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                                        Catching up ...

(for further details, or to register for a talk/course, call or e-mail contacts given below. All are on Zoom unless otherwise noted)




Sept 24 and Oct 1 morning. 90 mins

The Evil Eye, Amulets and Demons: Jewish superstitions

Creative Retirement Institute

Edmonds Collge

Lynnwood, WA


NOTE: scholar-in-residence programs and
mini courses are regularly available.
The author is also experienced at handling
TV and radio interviews and moderating
discussion groups.

SPECIAL OFFER - no charge for leading
book group discussions of her works.
Right now these would be via Zoom.
See "Book Groups" page for details.

CONTACT US: andreebrooks@hotmail.com

(more details and a full list of topics can be found on the "Lecture Topics" page).


1. The Evil Eye, Amulets, Ghosts and Demons: exploring Jewish superstitions and mystical practices through the ages: From biblical times to the present time, Jews have had their superstitions. Where and how did these beliefs originate? How did the rabbis react? Have they changed over the centuries? Where does Kabbalah fit in? And, by the way, what exactly is Kabbalah? An excursion into the world of Jewish mystical ways.


2. Jewish Wagons West. The Jews were very much among the original settlers who went to the American West. Who were they? What propelled them to make the hazardous journey? What were some of their experiences? Stories of the Wild West, the experimental agricultural communities, the birth of the blue jeans, the key role played by the city of San Francisco, and the formerly hidden contributions of the conversos; among other Westward tales.


3. Antisemitism: tracing the multiple roots of an ancient curse. From biblical times to the present times, Jews have regularly faced antisemitism. Its ancient roots are often misunderstood or cloaked in legend. We will explore how it all came about.


4. Jews and the American Civil War. Contrary to popular belief, Jews were deeply involved. Why were they eager to join up? What was their attitude towards slavery? What was the real story of Judah P. Benjamin, often described as the "brains behind the Confederacy."

5. Ghetto, Emancipation, Immigration: the story of the German Jews; their background in Europe and why their experience coming to America was so different from the later Eastern European Jews.

6. The Jews of India: from Solomon to Sassoon and beyond: Jews have been trading and settling in India since biblical times. We look at the various migrations and how they maintained their communities for almost three thousand years.

7. On the Fabled Road to Samarkand: a look at the Jews of the ancient Silk Road and later times (known as Bukharian Jews); based upon a trip taken by the lecturer to Uzbekistan in the fall of 201


8. Coming to America: what is the real story behind family legends about the mass mirgrations of Jews to America; and the early years on the Lower East Side of New York. We take an updated look at a turmulous time for thousands of uprooted Jews; and how and why they managed to prosper.

9. People of the Kitchen: food in the History of the Jews; a tour through the evolution of of Jewish Food from biblical times to today.

10. From Blood Libel to Balfour Declaration: the remarkable history of the Jews of England.

11. The centuries-old history and culture of the Jews of Iran/Persia.


12. Culture, cuisine and betrayal: the unexpected history of the Italian Jews. From ancient Rome to modern times; a rich but often overloooked Jewish cultural heritage.

13. Exploring Cuba: its once and future Jews.A look at the way Cuban Jews are increasingly coming out of the religious closet; based upon a recent visit by Brooks to the island.

14. A Woman for the Ages. The unlikely tale of Amelia Bassano: the shadowy Jewish woman behind Shakespeare and his canon. And how it might change our traditional image of Shylock and the original goal of "The Merchant of Venice."

15. The origins and lesser-known history of the Jews of Russia: understanding their true role in the Bolshevik Revolution. Includes research compiled for her book "Russian Dance." Included is the story of the Jews and the McCarthy era here in the United States.

16. The Incredible story of Doña Gracia Nasi: a 16th century Jewish woman banker and leader. Includes back story of how documents were found.

17. The Origins of Jewish Life in Europe and the birth of Ashkenaz.The Jews were originally a Semitic tribe living in Judea, later called Palestine. How, why and when did they come to northern and eastern Europe? How did their special customs, which came to be called Yiddishkeit, develop?

18. How Jewish merchants drove Jewish history. Also taught as a mini course: "On the Road with Jewish Merchants."

19. The Jews in the Renaissance: the background, personalities and their artistic achievements. Why we rarely hear about them. Also taught as a mini course.

20. Keeping a secret for 500 years: the Strange Story of the Conversos and how it resonates even today. Also taught as a mini course.

21. Were there really Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean? Background and understanding.

22. The (real) history of the Jewish doctor.

23. How DNA studies and genealogical research is affecting our understanding of Jewish history and ourselves.

24. Magic, merchants and miracles: the 2,000-year history of the Jews of Morocco.

25. The hidden history of the Jews of China.

26, The French Connection: Jewish life in France through the ages.

27. Jewish Women through the ages: five-part mini course looks at women from ancient Alexandria through to the revolutionaries of the early 20th centuries.

28. Bad Boy of the Jewish World: a new look at the life of Baruch Spinoza, the excommunicated Dutch philosopher.

29. Communism, McCarthy and the Jews

30. The story of the synagogue: from ancient times to the present

31. Workshop for teachers in Hebrew/Jewish Day Schools. Not to be overlooked: our multi-media curriculum for children called "Out of Spain" which traces the history, culture, music, festivals and food of the Jews who lived in Spain for 1500 years and more; including where they went after the expulsion and why. This workshop helps familiarize teachers with the materials and how to use them.

32. ... and for all teachers, school counselors, parents and grandparents: Raising the Over-Privileged Child; based upon her award-winning book/workbooks "Children of Fast Track Parents," recently updated and offered as an e-book. A one-hour Emmy-nominated documentary, based upon the research, is also available from amazon.com. Ask author for details.


Click on the individual titles in the right margin above
to sample a chapter or learn more about
a particular work.