Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center Speaker Series begins

Ralph Stewart

On Thursday, July 5, at 7:30 pm, the Summer Institute will begin its annual speaker series at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven with legal analyst and celebrated writer Jeffrey Toobin on “The Oath: The Obama White House vs. the Supreme Court.”

The Institute has brought acclaimed and thought-provoking speakers — including Pulitzer Prize winners, journalists, and political leaders — to the Island for the past 14 years to talk about politics, economics, science, and the arts. The Speaker Series, held Thursday evenings, offers rich opportunities to discuss and learn about modern issues.

An expert on the Supreme Court and a senior analyst for CNN, Jeffrey Toobin is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of multiple bestselling books. The most recent is his 2007 novel about the history, politics, and inner workings of the Supreme Court and its justices, “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.” He has analyzed some of the most prominent legal stories of this generation such as the O.J. Simpson trial and the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida.

The rest of the summer lineup includes President Obama’s economic team member Jared Bernstein, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project Ben Wizner, political consultant David Gergen, Middle East expert Robin Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin.

Discussion topics range from turmoil in the Middle East to the future of energy. The Institute also presents a total of eight critically acclaimed films throughout the summer on Sunday evenings at the Hebrew Center’s Harriet B. Freedberg Learning Center.

A letter from chairperson Gerri Alpert on the Summer Institute website states, “The Summer Institute was founded with the express purpose of stimulating our minds and helping us gain a better understanding of the world around us.”

A donation of $15 for the Speaker Series and $10 for the Film Series is suggested. For speaker biographies, film trailers, and schedules visit