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Sunday, April 15 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Jews and Gambling: Texts and Types

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Already in the mishnah we learn that Jews gambled. The rabbis disapproved, but it hardly mattered. In 1939, sociologist Louis Rosenberg admitted that in Canada “gambling offences amongst Jews are more frequent than among the general population.” While officials would wring their hands in disapproval, counter-cultural figures would celebrate stories of Jewish high rollers. Together we will study the central rabbinic text on gambling. I will present some examples of Jewish gamblers and how they figure in narratives of Jewish life. We will discuss possible socio-cultural factors for the prominence of Jews in gambling, and the ethics of community-sponsored lotteries.

avatar for Richard Menkis

Richard Menkis

Richard Menkis teaches modern Jewish history at UBC. He is fascinated by the range of identities within the Jewish community and how these identities shape, and are shaped by, the narratives of Jewish history in popular and academic writing, museum exhibitions, and memorials. He is... Read More →

Sunday April 15, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
Room D