Friday, November 20, 2015

Levine on ancient synagogues

LECTURE IN PITTSBURGH: Israeli professor describes autonomy in antiquity, locally controlled synagogues (Adam Reinherz, Jewish Chronicle)
On a cool Sunday evening in November, nearly 75 people gathered at a historic synagogue in Shadyside to learn about ancient synagogues in Israel. The event, which was a collaboration among Classrooms Without Borders and five area synagogues, featured Lee Levine, an expert on ancient Judaism and professor emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Throughout Levine’s hourlong lecture in Freehof Hall at Rodef Shalom, he discussed how and why the synagogue became a central institution in late antiquity.

Early on in his remarks, Levine stated the historic uncertainty surrounding synagogues.

“We have no idea when, where or why it started,” he said. “It’s strange for an institution to percolate and know nothing about its origins.”

Follow the link for a detailed summary of the lecture and discussion.