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Rabbi Jacob Kraft Educational Foundation

The Rabbi Jacob Kraft Educational Foundation was established in 1988 in memory of Rabbi Kraft, who served as the Rabbi for Congregation Beth Shalom from 1930 – 1970 and as Rabbi Emeritus from 1970 – 1987 with a brief hiatus during World War II when he was a chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1943 – 1946.

The Foundation furthers Rabbi Kraft’s life-long devotion to learning by funding educational programs to enrich the congregation and the community. These programs cover areas such as scholars-in-residence, congregational Kallahs, education for parents of Hebrew School students, continuing education and enrichment for teachers, scholarships for higher education and special programs like, religious camps and trips to Israel for children in the school. The fund initially raised approximately $250,000. An independent, rotating Board of Trustees governs the foundation.

Rabbi Jacob Kraft was a man of righteousness, wisdom, and love. His life inspired others to appreciate the true values in life and to achieve their full potential. He was a magnificent spiritual leader of our congregation and in our community. Through the foundation, Rabbi Kraft’s influence continues to be felt by present and future generations.


Steven Pressman

Sunday, August 23, 2020; 7:00pm

Steven Pressman will talk about his book, "50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany." In Elise C.'s interview with Mr. Pressman, she stated the following: "The author superbly intertwines the events of Nazi tyranny toward the Jews with the theme of hope, showing how two Jewish Americans, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, took up their call to duty, as they became involved with rescuing refuges in 1939". This Zoom program is open to the community.

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Rabbi Benay Lappe

Sunday, November 1, 2020; 7:00pm

In this talk, SVARA’s Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Benay Lappe lays out our foundational philosophy of human change; a road-map through transformation of all kinds– societal, religious, organizational, or personal; a core framework for understanding the Talmud and the rabbinic revolution that gave rise to it; and a way for us to understand the big questions of the moment. The CRASH Talk will explain where the Talmud came from, why it was written, what its purpose is, and why the study of it has been so important for Judaism and the formation of the Jewish mind.

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Georgia Hunter

Sunday, January 31, 2021; 7:00pm
Presentation: "We Were the Lucky Ones"

New York Times Best-Seller Author, Georgia Hunter, at age 15, learned she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. She will share what the decade-long journey of unearthing and recording her family history entailed and how it influenced her book. We Were the Lucky Ones, has been translated into 13 languages and received numerous awards.y.

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Wed, August 4 2021 26 Av 5781