HOLIDAY TRIANGLE & IDENTITY CRISIS
September 25-24, 27-28, • Vancouver Community Library
Dr. Alexander Bolotnikov begins the seminar “Holiday Crisis and Identity Tangle” on September 15, 2018 at the Vancouver Community Public Library on C Street. The 13-session seminar looks at how holidays shape communities, while also having the potential to divide them. Some of the questions Bolotnikov will explore include: Why do we celebrate holidays? How do holidays create identity? How did Christian holidays originate? What are the origins of the Passover Seder? Is there a reason both temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on the same day of the year? Why did SeaTac’s administration forbid a menorah’s display? Director of the Shalom Learning Center, Bolotnikov’s scholarship is recognized internationally. He presented a paper at the 4th International Bible symposium, a gathering of Seventh-day Adventists scholars at Rome, in June 2018. He also spearheaded a series of videos on the Jewish contribution to the Reformation and on the Holocaust for Russian television in the Spring of 2018. These videos are currently being prepared for an English-speaking audience. Bolotnikov holds an MA in Biblical and Middle Eastern Languages and a PhD from Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Institute for Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in Rabbinic Literature and the History of Biblical Interpretation. Raised in Communist Russia as an atheist, his Jewish roots became an obstacle to his educational goals. When he was passed over for advanced educational opportunities, he immersed himself within Jewish culture and became a powerful opponent to the Christian teaching of Jesus as the Messiah. However, meeting a Sabbath-keeping Christian in university brought him into a connection with the Jewish Jesus. He has worked to foster understanding between the two communities ever since. Past seminars held by Bolotnikov may be viewed at Vancouver-Jewish.com.