Panel Discussion and Film Screening to Explore Education as a Spiritual Journey

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

April 12, 2006, New York, NY

How do children come to understand and love what it means to be Jewish? How do children connect with God? How do they find their identities as Jews?

These essential questions will be discussed by a panel of experts following the screening of To Lead a Jewish Life: Education for Living, a documentary produced by The Jewish Theological Seminary in conjunction with Catman and Mary Productions. The program will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York.

Panelists will include Dr. Steven Brown, Dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of JTS; Rabbi Josh Elkin, Executive Director, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE); Dr. Barry W. Holtz, Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education at JTS; and Michelle Lynn–Sachs, an educator and doctoral candidate at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education.

Dr. Brown's career is distinguished by his rigorous examination of the facets of both Jewish and secular education. Nationally renowned within the field of Jewish education, Dr. Brown serves on the Executive Board of the Jewish Educators Assembly and was President of the Solomon Schechter Day School Principal's Council. He has extensive training in educational research and many years of experience as a teacher and administrator.

Prior to joining PEJE, a grant–making and advocacy organization for Jewish day schools, Rabbi Elkin was Head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston for twenty years. Ordained at JTS, he completed a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from Columbia University Teachers College. He has also served as Adjunct lecturer in Jewish Education at the Brandeis Hornstein Program for Jewish Communal Services.

Dr. Holtz leads courses in teaching classical texts, professional development for teachers, philosophy of Jewish education, and current issues confronting Jewish education. He served for twelve years as the Co–Director of JTS's Melton Research Center for Jewish Education, where he supervised the writing and publication of several volumes of the Melton Graded Curriculum materials for Jewish schools across North America.

Lynn–Sach's dissertation research is a comparative case study that focuses on the goals of religious education in three congregations from different faith traditions (Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish). Previously, she was Director of Education at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. An alumna of the prestigious Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Lynn–Sachs holds an MA degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion's Rhea Hirsch School of Education in Los Angeles.

Admission is free; reservations and photo ID are required. Further information is available by calling (212) 678–8861.

Editors/Reporters: For further information on To Lead a Jewish Life and the panel discussion, 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.

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