Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court
"Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court," is inspired by the recent book by the legal historian David Dalin. Dalin's informative book not only covers the biographies of the eight Jewish Supreme Court justices, but also explores the changing nature of American Jewish life in the 20th century, and in particular, how anti-semitism (and its obverse, assimilation) has shaped American attitudes about Jewish acceptance.

We will compare and contrast the two Jewish pioneers, the famous - and very public figure - Louis Brandeis, and the lawyer as intellect and scholar, Benjamin Cardozo. We will examine the transitional Justice Felix Frankfurter, one of nine justices appointed by F.D.R., and who served on the Court during the crucial days of World War II and beyond. We will study the all too brief careers of Arthur Goldberg and Abe Fortas in the 1960's, and then the 25 year gap until the next justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated in 1993. The legacies of Justice Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan are, of course, still being written.

The class will also examine the relationship between the justices' Jewish heritage and their judicial philosophy. While most of us are familiar with Justice Ginsburg's fight for women's rights and the constitutional rights of minorities, we will also explore the influence of the other justices' Jewishness, and how their status as outsiders impacted their view of the law as an instrument for social change.

Dates: Thursdays: October 14, 21 and November 4, 11 and 18 2021
Time: 7:00 - 8:30
Cost: Free for members; $50 for non-members.
This Class will be Facilitated by Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman
We recommend that anyone enrolling in this class purchase the Dalin book.

WE HAVE DECIDED THAT THIS CLASS WILL TAKE PLACE ON ZOOM. We hope to be able to offer an in-person adult education class in the Spring.
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