Oct. 16 forum to examine black-Jewish relations in the time of Obama

Peniel Joseph, Jonathan Kaufman, Randall Kennedy and Ibrahim Sundiata will review the history of alliance and alienation

The Brandeis University Spotlight Forum Series presents "Blacks, Jews and Obama," a look at the up-and-down history of the black-Jewish relationship and prospects for future relations in the context of the first serious black candidate for the presidency.

In two forums on Thursday, Oct. 16, two leading Brandeis professors, a distinguished professor from Harvard Law School and a senior campaign reporter from the Wall Street Journal will explore the strong bonds formed between blacks and Jews during the struggle for equal rights for all Americans, their alliance in support of social justice afterwards, and the deterioration of relations amid disputes over changing urban neighborhoods, affirmative action and U.S.-Middle East policy. They then will analyze possibilities for the relationship to improve or further decline in the current political environment.

The first forum will take place at the Old State House in downtown Boston. Doors open for a light breakfast at 7:45 a.m. The program will run from 8 to 8:55 a.m. The second forum, with the same content but more time for discussion, will be held in Rapaporte Treasure Hall, in the central library complex on the Brandeis University campus, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. that evening.

Both events are free and open to the public. Because of seating limitations, those wishing to attend the Old State House Forum are requested to RSVP by calling 781-736-4210. No reservations are required for the evening event.

The discussions will be moderated by Ibrahim Sundiata, the Samuel and Augusta Spector Professor of History at Brandeis and author of "Brother and Strangers."

Panelists are:

  • Peniel Joseph, associate professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University, author of "Waiting for the Midnight Hour"
  • Jonathan Kaufman, presidential campaign reporter for the Wall Street Journal, author of "Broken Alliance, The Turbulent Times Between Blacks and Jews in America"
  • Randall Kennedy, Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard University,  author of "Race, Crime and the Law"
Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage