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188 North Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 864-0218

Annual Rabbi Max Wall Lecture

The annual Rabbi Wall Lecture Series, hosted by Saint Michael’s College, was created in 1983. The late Rabbi Max Wall, for whom this longstanding lecture series is named, was the spiritual leader at Ohavi Zedek for many decades, taking courageous initiative in the early 1960s to forge a lasting relationship with Saint Michael’s College, including teaching courses, initiating a Judaica collection in the library and establishing this lecture series.

In 1964 he began teaching courses in Judaism at St. Michael’s College, at a time when the college had no Jewish faculty members or Jewish students. The Rabbi Max B. Wall Endowment Program supports the Rabbi B. Wall Lecture series, among other activities at St. Michael’s College, which enhance new dimensions in understanding Jewish/Christian relationships. Rabbi Wall served as the spiritual leader of Ohavi Zedek synagogue in Burlington VT from 1946-1987. He had an enduring commitment to social justice, advocacy for human rights and a tireless effort to improve the social well-being of all peoples.  Rabbi Wall was also know for a commitment to fostering unity among the world’s faiths, stemming from his experiences as a chaplain in World War II, where he came to know chaplains of many religions and served Christians as well as Jews in the European theater.

The 2024 Event:

Collaboration, Community Building, and the Future of Education: Navigating the complexities of the situation in the Middle East. Susannah Heschel, Ph.D., Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Tarek El-Ariss, Ph.D., James Wright Professor and Chair of Middle Eastern Studies, Dartmouth College

Past Lectures:

  • March 2023: Rabbi Steven Greenberg.  Author and founding Director of Eshel.  A Decade of Conflict and Convergence: LGBTQ Lives in Orthodox Jewish Contexts.
  • April 2022: Jewish-Muslim Reconciliation: The Muslim Perspective by Imam Abdullah Antepli, Assoc. Professor, Duke University Divinity School; Founder of the Muslim Leadership Initiative, a Program of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
  • March 2021: What’s Jewish about Jewish Environmentalism? By Alon Tal, Professor of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University – March 1
  • February 2020: It couldn’t happen here: American antisemitism in historical perspective by Dr. Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis University
  • March 2019: American Jews and Israel: The Dissolution of Consensus by Dov Waxman, Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University and Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies.
  • March 2018: Judaism in the Year 2118: Where will we be in 100 years? by Mark Oppenheimer, PhD, writer, religion scholar, former “Beliefs” columnist for the New York Times and host of the podcast Unorthodox
  • March 2017: “The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews” by Father Patrick Desbois Roman Catholic French Priest and Professor at The Center for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University Director of Yahad-In Unum (“together” in Hebrew and Latin)
  • December 2015: Noam Marans, Celebrating Fifty Years of Transformed Catholic Jewish Relations
  • April 2015: Eric Lichtbau, The Nazis Next Door:  How America Became A Safe Haven For Hitler’s Men
  • February 2014: Counterpoint, Mir Zaynen Do: Jewish Song from the Shtetl to the Promised Land
  • March 2013: Mark A. Stoler, Secretary of State George C. Marshall and the Creation of Israel: The Partition and Recognition Controversies of 1947-1948
  • April 2012: Reb Moshe Waldoks, The Art of Dialogue: The Jewish-Tibetan Buddhist Encounter
  • March 2011: Richard Sugarmann, The Phenomenon of Generational Responsibility
  • April 2010: Doris Bergen, Military Chaplains and the Holocaust
  • April 2009: Hasia Diner, We Remember With Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, 1954-1962
  • March 2008: Jules Chametzky, It All Adds Up: The Influence of Jewish American Writers on American Literature
  • October 2006: Ellen Cannon, The American Jewish Electorate in the 21st Century: Will They Have Clout?
  • March 2006: Douglas Greenberg, Henry’s Harmonica: History and memory in a Genocidal World
  • January 2004: Alan Segal, From Here to Eternity: The Afterlife in Judaism
  • October 2004: Susan Heschel, The Myth of Europe in America’s Judaism
  • March 2003: Lenn E. Goodman, Cross-pollinations between Jewish and Islamic Philosophy
  • October 2001: Rabbi Richard Rubenstein, Was Pius XII ‘Hitler’s Pope’?
  • 2001: Michael Phayer, Pius XII and the Holocaust
  • April 2000: Steven Wasserstrom, Sharing Secrets: The Role of Esoterism in Jewish-Muslim Interconfessionalism
  • 1999: Julie Goschalk, Crossing the Abyss:  When a Daughter of Holocaust Survivors Meets Children of Nazis
  • Robert Louis Wilken, Jerusalem: Heavenly City and Earthly Center
  • Bernard Wasserstein, A State for ‘Displaced Persons’? The Shoah and the Establishment of Israel
  • April 1998: Symposium: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the State of Israel
  • April 1996: Judith Plaskow, Feminist Transformations of Ritual: The Jewish Case
  • 1994: Henry Friedlander, Nazi Euthanasia and the Final Solution, April 1995Leon Klenicki, A Painful Reflection on the Sin of Racism
  • 1994: Francis Nicosia, New Germany or New Reich?  Anti-Semitism in Post-Holocaust Europe
  • October 1992: Jack Wertheimer, The American Rabbinate and the Changing Agenda of American Jewry
  • April 1992: Jon Levenson, The Sacrifice of the Beloved Son in Judaism and Christianity
  • Paul van Buren, Pluralism and the Jewish-Christian Relationship
  • David Novak, Nostra Aetate after Twenty-Five Years:   A Theological Implication
  • John Pawlikowski, Jews, Judaism and Catholic Education: Did Nostra Aetate Make a Difference?
  • October 1990: Symposium: The 25th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions from the Second Vatican Council
  • October 1988: Donald Dietrich, The Catholic Church and Anti-Semitism in Germany during the Third Reich
  • April 1987: Jehuda Reinharz, The Jews in Germany before 1933: Patriots and Aliens
  • 1985: Marc Tannenbaum, Judaism and Christianity in Today’s World




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