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Choosing Life: Agnon's Shoah with Yonatan Cohen

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA, 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

S.Y. (“Shai”) Agnon, né Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czaczkes, was one of the greatest writers of modern Hebrew literature. In 1966, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for chronicling the life and spirit of the Jewish people.

In The Sign, S.Y. Agnon offers a unique statement about the role of literature in the aftermath of the Shoah’s horrors.  In this study session, Rabbi Cohen will lead a close reading of sections of this powerful short story, with material from the newest translation of Agnon’s monumental work, A City in its Fullness.

Rabbi Yonatan Cohen serves as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from McGill University in Montreal and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Cohen is a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem as well as a lecturer for the Wexner Foundation’s Summer Institute and Heritage Program.

We will be using translations by Alan Mintz z”l, a great scholar of Agnon’s work.

Co-presented by Congregation Beth Israel and the Consulate General of Israel

Program made possible, in part, by Anne Germanacos.