The Everett Jewish Life Center at The Chautauqua Institution Names Dr. Gary P. Zola as Scholar-In-Residence

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience & Reform Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Cincinnati campus, has been invited to present two lecture programs as a Scholar-in-Residence at The Everett Jewish Life Center in Chautauqua on June 26-27, 2017. 

The Everett Jewish Life Center provides a focus for Jewish and inter-religious events on the grounds of The Chautauqua Institution—a not-for-profit, educational center in southwestern New York State. The Chautauqua Institution annually presents a programming season, with a total of over 142,000 attending scheduled public events. The Everett Jewish Life Center participates in the Institution’s nine themed weeks with programs meant to inspire Jewish visitors and engage the broader community. “We are thrilled that Dr. Gary P. Zola will be launching the Everett Jewish Life Center in Chautauqua's 2017 esteemed lecture series,” said Arlene Hoffman, Program Chair of The Everett Jewish Life Center.

Dr. Zola’s first presentation on June 26, Great Voices, Civil Liberty, & American Jewry, will explore the many ways that American Jewry fought for the ideals of religious liberty and freedom of conscience— as well as “equal footing” under the law. “This session will feature a number of fascinating documents as well as many rare recordings that were made during the early decades of the 20th century,” said Zola. “These ‘great voices’ will vividly exemplify American Jewry’s determination to coerce the nation to live up to the lofty rhetoric enshrined in its founding documents.” 

On June 27, Dr. Zola’s topic, He Was One of Us: The Judaization of Abraham Lincoln is based on his new volume, We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press) – a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2014. “Few are aware of the remarkable history linking American Jewry and President Lincoln,” noted Dr. Zola. “It is fascinating to explore the historical reasons why many of Lincoln’s personal and professional characteristics have caused American Jews to consider the sixteenth president as one of their own – a man who possessed a Jewish soul. Lincoln’s remarkable character has long provided American Jewry with an uplifting, enduring legacy.”

For more information, please contact Joyce Kamen at (513) 543-8109.

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic campus of the Hebrew Union College‐Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social, and family life of American Jewry. The AJA has emerged as a leading national research institution that exists to preserve the continuity of Jewish life and learning for future generations and aspires to serve scholars, educators, students, and researchers of all backgrounds and beliefs. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu