The extraordinary opportunity to meet and study with some of the leading scholars in the Conservative Movement, including Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor–elect of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will take place during Shabbat and Slichot services on Friday and Saturday, September 15–16. This special weekend of programming is being sponsored by JTS and the Conservative synagogues of Metropolitan Atlanta.
Professor Eisen will deliver the keynote address at the community–wide Slichot program at 9:00 p.m. on September 16 at Congregation B'nai Torah, 700 Mount Vernon Highway, North East in Sandy Springs. He will be joined by JTS scholars Dr. Benjamin Gampel, Field Family Chair in Jewish History; Dr. Stephen Garfinkel, Dean of Academic Affairs; and Dr. Jack Wertheimer, Provost. In addition, JTS scholars will teach at Shabbat services at several area synagogues* on September 15–16.
Chancellor–elect Eisen's engaging and enthusiastic style, deep intellect, and passion usher in fresh energy and vitality to JTS, the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Jews worldwide. Since 1986, Professor Eisen has been a Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. One of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, he has worked for over twenty years with synagogue and federation leadership around the country to analyze and address the issues of Jewish identity, the revitalization of Jewish tradition, and the redefinition of the American Jewish community.
A product of the Conservative Movement, he has long been known as an avid advocate for strengthening the connection between American Jews and Israel. Professor Eisen’s book, Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America (1997), addresses the renewal of Jewish community and commitment in America. He is now working on a book probing new possibilities for the meaning of Zionism. Professor Eisen received a PhD in the History of Jewish Thought from Hebrew University; a BPhil in the Sociology of Religion at Oxford University; and a BA in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Columbia University.
Dina and Eli Field Family Chair in Jewish History, Dr. Gampel teaches courses in medieval and early modern Jewish history, with a special focus on the medieval Sephardim, and lectures widely on the entire range of Jewish history. Dr.Garfinkel is Dean of Academic Affairs, an Assistant Professor of Bible, and Dean of The Graduate School, where he has worked to enhance fellowship support for graduate students and has accomplished a significant increase in the school's enrollment. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Council on Graduate Studies in Religion.
As Provost, Dr. Jack Wertheimer acts as the Chief Academic Officer of JTS. He is also the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History and the Director of the Joseph and Miriam Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism. The Ratner Center preserves the records of the rabbis, synagogues, and organizations of the Conservative Movement, and also promotes research on the history and the contemporary state of Conservative Judaism.
Reservations for the Slichot program are requested by August 30 and may be made by calling (404) 257–0537. Further information about the community collaboration is available by contacting Rabbi David–Seth Kirshner, Senior Director of Institutional Advancement at JTS, at (212) 678–8049.
*JTS scholars will teach at the following synagogues on September 15–16. (For further information please contact individual synagogues.)
Chancellor–elect Arnold Eisen and Dr. Adriane Leveen: Ahavath Achim, 600 Peachtree Battle Ave NW, Atlanta (404) 355–5222
Dr. Benjamin Gampel, Field Family Chair in Jewish History: Shearith Israel, 1180 University Drive NE, Atlanta (404) 873–1743
Dr. Stephen Garfinkel, JTS Dean of Academic Affairs: Congregation Bnai Torah, 700 Mount Vernon Highway, NE, Sandy Springs (404) 257–0537
Rabbi David Hoffman, JTS Director of Matthew Eisenfeld and Sara Duker Beit Midrash: Or Hadash (Services to be held at Sandy Springs Christian Church) 301 Johnson Ferry Road NW, Atlanta (404) 250–3338
Rabbi Marc Wolf, JTS Senior Director of Community Development: Beth Shalom, 5303 Winters Chapel Rd., Dunwoody (770) 399–5300
Editors/Reporters: For further information or to schedule interviews with the guest rabbis, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953 or email.
Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world-class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.
Vist the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.