JTS Delaware Valley Alumni Reunion to Feature Panel on “Conservative Judaism: The Next Generation,” Moderated by Chancellor Arnold Eisen

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

November 10, 2009, Dresher, PA

Three new leaders and innovators of Conservative Judaism from the Philadelphia area will be joined by Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, in a panel discussion on “Conservative Judaism: The Next Generation,” at the fifth annual JTS Delaware Valley Alumni Reunion on Sunday, November 22.

All alumni of JTS’s five schools are invited to attend the afternoon of reunion and friendship, which will begin at 3:00 p.m. and be held at Temple Sinai, 1401 N. Limekiln Pike, Dresher. The event is free of charge; reservations are required by Monday, November 16. The event is being made possible through the generosity and vision of Yale Asbell, a member of the JTS Board of Trustees, and his wife, Audrey.

Panelists will include Rabbi Micah Peltz, assistant rabbi, Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Hazzan Elizabeth Shammash, Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; and Rabbi Michael Uram, incoming director (summer 2010) and campus rabbi of the University of Pennsylvania Hillel, Philadelphia.

The discussion will focus on the future direction of Conservative Judaism and address such questions as: should Conservative Judaism be thought of as a set of beliefs and practices or is Conservative Judaism more akin to a conversation, a language and grammar for thinking and living Jewishly in our time?

Rabbi Micah PeltzRabbi Peltz was ordained in 2007 by The Rabbinical School of JTS, and also received a master’s degree in Jewish Education from JTS’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. While a JTS student, he was the recipient of the Crown Fellowship, interned at Rutgers University Hillel and Park Avenue Synagogue, and spent a summer as a chaplain at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Rabbi Peltz is a board member of MERCAZ USA.

Hazzan ShammashHazzan Shammash received investiture and a master of sacred music degree from the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music in 2007. She is passionate about introducing Jewish melodies from both Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions in the contexts of classroom, services, and concerts. Her work in opera has taken her to major roles with companies including New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and the Beijing Music Festival. Hazzan Shammash holds a master of music degree in Voice Performance from Manhattan School of Music, an artist diploma from Boston University's Opera Institute, and a BA in Italian Studies from Brown University.

Rabbi UramA Jewish educator for the Philadelphia Federation’s Men’s Cabinet and Round Table, Rabbi Uram has taught at JTS, LimmudNY, and Hillel’s International Staff Conference and New Professionals Conference. Rabbi Uram holds a BA in History and Religious Studies from Washington University and rabbinic ordination from JTS. As a Steinhardt Scholar, he has worked with college students at Northwestern University, Columbia University, and New York University.

Professor Arnold Eisen, one of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of JTS. Since his inauguration in 2007, Chancellor Eisen has met with world leaders, engaged in prominent interdenominational and interfaith dialogues, and championed a transformation in the education of the next generation of Conservative leadership.

JTS’s five schools include Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies (undergraduate), The Rabbinical School, H. L. Miller Cantorial School, The Graduate School, and The Davidson School.

Reservations and further information is available by contacting Rickey Goodman, director of the JTS Mid-Atlantic Region, at (215) 376-0474.