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Feb 12, 2015 7:00 PM

History and Legends of Jews in Prague

Thursday Forum. Lecture by Dr. Robert Řehák, Cultural Attaché at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, and a published scholar of biblical history and the Dead Sea Scrolls, explores the history and legends of Jews in Prague.


Prague is a magical city with a vibrant history spanning more than one thousand years of coexistence among Czechs, Germans, and Jews. Through his lecture, Řehák will explore the history and legends of Jews in Prague including lesser known kabbalistic versions of Rabbi Loew’s (Maharal) story of the creation of an artificial man called "Golem" and his mysterious meeting with  Emperor Rudolf II. The stories paint a backdrop into the unique history that created a base for Franz Kafka´s writings. The lecture will also address the Terezín concentration camp, the fabricated trials of the antisemitic communists and the change after the Velvet Revolution in 1989, in which the lecturer participated as a student.

Barry Goldsmith will talk about his Jewish heritage tours that take you "out of the ghetto" and into the 20th century and late 19th-century to buildings designed for many purposes, in many different styles designed by Jewish architects for Jews and Christians.
Professor Goldsmith believes that every building tells a story.  And tonight's buildings tell a story of creative Czech Jews.


About the lecturers:
Dr. Robert Řehák is Cultural Attaché at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, and a published scholar of biblical history and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is proficient in five languages (Czech, Hebrew, English, German, and Russian). He studied in Prague (Czech Republic), Heidelberg (Germany), and Jerusalem (Israel) and holds an M.A. and a doctorate. For many years, he has lectured at Charles University and New York University in Prague and led the Society of Christians and Jews in the Czech Republic as its President. Before coming to DC, he served as Cultural Attaché at the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel).

Barry Goldsmith is a professor of architecture and humor. He's an architect and architectural historian who's also a print, web and broadcast travel expert specializing in "Been There,HAVEN'T Done That" recommending sites around the world missed by most tourists—and even missed by many natives. Goldsmith looks at buildings and life from unique perspectives. 


This lecture is a part of the multimedia project "Shoah in Us" - more info here.

Photo: Der Golem by Hugo Steiner-Prag, 1915-16


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Feb 12, 2015 7:00 PM


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