Israel Seminars - Ronny Simon - Lecture schedule


Registration to seminars by email - please advise what seminars you are interested in.
If you missed a lecture live, you'll get a code to 
watch it on youtube.


        The seminar is based on "Pay per view" concept.
  • The participants will receive a code to log in a zoom live lecture.
  • The lecture will be posted on YouTube. You will receive a cod to watch it on YouTube as well. So, if you are not available to participate in the lecture, you are not missing anything.
  • You may ask questions about the information you received. That will be done live during the zoom sessions or by e mail.
  • For obvious reasons, you will be muted, although you can activate the sound on your end.
  • As I understand, watching it on a lap top computer, or tablet is better than cell phone.
  • Needless to say, please find the place that has the best WI FI reception.

Thank you

Ronny Simon

Seminar 1
From Patriarchs to Judges – the birth of a nation.

1 – Setting the scene
The "Fertile Crescent" – land scape & key players.
Canaan in the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the lives of the Patriarchs and their interaction with the locals. The social structure, the clan, shepherding and their "religious" life.

Monday, August 10th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

2 – Canaan during the Israelite bondage in Egypt
The land that Jacob & his clan departed from was very different than the land Joshua will conquer. What were the events in Canaan during the years of the bondage in Egypt? A new world order - the collapse of the Egyptian and the Hittite empires. The rise of the "Sea people".

Monday, August 17th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

3 – From nomads to conquerors – the days of Joshua 
The conquest of Canaan. Fighting the nations of the land. The partial success in the days of Joshua. The land that was left for later conquest. The division of parts of Canaan to the tribes. The local political system and the preparations made by the Canaanite city states to confront the tribes of Israel.

Monday, August 24th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

4 – First years in the land
The challenges of the nomads to be accustomed to a rural way of life. What was the interaction between the locals and how they have influenced the Israelites? What was the form of worship in Israel? The centrality of Shiloh – the place for religious gathering. The tabernacle and its wonderings around the land.

Monday, August 31st, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

5 – The days of the judges
Politics and religion among the Israelites. Who were the Judges and what was their role in society? What was the interaction between the judges and priesthood (the high priest)? Samson and his unique story. The departure of the Danites to a new location.

Monday, September 7th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

6 –The transition from tribes under Judges to a monarchy
What were the reasons to form a monarchy? How was the monarchy in Israel modeled? What will be the nature of the king of Israel? Unique aspects in Israel's monarchy comparing other kingdoms in the region.

Monday, September 14th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

The seminar sells for $ 48 per person
Every participant will enjoy a 25% off the products I offer in the web site.



Seminar 2
The Middle East – a hundred years of changes and challenges.

1 – The aftermath of WWI
Creating the Middle East as we know it today. WWI and its outcomes led to a total change in the region. On the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, a new Middle East was created. Ironically, and tragically, that Middle East was created by the victors of the war, Britain and France, without considering the locals, their wishes, needs and capabilities. Those decisions, made by foreigners, will bring chaos to the region in years to come. The mandate given to Britain by the League of Nations. The "Balfour Declaration".

Monday, August 10th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

2 – The Zionist movement and its integration in local events
First years of pioneering in Palestine. Jewish emigrants land on the shores of Palestine and settle in property purchased by Jewish money. The first intermingling in the land. Christian groups from around the world that also show interest in Palestine found colonies in the country.

Monday, August 17th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

3 – The birth of the "Supreme Muslim Council"
The overall organization that was founded by the British to represent the Arabs in the land. The formation of a local identity for the local Arabs that saw themselves as part of "Greater Syria". First conflicts in the land between Jewish pioneers and the locals.

Monday, August 24th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

4 – The British mandate over Palestine
The British role in increasing the tension in Palestine. Changes in British policy and the several solutions proposed by Britain. The Jewish population and its division to political parties. Efforts to by more land and bring over more Jews from Europe. Riots in Palestine when instigated Arab mob attacks Jewish communities in Hebron, Jerusalem etc.

Monday, August 31st, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

5 – The eve of WWII. The "White Paper"
A British statement of policy. The British refusal to carry out the letter of the mandate. A new policy, overwhelmingly pro Arab is adopted by the British. The Jewish "Yishuv" is recruited to assist the British war against Nazi Germany. The Arabs in Palestine support the Germans.

Monday, September 7th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

6 – Moving toward statehood
The aftermath of the war. The British decision to withdraw from Palestine. The U.N. effort to find a peaceful solution between the Jews and the Arabs after the termination of the mandate. Preparing for war – the Jewish side. Preparing for war – the Arab side.
The proclamation of the state of Israel.

Monday, September 14th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

The seminar sells for $ 48 per person.
Every participant will enjoy a 25% off the products I offer in the web site.



Seminar 3
Greco – Roman Judaea – the area under the domination
of the Greco–Roman civilizations
1 – Alexander the "Great"
Expanding the Greek culture around the Greek conquered territories. The challenge of the Jews. The aftermath of Alexander's death and the wars of his successors. Israel, the main battle field between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. The eve of the Hasmonean revolt.

Friday, August 14th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

2 – The Hasmonean kingdom
The uprising lasted about 25 years until the kingdom was standing on its feet. The religious crisis around the Temple. The conquests and the defeats of the Hasmonaean kings. The Roman legions approach Judaea. The demise of the Hasmonean kingdom.

Friday, August 21st, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

3 – Years of strife and resistance
The Hasmonean's supporters rise up against Rome. Herod is made king by the Roman Empire over Judaea. The reign of "Herod the Great".

Friday, August 28th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

4 – Herod & his Jewish subjects. A love – hate story
The Temple and its centrality to the Jewish world. Detailed description of the Temple and Temple practices.

Friday, September 4th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

5* – The Jewish society – main groups in society and their philosophies
Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, the Sicarii's, Dead Sea sects, Samaritans, Greeks. The main institutions in the Jewish world – Synagogue, rabbi, Sanhedrin, etc.

Friday, September 11th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

6* – The aftermath of Herod's reign
The partition of the kingdom. Judaea proclaimed a province. The governors of Judaea. The reign of Agrippa I. The mounting tension in Judaea. The Jewish revolt, first steps. Josephus Flavius.

Friday, September 18th, at 6 PM west coast. 9 PM east coast.

* Sessions 5 – 6 focus on the region in the days of Jesus. These chapters will go in details to explain the society that Jesus was part of. Understanding the Jewish society will illuminate daily life, mind sets and religious sentiments among the masses that Jesus was ministering to.

The seminar sells for $ 48 per person.
Every participant will enjoy a 25% off the products I offer in the web site.



Seminar 4
Random choice from the following list – choose six topics.
1 – The geography of the Bible
Geography and history are tightly connected. This lecture focuses on the water sources, trade routes and other geographical features in the region. Zooming in to the Bible land topography, will demonstrate how closely Biblical history is linked to the country's geography. Through knowing the land, we can also know the people and their daily struggles and challenges.

*Friday, August 14th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 Pm east coast.

2 – The sources of knowledge
How do we know about our past? The Bible is of course a main source but not the only one. The lecture covers our main sources of information. Ancient writings, inscriptions on temples walls and monuments from Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia etc. The lecture focuses on archeological excavations and covers the most important sources we have today to come as close as we can to our routes and our history.

*Friday, August 21st, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

3 – The united monarchy 
The lecture covers the transition from the period of the judges to the monarchy. The monarchy in Israel was different in nature than the other kingdoms in the area. The lecture explains the main characteristics of the Israelite monarchy and covers the careers of Saul, David and Solomon. The focus is on their careers as national leaders and their local and regional significance. Their careers are presented as a historic epic concerning their interaction with regional powers.

*Friday, August 28th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

4 – Removed and returned 
The destruction of Solomon's Temple and the Babylonian exile seemed at the time as a terrible disaster. Yet, during the exile in Babylon the nation went through a time of amazing restoration as well. The lecture focuses on the Judeans in Babylon – their daily life, their integration into the local society and the way they kept their national and religious structure. Keeping the national institutions and the national-religious way of life will ley the foundations of the second Temple era.

*Friday, September 4th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

5 – The Hasmonean kingdom
The last independent Jewish entity prior to the founding of the state of Israel. The Hasmonean revolt was a defensive measure to protect the nation from assimilation into the Greek civilization. The uprising led to a Jewish kingdom governed by a family of priests that also took upon themselves the title "King". The latter kings had adopted a Greek manner that led to an open breach between the monarch and the people. The lecture gives an over view of the monarchy, king by king and focuses on their careers until the demise of the kingdom.

*Friday, September 11th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

6 – Israel in the days of Jesus
Soon after the Roman occupation of Judea, five major revolts broke up led by the remnants of the Hasmonean family. All five were crushed by Rome causing severe damage to the Jewish society, especially the upper classes. There was an anticipation for a super-natural divine intervention to end Rome's dominion over Judaea. The lecture focuses on the Jewish society, its main institutions and the way the locals interacted with the Roman authorities (Governors) and the local Greeks. Judaea, under king Herod was able to establish itself as a close ally of the Roman empire. The lecture paints a picture of the land and the people during the days of Jesus.

*Friday, September 18th, at 7 PM west coast. 10 PM east coast.

7 – Herod's Temple
The Temple was the focal point of the entire Jewish experience. It was a religious but also a national center. Herod's Temple stood on the largest man-made platform that was ever built and exists until this very day. The lecture describes the construction of the Temple mount and the Temple building and the methods used by the engineers that carried out the project. Also, we touch on the controversy around the Temple and its status in light of the corruption of the High Priesthood.


8 – The Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea scrolls are, no doubt, the most important discovery ever made in Israel. Found in caves by Qumeran, the northern – western corner of the Dead Sea, the scrolls are a treasure that reveal the rich spiritual world that existed in the country during the days of the second Temple. Although scholars are debating the identity of the people who wrote them or the origin of the scrolls, they all agree that the material is authentic. The lecture points at the scrolls and their unique nature, as well as some options regarding their origin. Also, we question the linkage between the Essenes and the Dead Sea scrolls.

9 – Judaism – the Jewish world & the Jewish people
The Jewish story is a unique one. The lecture is not focusing on theology as this is not the objective of "Israel seminars". The focus is on the history of the Jewish faith – when was it founded? What were the changes and adjustments that took place after the disasters of losing the Temple? We touch on Biblical Judaism verses rabbinical Judaism. Also, the main crises in the Jewish world are examined – the Hasidic crisis, the Zionist movement etc. The lecture gives basically an overview of Judaism in a changing world from its birth to the modern era. 

10 – Jerusalem, "The city of the great king"
There is no other city in the world that attracts as much attention as Jerusalem. In the lecture we can only touch on a selection of key events that had shaped and formed the history of the city. The Jewish story is interwoven with the Christian & Muslim narratives about the centrality of Jerusalem in their faiths. The city was conquered more than twenty-five times in battle. Many civilizations had left their mark behind and that amazing mix tells the story of the city. The city is above all, the capital of the state of Israel. More than 4.5 billion people in the world consider Jerusalem a holy city and that adds to the tension and controversy around it.

11,12 – The Israeli – Palestinian conflict parts 1 – 2​
The Israeli – Palestinian conflict is on the world agenda for several decades. Years of propaganda from all sides covered the facts with mountains of disinformation and sometimes deception. The lecture explains the making of the Middle East in the aftermath of WWI. The lecture goes step by step to point at the key events and the way the conflict had evolved. We cover about a century of violence without pointing a finger at right or wrong. The facts speak for themselves and the facts are what we focus on. Everything in the conflict had to be viewed in a broader way given the unrest in the Arab – Muslim countries in the region. 

The seminar sells for $ 48 per person.
Every participant will enjoy a 25% off the products I offer in the web site.

*The dates for seminar 4 may change based on the list of lectures the participants will choose. 
Four seminars offer  
Lecture schedule for August 10th – September 14th, 2020
For those of you that may be more interested in a more academic type of a seminar, I'd like to offer 4 seminars that cover a wide range of topics. It will be broadcasted on zoom, but will be posted on YouTube as well. The hours for the zoom lectures will not over lap one another in case you choose more than one seminar.
The objective of the seminar is to teach history, not theology. We would like to provide the back story to the main events that are recorded in the Bible but also to add color by focusing on other events the Bible does not mention. Since the Bible is not a history book, it focuses on the relationship between God and his people. The Bible often ignores events of world significance that are not connected directly to the Biblical narrative. However, these events had a profound influence on the nation and its existence. By adding the "back story" we would like to fill up the missing pieces in the life of the nation's history.

Lecture schedule