Image of Jeff Levy

Jewish Social Services established the Levy Summer Series in 2013 with the generous support of Jeffrey C. Levy. We continue this partnership to bring you this years’ six-part program series. It is an opportunity to lifelong learners to interact with scholars, artists, and community leaders over a broad range of topics of interest.
Meeting in June, July and August, the series is held at Nakoma Country Club, 4145 Country Club Road in Madison and consists of six high-quality programs tied by a common theme, chosen each year by a committee of volunteers and staff.  The programs are followed by an elegant lunch at a reasonable cost.  Scholarships are available. We look forward to seeing all of you at this years’ Levy Summer Series!

Wednesday, June 12
“Watching Sports Through a Jewish Lens”Mitch Nelles  

Mitch Nelles, on-air host with iHeartMedia, often grapples with the hypocrisy of today’s sports landscape. The “me-first” attitude of many athletes, contrasted with the team-first premise that leads to victory, is at the forefront in almost every sports narrative these days.

Wednesday, June 26
Jews and Muslims in Christian America” – Professor Charles Cohen – UW Madison

The United States has been defined in various ways as a “Christian nation”; if so, how do Jews and Muslims fit into American society? Jewish and Muslim understandings of such things as sacred space, sacred time, food, and the religious meaning of the state can be quite different from those of Christians.

Wednesday, July 10
“Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice: Reforming the System”Carousel Bayrd
Attorney & Partner, Herrick and Kasdorf

Over the last 13 years, Carousel has authored legislation addressing criminal reform, racial justice, immigrant’s rights, women’s rights, and mental health services. Carousel’s talk will cover various facets of the criminal justice system – from policing to the courts to incarceration.

Wednesday, July 24
“And the Fine Blade Gleamed with the Fury of Live Coals:” Twentieth Century Poets Confront the Akedah* Larry Kohn: Education Director of Temple Beth El from 1979-2014

The Torah’s story of the sacrificial binding of Isaac (Akedah) has been addressed by a number of Twentieth Century American, Yiddish and Israeli poets. The Akedah (Genesis 22) will be read in English translation along with a sample of Rabbinic and contemporary Torah commentary.

* Title quote from: “Isaac” in The Darkness and the Light by Anthony Hecht, Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 2002

Tuesday, August 6
One Couple Two Faiths: Stories of Love and Religion: A Program Addressing Interfaith Couples and FamiliesMarion Usher: Professor of Psychiatry – George Washington School of Medicine and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Marion Usher joins us to discuss her new book, “One Couple Two Faiths: Stories of Love and Religion,” a guide to interfaith relationships. Through her workshop, “Love and Religion: A Workshop for Jews and Their Partners,” Dr. Usher has worked with over 700 interfaith couples in the past 25 years.

Tuesday, August 20
“Madison in the Sixties – Jews in the News”Stuart Levitan: Author and Journalist

Madison historian Stu Levitan will discuss the influence of Jewish students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin, anti-Semitism, and the local progress for civil rights, in a talk adapted from his new book Madison in the Sixties (Wisconsin Historical Society Press).


Check-in: 10:30-10:45
Presentation: 11:00-12:30
Luncheon: 12:30-1:30
Luncheon and presentations all take place at Nakoma Golf Club, 4145 Country Club Road in Madison

Highlights from Levy Summer Series 2017!

Past Programs