BD Dec. 8 luncheon talk on “Judaism and the Greeks: Perspectives on Hanukkah, Diaspora and Beyond”

Beth David’s December Saturday luncheon will take place on December 8. The speaker will be Gina Santiago, who will focus on a Hanukkah-related topic, since it deals with the Maccabean period. Santiago will examine the relationship between Jews and Greek culture during that period. She has examined traditional sources as well as modern scholarship on this topic. She will share different Jewish perspectives on the extent to which Jews engaged in Greek culture and what effect it had on their identity as Jews.
 “ I have been fascinated by recent analyses, such as those by Gruen’s ‘Heritage and Hellenism,’” says Santiago, “as well as a volume edited by Rabbi J.J. Schacter, titled ‘Judaism’s Encounter with Other Cultures: Rejections or Integration.’” Santiago plans to connect her talk on Jews and Greek culture to current ongoing discussions, particularly prevalent among Orthodox Jews, about Judaism’s past and present encounters with other cultures. 
“We are in for an absolutely thought-provoking, timely talk,” organizers say, “and look forward to a spirited discussion.”
Santiago grew up in Philadelphia and then moved to Rhode Island where she obtained her B.A. in philosophy and sociology. She earned her master’s degree in philosophy at Binghamton University, where she is currently pursuing her doctorate in philosophy, with a specialization in ancient Greek and political philosophy. In the BU philosophy department, she has taught her own courses, and has also worked as an advising associate at Harpur College. While completing her Ph.D., Santiago is working as an administrator at Hillel Academy.
Beth David’s luncheon speaker series takes place the second Saturday of the month after Shabbat morning services, and is open to the community. There is no charge for the luncheon, however, Beth David welcomes donations to the Luncheon Fund in order to keep the program going. Donations can be made in honor of or in memory of someone, or to mark a special occasion. Those wishing an acknowledgment to be sent to the person being honored or to the family of someone being remembered can indicate that, along with the necessary information. Donations may be sent to Beth David Synagogue, 39 Riverside Dr., Binghamton, NY 13905, Attention: Luncheon Fund.