Monday, October 10, 2011

NM Jewish Historical Society Fall Conference

BREAKING NEWS:  Last chance for full conference registration at the JCC office of the NMJHS is THURSDAY!  (You can still walk in and register for any of the four program sessions - but you'll miss the meals and the reception!)

The Jewish Experience in 20th Century New Mexico
Doubletree Hotel Albuquerque
Saturday 22 October 2011
9:00 am - 9:00 pm

The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society's Fall Conference 2011 will focus on  

The Jewish Experience in Twentieth Century New Mexico 
And the Institutions that Made it Possible

The Fall Conference will focus on the business, professional, and community institutions that supported the development of Jewish life in New Mexico in the twentieth century, including the scientific and scholarly institutions that hired Jewish professionals to come to the state (i.e. University of New Mexico, Medical School, Los Alamos, Sandia Labs, etc.) and the community institutions that supported Jewish life here (synagogues, the Federation, the Link, the Holocaust Museum, ADL, NMJHS and others), and businesses (Service clubs, Chamber of Commerce, etc.).

Session 1: Continuities and Change: Noel Pugach & Henry Tobias:  In the opening session, Noel Pugach and Henry Tobias will talk about the continuities and changes in the New Mexico Jewish community with attention to the development of the community after World War II.

Session 2: Jewish Experience in New Mexico State Government: Dr Stanley M Hordes & PanelIn the following session, Stan Hordes and a select slate of Jewish government officials will talk about being Jewish in government and how government has affected the community.

Luncheon: Jewish New Mexico 2011: Where are We and Where are We Going?: Sam Sokolove:  As the luncheon speaker, Sam Sokolove, Exectutive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, will provide his vision of the future.

Session 3: Jews in Twentieth Century Albuquerque: Naomi Sandweiss & Michael Sutin:  In the afternoon Naomi Sandweiss will lead a session on the Jewish community in Albuquerque with the participation of Michael Sutin and others who have had important roles in the development of the community.

Session 4: Jews and the National Laboratories - LANL & Sandia: Rabbi Dr Jack Schlachter, et al:  The final session will focus on the national research labs, Sandia and Los Alamos. Rabbi Dr. Jack Schlacter, Robert Benjamin, and others will examine Jewish involvement in these institutions and how that has contributed to Judaism in New Mexico.

Reception: Honoring Naomi Sandweiss, Jewish AlbuquerqueA reception from 5 to 7 on Saturday will honor Naomi Sandweiss and her recent book, Jewish Albuquerque.

Keynote Speaker: Sharon Niederman:  The keynote speaker will be Sharon Niederman, winner of the 2011 Hurst Award and President of New Mexico Press Women, who will speak on "Reading Shalom Aleichem in Raton: My Life in the New Mexico Diaspora".

For further information about the Fall Conference, 
The registration deadline at the JCC office of the NMJHS is Thursday October 13.  

Walk-in registration is available for the four program sessions, but does not include meals or reception.

Abq Jew View: Bringing the Community Together

Abq Jew is dedicated to using the power of the Web to bring the Albuquerque Jewish community together. The New Mexico Jewish Historical Society is dedicated to telling the stories of the many Jewish groups that came and stayed and helped make New Mexico a remarkable place. 

Abq Jew is a member of the NMJHS, and has contributed an article, "Remembering Magidson's", to the September 2011 issue (not yet online) of the Society's newsletter, Legacy.  And he will do more - he is fascinated with New Mexico's Jewish history.

That being said: Abq Jew is troubled that this Conference is to be held not only on a Shabbat, but on a Shabbat that immediately follows two days of Yom Tov. 

This means that any observant Jew who might have consented to spend one night away from home in order to attend - would actually have to spend three nights away.  This is an unfair burden on the most traditional element of our community.

As Rabbi Mordechai Scher of Kol BeRamah in Santa Fe points out in his comment: "That's really a shame, and it doesn't have to be that way." 

Abq Jew's current level of observance permits him to enthusiastically but sadly attend this Conference.  Enthusiastically, because he can observe firsthand one of the important contributions that NMJHS makes to the New Mexico Jewish community.  Sadly, because he knows that not everyone who might wish to attend, can attend.

Therefore:  Abq Jew respectfully calls upon the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society to do better next time.  Let's bring the entire community together.  Or, as Abq Jew likes to put it: Everybody to the table!

1 comment:

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Granted, there are very, very few traditionally observant Jews in NM. But there are a few of us. And planning an interesting event like this on Shabbat (and right after a very busy holyday) guarantees that we cannot attend. That's really a shame, and it doesn't have to be this way. I assume the organizers just didn't think much about it one way or the other; but maybe we need to encourage our public activists to think that Shabbat should be remembered for public event planning and in consideration of those few Jews for whom that commandment is dear. I, for one, might have attended such an event; but this makes it simply impossible.