Kehillah Atlanta Area Conservative Synagogues and Institutions to Host JTS Scholar for Slichot

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

August 20, 2008, Atlanta, GA

“Turning Things Around—Can Teshuva (Repentance) Make a Difference” will be the theme of a community wide Slichot service on Saturday evening, September 20, sponsored by The Jewish Theological Seminary in partnership with Kehillah Atlanta’s Conservative synagogues and institutions*. Rabbi Eliezer Diamond, the Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, will be the guest scholar.

Hosted by Congregation B’nai Torah, the evening will begin at 9:15 p.m. with a festive havdalah service followed by refreshments, small group study, Rabbi Diamond’s presentation. The evening will conclude with an inspiring Slichot service that brings together the congregants and clergy of all of Atlanta’s Conservative synagogues and institutions.

With the Jewish New Year liturgy replete with calls to repent, Rabbi Diamond will explore how sometimes the repentance process of the High Holy Days is experienced as ineffective or even fraudulent. Drawing on insights of Maimonides and other Jewish thinkers, the congregation will discuss how the Ten Day of Repentance can become a period of true self transformation.

Rabbi Diamond is the author of many popular and scholarly articles, as well as a book entitled Holy Men and Hunger Artists: Fasting and Ascetism in Rabbinic Culture. In addition to his reputation as a scholar of Talmud and Rabbinic studies, he teaches widely on topics of prayer and personal spiritual development. Dr. Diamond was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and received his doctorate in Talmud from JTS.

*The Kehillah of Atlanta includes: Ahavath Achim Congregation, Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation B’nai Torah, Congregation Etz Chaim, Congregation Or Hadash, Congregation Shearith Israel, the Epstein School, Gesher L’Torah, and Ramah Darom.

Congregation B’nai Torah is located at 700 Mount Vernon Highway NE. Further information about the program is available by contacting Rabbi Joshua Heller at (404) 257-0357.