Continuing our exploration of Jewish history, we are joined by Rabbi Pini Dunner, senior Rabbi of Beverly Hills Synagogue and author if Mavericks, Mystics & False Messiahs: Episodes From the Margins of Jewish History.
We discuss the importance of not just learning Jewish history what we can learn from some of the lesser-known episodes of the past. Rabbi Dunner, a renowned expert in Jewish manuscripts and prolific collector of Jewish books and polemics, tells us about how we can understand these strange episodes and what lessons we can learn from them.
Rabbi Dunner’s family can trace itself back over 1,000 years in Europe’s most prominent Jewish communities. He is descended from some of Judaism’s most illustrious rabbis, including the medieval rabbinic luminary “Rashi”, and the revered “Maharal” of Prague.
After studying in rabbinical seminaries in the U.K., U.S., and Israel, Rabbi Dunner began his rabbinic career in Russia, as the Assistant Rabbi at Moscow’s iconic Choral Synagogue. He later served as a rabbi in London, and in 1998 presided over the launch of the innovative Saatchi Synagogue for young Jewish professionals in London’s West End.
Since 2011, Rabbi Dunner and his wife Sabine, together with their six children, have lived in the U.S., where he is the Senior Rabbi of Beverly Hills Synagogue in California. Rabbi Dunner also serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and on the board of the Israel Christian Nexus, an interfaith organization focusing on cross-communal advocacy and support for Israel.
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