Or Emet to Host Program on Origins of the Israelite People

Or Emet will host an online program titled “Ancient Roots: Origins of the Israelite People and the Bible” by Or Emet members Eva Cohen and Allan Malkis.

What can we learn about the origins of the Israelite people, the ancient forebears of today’s Jews? The first part of this program will explore this question, considering the evidence from archaeology and critical study of the Hebrew Bible. The ancient Egyptian Merneptah Stele and remains of 3,000-year-old settlements in the highlands of Canaan (modern-day Israel/Palestine) will be among the data evaluated.

Who wrote the Hebrew Bible and when? The second part of this program will offer a review of evidence both in the texts and from archeology which suggest some answers. Were the biblical texts a very late “fantasy,” as some have suggested, with no relation to real history, or do they preserve and recount some knowledge of events centuries older than the earliest known copies?

Cohen, who received a master’s degree in classical and Near Eastern studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2020, is Or Emet’s ritual leader and a rabbinic student at the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. She draws on her experience as an artist, educator and trainer in a variety of contexts to encourage thought-provoking exploration of “the Jewish past.”

Malkis is a longtime Or Emet member and lifelong learner of Jewish history. He has co-presented a course on Jewish history and given a number of lectures to Or Emet on various subjects. He is a retired social researcher last employed by Ramsey County Human Services.

Cohen will lead a short Humanistic Jewish Sabbath service preceding the program. This session requires registration.

If you are interested in attending, please email Or Emet president Scott Chazdon at [email protected]. For more information about Or Emet, email [email protected] or visit oremet.org.


April 9
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Or Emet: MN Congregation for Humanistic Judaism