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The Los Alamos Historical Society presents its 2012-2013 lecture series, “History and Science,” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8, featuring Dr. Jack Shlacter at Fuller Lodge.
A snapshot of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos in 1945 reveals a leadership structure that is disproportionately of Jewish heritage; the division leader, deputy division leader, chief consultant and six of the eight group leaders were “Jewish” by some definition of the term.
Of the roughly 80 individuals in the division, four (all “Jewish”) would go on to become Nobel Laureates. These individuals’ backgrounds and connections to Judaism were varied. In this talk, Shlachter will explore members of this leadership team and speculate on the connection between their presence at Los Alamos and their Jewish roots.
Shlachter, is a Ph.D. physicist who has worked at Los Alamos since 1979. The bulk of his career was in experimental organizations, but he became the deputy division leader of Theoretical Division two years ago.
Shlachter received rabbinic ordination in 1995 and served as the rabbi of the Los Alamos Jewish Center for more than 15 years.
Shlachter’s current rabbinic focus is on Jews in outlying communities and he returned a few months ago from a two-week trip to Vienna, Austria, where he served as the spiritual leader during the Jewish High Holidays at Or Chadasch, the only progressive congregation in Austria.
For more information on the lecture series, visit losalamoshistory.org/Events/htm. The lectures are free and open to the public, thanks to Los Alamos National Bank and the members of the Historical Society.