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JCRC Community Conversation: When Rabbis Bless Congress

23 February 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Congress opens each session with a prayer offered by a chaplain or guest chaplain. Among the guest chaplains are Rabbis. Howard Mortman’s book is about the rabbis who provided Jewish prayers in the literal and figurative center of American democracy. Mortman’s exhaustive research delivers a manuscript, written in approachable prose, that uniquely tells the story of over 400 rabbis offering over 600 prayers since the Civil War days. Author Howard Mortman will be joined by Rabbi Gary P. Zola, PhD of the American Jewish Archives, and interviewed by Rachel Katz, C-SPAN Affiliate Relations Manager.

When Rabbi’s Bless Congress is an important addition to our understanding of Congress and Jewish contribution to America. [Mortman’s book is] “Academically detailed yet esoterically fun.” – Kirkus Review

Howard Mortman (Author)
Communications director for C-SPAN, the public service providing television coverage of the U.S. Congress. A veteran of Washington, DC media organizations, he has observed Congress from positions at MSNBC, National Journal’s Hotline, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and New Media Strategies.

Rabbi Gary P. Zola, PhD (Participant)
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 in Cincinnati. Rabbi Zola is featured as one of the guest Rabbis offering a prayer at the opening of Congress.

Rachel Katz (Interviewer)
Rachel Katz has worked at C-SPAN since 2007. Currently, as Affiliate Relations Manager, her responsibilities are business development and partnership outreach opportunities. Katz is a native of Dayton, Ohio having spent her early educational years at Hillel Academy. As a C-SPAN colleague, she will interview Mortman and Zola for this Community Conversation.

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