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Advanced Learning Institute: Mondays 9:30-10:30 AM (Pacific)

Upcoming Classes

Looking for in-depth Jewish learning? Join our ongoing group of adult learners and engage with gifted Jewish scholars from around the country. 

Upcoming Classes 
February 19 | Governance and Leadership in Genesis with Bex Rosenblatt
February 26 | Governance and Leadership in Genesis with Bex Rosenblatt
March 4 | An Insider’s Guide to the  History of Eretz Yisrael with Rabbi Mike Mymon
March 11 | An Insider’s Guide to the  History of Eretz Yisrael with Rabbi Mike Mymon
March 18 | Jews in Theory with Rabbi Jack Shlachter
March 25 | Jews in Theory with Rabbi Jack Shlachter

ALI Archives

To see a menu of recent courses and to view recordings click here.


Jews in Theory with Rabbi Jack Shlachter

March 18: Jews at Los Alamos During the Manhattan Project
Los Alamos, New Mexico, was non-existent until the exigency of developing an atomic weapon forced the creation of the Manhattan Project and this secret science community in 1943.  A snapshot of the Theoretical Division roster at Los Alamos reveals a leadership structure that is disproportionately of Jewish heritage; the division leader, deputy division leader, chief consultant, and six of the eight group leaders were Jewish by some definition of the term.  Of the roughly 80 individuals in the division, four (all Jewish) would go on to become Nobel Laureates. These colorful individuals were unique characters, and their backgrounds and connections to Judaism were quite varied. This talk will explore members of this leadership team as well as some of the other Jewish, key individuals at Los Alamos during World War II and speculate on the connection between their presence at Los Alamos and their Jewish roots.

March 25: A Jewish Perspective on the Relationship Between Lewis Strauss and J. Robert Oppenheimer
In June 1954 the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) revoked the security clearance of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific leader of the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs.  Particularly in Los Alamos, the canonical view today of the clearance clash between Oppenheimer and 1954 AEC Chairman Lewis Strauss paints Oppenheimer as the victim and Strauss as the villain.  This presentation will focus on the Jewish dimension of these two individuals and reflect on how their opposing approaches to their respective Jewish heritage may have contributed to the revocation.  We'll begin by exploring the history of the Jewish presence in the United States and the mechanisms used by Jews to integrate into American society.  A little-known connection between Strauss and the Los Alamos Jewish Center will be described.  Through the efforts in part of the Los Alamos-based J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee, in December 2022 the Secretary of Energy apologized for the clearance revocation and vacated the June 1954 decision In The Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Jack Shlachter is a physicist who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for over thirty years with briefer stints at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, the Atomic Energy Agency, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, the latter two based in Vienna, Austria; he led both the Physics Division and Theoretical Division during his LANL career.  In parallel, Jack is an ordained rabbi who led the Jewish congregation in Los Alamos for many years, was the rabbi in The Jewish Center of The Moriches, NY, during his years at Brookhaven, and now serves as rabbi of HaMakom, a congregation in Santa Fe, NM as well as the Los Alamos Jewish Center.  He has also provided itinerant rabbinic support to far-flung Jewish communities including those in Vienna, Austria,  Beijing, China, and Warsaw, Poland.

Register for Jews in Theory with Rabbi Jack Shlachter

We look forward to having you join this ALI class
Thank you!



An Insider’s Guide to the  History of Eretz Yisrael with Rabbi Mike Moshe Mymon

Mondays - March 4 and 11

Using biblical, rabbinic and mystical texts, archeological findings, historical research and lived experience, Rabbi Mymon will offer a rich history of Israel as the birthplace of the Israelite people and Judaism.

Session 1 | From Avraham to Joshua (Circa 1990-1250 BCE)
Session 2 | The Davidic Kingdom and Israel's Second Commonwealth (Circa 1020 BCE - 135 CE)

Register for An Insider’s Guide to the  History of Eretz Yisrael with Rabbi Mike Moshe Mymon

We look forward to having you join this ALI class
Thank you!



Sat, March 2 2024 22 Adar I 5784