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Valley Salon: Freedom of Religion Then and Now

December 2, 2012 - 10:00am
Address upon RSVP

Festival of Rights

10:00am holiday brunch, 10:40am program
In the San Fernando Valley (address upon RSVP)

RSVP by November 29
$10 contribution requested (no one turned away for lack of funds)

A common interpretation of the Maccabean victory over the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes was that a persecuted minority triumphed over a foreign oppressor to win religious freedom. How does that narrative square with reality? And what happened after the fighters became the rulers?

Ancient stories re-told often become fables, with legends that overshadow historical details. Whatever the truth of the Hanukah story, Jews have long cited it to advocate for religious freedom and to support the separation of church and state. In what ways is that wall being challenged today? And are Jews still stalwart in their defense of that separation?

Aryeh CohenAryeh Cohen is professor of Rabbinic Literature at American Jewish University, and a national board member of Bend the Arc. He is the author most recently of Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism. The book will be available for sale at the salon.

Marla StoneMarla Stone is professor of History at Occidental College, where she teaches Modern European history. She is the author most recently of The Fascist Revolution: Politics, Culture and Society in Mussolini’s Italy. She is a founder of Jews Against Genocide, and on the board of the ACLU of Southern California where she chairs the Committee on Religion and the Constitution.