Lincoln’s ties to Jews to be discussed

‘Rabbi Abraham’ author is coming to Middletown.

Rabbi Gary P. Zola will present “We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry” at Temple Beth Sholom in Middletown on Wednesday.

In Rabbi Zola’s forthcoming book, also called “We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry” (Southern Illinois University Press), he reflects upon Lincoln’s relationship with American Jews.

Zola is a worldwide lecturer, author, professor and executive director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) in Cincinnati. In 2011 President Obama appointed him to serve as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

“This is a major study and there’s been nothing like this, or similar to this, meaning focusing on Lincoln and American Jewry. The last time something like this appeared was 60 years ago,” said Rabbi Zola.

The 45-to-50 minute lecture will expand upon Zola’s research and share insight from his work. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“Abraham Lincoln is in the news now, because of the movie ‘Lincoln,’ and he was so beloved anyway,” said organizer and vice president, Sondra Ross, Temple Beth Sholom. “The emphasis of this lecture is just a facet of this incredible president.”

Wednesday’s event is not limited to synagogue members and is open to the entire community, said Rabbi Haviva Horvitz, Beth Temple Sholom.

“Since this is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, it’s certainly a timely topic,” said Rabbi Horvitz.

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