2012 Conference
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Eli'ezer ben Efraim Gayer

Eli'ezer, founder of Karaite Jewish University, conducted the first formally recognized conversions of non-Jews to Karaite Judaism since 1465. Born an Orthodox Jew, Eli'ezer joined Karaite Judaism 20 years ago. He holds a LLB and a JD from Western State University, San Diego and has lectured at KJU since its founding. He arranged the first U.S. Karaite wedding which was presided over by Rabbi Moshe Yosef Firrouz, now Chief Rabbi of the Karaite Jews of Israel and Vice-Chancellor of KJU.

The Origins of Karaite Judaism:

The Net vs. Modern Scholarship

Jewish History

Encyclopedia Britannica online informs us that the Karaite “movement began in 8th-century Persia. Initially, called Ananites, after Anan ben David, who worked out a code of life independent of the Talmud. The name Karaites was adopted to underscore the group’s emphasis on a personal reading of the Bible." However, Moshe Gil, emeritus Prof. at TAU, has presented a fresh view "due in large part to the manuscripts of the Cairo Geniza." This session will focus on various theories of the Origins of the Karaite Jews.

Karaite Judaism: Areas of Difference and Agreement

Theology, Custom and Practice

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History

This session will explore the core tenets of belief of Karaite Jews, and explain where Karaite Judaism differs from other Jewish movements and why. It will also compare and contrast differences between Orthodox Halakhah (laws) and Karaite Halakhah and show surprising areas of agreement.  

The Karaite Jews of Egypt & the Demise of the Communities of Christendom

Identity & Global Culture, Jewish History

This session will explore the history of the Karaite Jews of Egypt 1882-1986 and the disintegration of the Karaite communities of Crimea.


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