St. Thomas Synagogue Presents ‘From Tel Dan to D.C.’

Florence, America’s first female Jewish member of Congress

A Mid-Chanukah “Two-fer” Lunch and Learn will feature two visiting Jewish scholars, Dr. Nili Fox and Dr. Ava F. Kahn, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, at Lilienfeld Community House (just across the street from the St. Thomas Synagogue). Bring a brown bag lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Nili Fox, Ph.D., will speak on “New Views from Old Stones: Insights on Ancient Israelite Religion Emerging from the Latest Excavations at Tel Dan.

Dr. Nili Sacher Fox is Professor of Bible and Director of the Archeology Center at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati campus. She also teaches ancient history and languages.

Dr. Nili Sacher Fox

Fox has written on various topics relating to ancient Israel and surrounding peoples, including: “In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah;” “Concepts of God in Israel and the Question of Monotheism” and “Gender Trans-formation and Transgression: Contextualizing the Prohibition of Cross-Dressing.” Her presentations include: “Jews and Tattoos: The Biblical Body as Canvas.”

Dr. Ava F. Kahn will speak on “She Knew Not Bacon: Florence Prag Kahn.”
St. Thomas-born David Levy Yulee may have been the first Jewish member of the U.S. Congress (or actually, by a few months, the second) when he served as a senator, but Florence Kahn of San Francisco was the first Jewish woman in Congress — and only the fifth woman at all.

Dr. Ava F. Kahn

Ava F. Kahn, Ph.D. (not related to Florence) is a scholar of American Jewish History, and has written extensively about the history of Jews in California and the Pacific Coast. She has also examined aspects of Caribbean Jewish life as it relates to American Jewish identity. She has taught at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Mills College and San Francisco State University.

With questions or for more information, contact The Hebrew Congregation of St Thomas at or 774-4312.