Celebrating 19 years of the Charlotte M. Kulp Scholar-in-Residence weekend on July 14-15

Charlotte M. Kulp, also known as “Oma” by members of her congregation. She is still remembered as Oma today.

Charlotte M. Kulp, also known as “Oma” by members of her congregation. She is still remembered as Oma today.

The Charlotte M. Kulp Scholar-in-Residence Program was established by Shirat Hayam’s Cantor Emeritus Edmond A. Kulp and his family to perpetuate their mother’s emphasis on the importance of Jewish education. The program brings in a different type of scholar each year from whom community members can learn. The featured speaker this year is Dr. Misha Galperin, CEO of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History on the historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

Galperin will explore peoplehood as a unifying concept for a people struggling profoundly with Jewish identity. He will draw on history, sacred texts, and contemporary scholarship that defines collective and personal Jewish identity and the nature of identity construction.

He will speak during Friday night services on July 14, and then again during Shabbat morning services on July 15. After services on Saturday, there will be a Kiddush lunch.

Galperin joined the National Museum of American Jewish History as its executive in 2019 on an interim basis. Since the start of his tenure, he helped increase museum attendance and expanded virtual engagement. Galperin is also a clinical psychologist and has over 35 years of experience running nonprofit organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Agency on International Development. He is also the author of books on Jewish people and on leadership.

Charlotte Kulp passed away a little over 20 years ago. Her daughter-in-law, Linda Kulp, describes her as a “worldly Orthodox Jew.” Kulp explained, “After she became a widow, just months after coming to the United States in the early 1940s, my mother-in-law went to concerts, read books, and went to many lectures. Whenever there was a scholar-in-residence weekend, she would attend.”

After Kulp passed away, her children decided the best way to honor her passing was by establishing a scholar-in-residence weekend at Beth Judah (now Shirat Hayam). Galperin will be the 19th speaker in a lineup of many rabbis or leaders in their fields who are all committed to Jewish life and sharing information on topics that are meaningful and enlightening to others. Kulp beautifully articulated, “Each speaker is a scholar that my mother-in-law would have loved to learn from.” Although Charlotte’s living sons are spread throughout New Jersey, California, and France, they all continue to support the annual scholar-in-residence weekend.

Each year, Kulp looks forward to the scholar-in-residence weekend. It brings her closer to her mother-in-law. She shared, “My mother-in-law was one of the most wonderful people I have ever known. She loved anyone where they were, as they were, and was not judgmental.”

Charlotte moved to the community around 1990 at the request of Cantor Kulp and his wife. Eventually, Kulp moved to the Shalom House in Margate. Kulp was someone who lived her life according to the laws of the land. Even though she maintained her Orthodox lifestyle, she was very comfortable in the Conservative synagogue where she actively participated in educational programs as well as Shabbat and holiday services.

To purchase tickets, visit shirathayamnj.org/event/kulp-scholar-in-residence-weekend/

The cost for the Kiddush lunch is $25 per person. For $100, you can become a patron, which includes having your name listed in the program and a meet-and-greet with Dr. Galperin on Friday evening prior to services, plus entry to the Shabbat Kiddush lunch.

For further information, please contact Cathleen Kunkle at office.manager@shirathayamnj.org or call Cathleen at (609) 822-7116, ext. 101.

The Charlotte M. Kulp Scholar educational opportunity exists because of the support of the community, the event chair Ethel Levinson, and its committee members, Lois Shohen-Brown, Jeri Feingold, Elaine Geller, Jason Goldstein, Jodi and Joe Handler, Cantor Edmond A. Kulp, Linda S. Kulp, Rabbi Jonathan Kremer, Cantor Jacqueline Menaker, Meryl Rodgers, Marcy Rosenthal, Barbara Slovak, and Cantor Harvey and Natalyn Wolbransky.

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