Ahad Ha’am and the Jewish Future

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Host: Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
Location: 6 Lansdowne Road, Brighton BN3 1FF
Speaker: Brian Klug

Ahad Ha’am (the pen name of Asher Ginsberg, 1856-1927) is remembered as ‘the father of cultural Zionism’, an epithet that tends to consign him to the past and locate him solely in relation to Theodor Herzl and political Zionism. Dr Brian Klug is interested in taking him out of his historical box and reading him as a resource for thinking about the future. His secularism, his project of Jewish revival, his view of life in the Diaspora, and his overall vision of Judaism, with justice at its heart, have a strong bearing on predicaments we face today. Dr Klug shall approach these topics via an introduction to his life, reflecting on the meaning of his pen name: ‘One of the People’.

Dr Brian Klug is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford, a member of the faculty of philosophy at the University of Oxford, and Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton. He has published extensively on Jewish identity, antisemitism, Islamophobia, race and related topics. His latest book, Words of Fire: Selected Essays of Ahad Ha’am (Notting Hill Editions), was published in September 2015. Other books include: Being Jewish and Doing Justice: Bringing Argument to Life (Vallentine Mitchell, 2011) and Offence: The Jewish Case (Seagull Books, 2009). He has contributed essays to several books, including ‘Moses: The Significant Other’, in Dynamics of Difference (2015). He is Associate Editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice.

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