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    Sikhism & Judaism: Separated at Birth?

    Community Tuesdays

    When: Tuesday, 12/10/2019 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

    Where: Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall (Bldg F)

    A multi-media presentation by Ken Blady, MA and Amrik Singh Pannu, MA.

    The Sikh faith was founded in the late fifteenth century in Punjab, India, by Gum Nanak, who preached tolerance and equality for every person, regardless of caste, religion or gender. Sikh strict monotheism originated as a reaction to Hindu idol worship and the caste system; the martial traditions and cult of martyrdom are a consequence of Islamic Mughal fanaticism and cruelty.

    According to Sikh scholar Khuswant Singh, "The Sikhs have a lot in common with [Orthodox] Jews. Sikh patriarchs look like [Sephardic] rabbis. Both the Jews and Sikhs have  known persecution. Like the Jews, the Sikhs regard themselves as the chosen people." Like the Jews, the Sikhs lost their kingdom and have long struggled to re-establish an independent homeland, during which their people have been massacred in the hundreds of thousands. In their own diaspora they have created vibrant Sikh communities worldwide. Nonetheless, there are marked differences between Sikhs and Jews. Sikhs practice cremation and are strict vegetarians. Sikh men are not circumcised and fasting is outlawed.

    Amrik Singh Pannu was born in Amritsar, Punjab and resided in England before migrating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1991. An initiated (Khalsa) Sikh and congregant of the El Sobrante Gurdwara, he has for many years served in the capacity of administrator of the religious school, as teacher of Punjabi and Sikh doctrine, and as the temple's librarian. Amrik has a BS in agricultural science and a post-graduate degree in rural economics from universities in India. A resident of Hercules, he is a volunteer at the Pinole Medical Center and at the Hercules Library.

    Ken Blady is a Jewish educator, author and translator of seven works from Yiddish. He was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Chassidic Brooklyn, where he attended yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. A San Francisco Bay Area resident since 1972, Ken has a BA in history from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MA in clinical counseling from California State University, East Bay. He is the author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places, among other works. Ken has been featured on radio and TV talk shows, including The History Channel documentary Operation Magic Carpet, about the airlift of the Jews of Yemen to Israel. 

    Daytime Adult Learning and Culture Programs are made possible in part by the John R. Schwabacher Family as well as a grant from the Maimonides Fund at the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma and the East Bay. 

    Need a ride?
    The OFJCC provides door-to-door rides for mobility-impaired seniors to all Community Tuesday lectures and concerts. The price is $10 for a round trip. All reservations must be made by Thursday morning the week before the event. To make a reservation, contact Betty Saad at [email protected] or (650) 223-8741. 

    Funded by the Senior Mobility Initiative at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

    Tuesday, December 10
    1:00–2:30 PM
    Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
    $15 or one punch of the Community Tuesdays Punch Card
    No registration required
    Contact: Michelle Rosengaus | (650) 223-8616 | [email protected]



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