our Series Jews in Science: The Jewish Enlightenment
We are proud to present a PhD Candidate/Research Fellow from the Universities of Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin) and Paris-Sorbonne, France, Christina Feist.
On July 17, at a special time,1pm (St. Louis time), Christina's long-distance Zoom presentation from Paris will focus on the origin of the Judaism we live and experience today. Prior to The Jewish Enlightenment, orthodoxy was the only known “brand” of Jewish life. Christina's doctoral research focuses on Lazarus Bendavid, one of the intellectuals of the Jewish Enlightenment movement, and the impact of his works.
Lazarus Bendavid (1762 – 1832), born and raised in Berlin, was an intellectual of the Jewish Enlightenment's second generation. He spent half of his life focusing on, studying and teaching Kantian philosophy, rendering it accessible to a broader public and taking him all the way to Vienna, the capital of the Habsburg monarchy. After seven years in Vienna and being prohibited from staying any longer, Bendavid returned to Berlin where he became dean of the first Jewish establishment for higher education (Jüdische Freischule) – a job he wasn't paid for but merely did out of ideological conviction.
Around this time Bendavid reconnected with his Judaism, focusing his writings on his vision for religious reform – namely a renewed connection to the 10 commandments, which he deemed the “real faith”, as well as individual autonomy in religious practice, thus leading him to question the validity of Halakha. This re-examination of Jewish life and religious practice not only offers a glimpse into German Jewish life of 18th century Prussia but above all initiated a scientific approach to Judaism, which ultimately lead to today's Jewish studies (Wissenschaft des Judentums).
In her presentation, Christina will first give a general introduction to the Jewish Enlightenment movement as well as its key players, followed by a more detailed account of Lazarus Bendavid's life and works to show how the Jewish Enlightenment still impacts our Jewish life today.
Do not miss this unique opportunity to learn firsthand from a world class scientist – live from Paris, France!
Ralph & Richard

May 2022 Verein Article

Three incredible new installments in the Jews in Science Series
On May 15th, you will discover the FUN in Jewish Genealogy, with two of our favorite guys, Monroe Ginsburg and Gary Kodner. They will present the fundamental techniques and proven strategies for discovering your roots. Best practices will be revealed! Do Not miss!
 
On June 19th, get to know local medical superstar, the former Chair of the Internal Medicine at Washington University Medical School (WUMS), Gus Schonfeld. As we have presented individuals with remarkable stories, our knowledge of their attitude toward Judaism has frequently been limited. In Gus’s case, we are benefitted by his own autobiography in which he expresses his feelings about his time spent in a series of concentration camps, starting with Auschwitz. He, his physician father and his mother survived, although half of his extended family was lost.
Our own Ralph Graff, himself a graduate of WUMS and instrumental in the creation and maintenance of this Kol Rinah series, will give us his insights into Gus.
 
At a special time on July 17, 1pm local time, a special ‘long-distance’ presentation by PhD Candidate/Research Fellow from the Universities of Potsdam, near Berlin and Paris-Sorbonne, Christina Feist will focus on the origin of the Judaism we experience today.
 
The Jewish Enlightenment was the foundation of what we now today call the Masorti, (or in the US) the Conservative Movement of Judaism. Christina’s dissertation dives into the roots of the Jewish Enlightenment, introducing us to the key “players” of this crucial group of thinkers, and will explain why this matters in today’s world. Do not miss this unique opportunity to learn firsthand from a world class scientist – live from Paris, France!
 
As usual, registration is required at the Kol Rinah Website, and should you miss the session, you can always catch up, as they are all recorded and available at the Kol Rinah website, https://www.kolrinahstl.org/videos
 
Ralph & Richard

January 2022 Verein Article

The Verein Group’s long-running series, Jews in Science is presenting session 11: Nathan Mortimore Newmark on January 16th.
 
Winner of the National Medal of Science, Nathan M. Newmark is considered the father of modern earthquake engineering. Kol Rinah’s own Phillip Gould, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., Dist. M ASCE, Distinguished Adjunct Professor at St. Louis University, as well as Senior Professor Washington University will tell us about this ground-breaking (pun intended) scientist who developed methods for earthquake predictions and structural engineering. Thank God we don’t live in an area prone to earthquakes! Oh, wait we do! We'd better listen to the experts!
 
The Verein Group at Kol Rinah is proud to announce upcoming quality presentations throughout the year!  Mark your calendars for Feb 20, March 20, April 24 and more to come.
 
Registration available here and a zoom link will be sent out 2 days before the presentation.

November 2021 Verein Article

The Verein Group’s long-running series, Jews in Science is presenting installment #9 on November 14 at 4pm.
 
You’ve heard of Hedy Lamarr, the beautiful starlet in the 1930s and 40s, who appeared in numerous films starring opposite some of Hollywood’s most famous leading men.
 
However, you probably don’t know the other Hedy, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria-Hungary who was so much more.
 
Incensed over the Nazi takeover of her home country, this highly intelligent woman collaborated with composer George Antheil and invented a secret communication system to form an unbreakable code which she envisioned helping submarines to deploy missiles to allow them not to be detected by enemy ships, thus forming the basis of spread spectrum technology.
 
Hedy’s invention was snubbed by the Navy during WWII because she was an immigrant Jewish Hollywood actress. They waited for the patent to run out and then developed it further to create a sophisticated buoy system which was used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hedy never received any acknowledgement or compensation for her invention. No lightbulbs going off?
 
How about this? That’s the basis for much of the modern wireless technology that resulted in cell phones and that today governs: Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. Interested now? There’s a lot more to this fascinating woman and her story.
Find out all about her, her life and her inventions on Sunday, November 14.
Linda Spitzer Gavatin will tell us about this uniquely complex person whose innovations have played a big role in all our lives.  

September 2021 Verein Article

The Man Who Changed The World
The Verein Group’s Series “Jews in Science” continues with Session 7 on September 19 at 4pm on Zoom.
 
One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics. One hundred years ago Einstein came to America as a Jewish Hero and Superstar!
 
Dr. Bob Olshan will bring Einstein to life – Einstein the man, the lover and husband, the father, the German Jew, the violinist, the physicist, the humanitarian, the pacifist, the philosopher and the Zionist. Einstein’s theory changed our world. He is acclaimed to be the greatest genius of our time, the most famous physicist, a Nobel Laureate and according to Time Magazine the Person of the 20th Century.
 
This presentation is the first of two about Albert Einstein. On October 10, Dr. Marty Israel, of Washington University will talk about the work of Albert Einstein. Do not miss either!

May 2021 Verein Article

We are well into Verein’s popular Jews In Science series and are looking forward to the fourth Installment. On May 23rd, Dr. Howard Granok, chair of the Science Department of Crossroads School, will speak about Rosalind Franklin and DNA.
 
Judaism and Neuroscience was essentially the topic of our first session in February. A popular neuroscience book by noted British neuroscientist Rodrigo Quain Quiroga states that, “arriving at a final answer is no more important than triggering the cascade of questions and experiencing the rush of fascination that propels the exploration of them.”
 
He is saying this about Scientists, but doesn’t it apply equally to the Jewish People? Who hasn’t been told that, if you ask a Rabbi a question, you will get multiple answers and many of them in the form of more questions?
 
“If reaching the final answer were all that mattered, science would be extremely frustrating, because the truth is that many questions remain unanswered perhaps forever”.
 
His highly recommended book, “The Forgetting Machine”, deals primarily with memory, something many people have misconceptions about but is getting more and more attention by modern neuroscience.
 
In a future edition of The Voice, I will elaborate on the connection between Judaism and Science in general, and modern Neuroscience in particular.
 
For past presentations, go to kolrinahstl.org/videos.

March 2021 Verein Article

Jews In Science – A Year Long Series 
Why is NOW a perfect time to present a Series like this? The last few years we have been told that truth and science aren’t that important. Spontaneous opinions and “feelings” have had as much weight as facts and truth. 
With the pandemic, we learned in a catastrophically tragic way, that such an approach is deadly. 
“Jewish emphasis on reading, learning, questioning, discussing, and interpreting Torah” may have contributed to the disproportional number of Jewish Scientists. Learn more about the connections between Judaism and Science in this series.
The first program has already taken place. It was recorded and is available on the Kol Rinah website.  You can find the schedule for the other programs, including speakers, topics, and dates in the ad on the previous page.
Currently all are scheduled at 4pm. Any of the programs with a different starting time will be announced when we get closer.
For additional questions and to receive Zoom links, please either contact the office 314.747.1747 or contact Richard Gavatin at 314.283.2081 or richardjrgavatin@gmail.com
Richard and Ralph

Recent Programs

 

 

Jewish Educational Blogs and Websites

Sunday, October 18, 2020 • 30 Tishrei 5781  
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Zoom

Recent 
There are *literally* over 4 million Jewish Educational Blogs/Websites! Selecting from more than 60 Jewish blogs/websites, Verein will present an overview of 10 blogs/websites on October 18, 2020. The Program is scheduled for 11:30 AM, the regular Sunday Learning Zoom time. The topics run from "Rationalist Judaism" to "Removing the Stumbling Block." 
For Zoom Information, please send an email to richardjrgavatin@gmail.com


Previous ProgramsBook Club on Zoom

On July 12, 4 PM on Zoom.  

The book selected for this session is by Dr. Arthur Green, Judaism’s 10 Best Ideas. – A Brief Guide for Seekers.  We would encourage you to participate and, of course, because it’s on Zoom, it will be a little different from our previous Club meetings.  Nonetheless, we think we can have a meaningful discussion!  Even more so, if you read the book in advance. This is obviously optional; you are welcome to attend even if you haven’t read the book.
If you HAVE read the book, and want to speak on one of the subject matters that he addresses in the ten chapters, please feel free to contact us and you can then say a few words about “your” chapter. 

5/31:  HAZZANUT:REFLECTIONS ON GIVING VOICE TO ONE’S JEWISH IDENTITY

A Presentation given by Dr. Marvin Marcus on May 31.  It may be repeated in the fall!  Keep an eye out!

Dr. Marcus wrote an article about Hazzanut and it was published here. Please enjoy

July 2019 Update

Ten years ago we listened to a series of lectures by our Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Neil Gillman, who opened a new world to us in appreciating Judaism. In addition to his didactic presentations, he encouraged us to take advantage of the wonderful literature that was available to us.

A year ago, in honor of his death, our “Verein Discussion Group” initiated a review of his book “Sacred Fragments”. The book concluded with suggestion that most Jews develop their own beliefs about the nature of God, the Torah, afterlife, etc. and that there is a value in sharing their beliefs. In order to test the hypothesis we approached the members of our group. Eight individuals agreed to share. That process will be completed in June.

To Be Continued here

Sat, July 2 2022 3 Tammuz 5782