Los Alamos Historical Society Presents Dr. Jack Shlachter’s Talk ‘Jews in Theory’

LAHS News:

Dr. Jack Shlachter

The Los Alamos Historical Society will present Dr. Jack Shlachter and his talk, “Jews in Theory” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8 at Fuller Lodge in downtown Los Alamos.

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 colorful individuals were unique characters, and their backgrounds and connections to Judaism were quite 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.

The speaker, Jack Shlachter, is a Ph.D. physicist who has worked at Los Alamos since 1979. The bulk of his career was in experimental organizations, but Shlachter 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. 

Rabbi 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.

The Los Alamos Historical Society is pleased to offer its 2012-2013 lecture series, “History and Science.”  Visit http://www.losalamoshistory.org/Events.htm for a schedule and for a synopsis of each lecture. Lectures are on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Pajarito Room of Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, New Mexico.  

The lectures are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the Los Alamos National Bank and the members of the Historical Society.


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