10th Annual Rice University Jewish Studies Lecture Series

Preserving Our Past: Stories from the Houston Jewish History Archive 
Oct 21, 23 & 28, 2018

The Beth Jacob Banner
The Beth Jacob Banner, c. 1945, Houston
Credit Jeff Fitlow, Rice University

Rabbi Dr. Jimmy Kessler
“You Mean There Really Are Jews in Texas?”

Sunday, Oct 21 | 4:00 PM

Some things bother you, like being told in 7th grade at Pershing Junior High that Jews had nothing to do with Texas history. Or, being told in rabbinical school that nothing of importance was done by Jews west of the Mississippi River or south of the Ohio River. So how does one respond to that, particularly if you’re a Texan? Come find out.

Dr. Joshua Furman
“Hidden Stars: The Beth Jacob Banner and Houston Jews in WWII”

Tuesday, Oct 23 | 7:30 PM

Hear the remarkable story of a flag made to honor Houston's Jewish men and women serving in the armed forces in World War II that was abandoned, recovered, and is now being restored. See some of the artifacts from veterans named on the banner that have been donated to Rice’s Houston Jewish History Archive. Learn how Houston’s Jewish community organized during the war years to assist German Jewish refugees who came to Texas fleeing Nazi persecution.  

Dr. Melissa Kean
“Rice Institute and the Jews, 1896 to 1946”

Sunday, Oct 28 | 4:00 PM  

When it opened its doors in 1912, the Rice Institute was that rarest of things—a private university in the American South that openly held itself out as secular. That decision, made by William Marsh Rice in 1896, meant that the school had a significant number of Jewish students (and even some faculty) from its very beginnings. Several scrapbooks and collections of correspondence in Rice’s Woodson Research Center shed remarkable light on the experiences of these early pioneers and their complex relationship with the rest of the university. Come see the photographs and hear their stories.

Per Lecture: $10 Member I $15 Public
Series Pass: $26 Member I $39 Public
Free for Platinum & Above Patrons of the Arts and Students Registered for CJLL Adult Jewish Learning Classes

This series is organized in part by the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University and is made possible by the Maurice Amado Foundation.


For more information please contact Nomi Barancik at or 713.595.8190. 

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