B’nai Torah and JTS to Honor Rabbi David Michael Steinhardt at Annual Dinner

Chancellor of JTS to Deliver Keynote Address

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089
Email: evglasberg@jtsa.edu

December 1, 2010, New York, NY

David SteinhardtRabbi David Michael Steinhardt, the senior rabbi at B’nai Torah Congregation, one of the nation’s leading Conservative synagogues, will be presented with an honorary doctorate degree, doctor of divinity, honoris causa, at the JTS and B’nai Torah Annual Dinner on Tuesday, December 14, 2010. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and take place at B’nai Torah, 6261 SW 18th Street, Boca Raton, Florida. Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City, will deliver the keynote address. Alisa and Richard Cohen and Ken Esrig are event chairpersons, Beatriz and Harold Jacobsohn are honorary event chairpersons, and JTS cantorial student Magda Fishman will provide the entertainment.

Rabbi Steinhardt has served the Boca Raton community for 16 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut, where he studied psychology, and a master’s degree in Hebrew Literature from JTS, where he was ordained. He currently chairs the Jewish Community Relations Council and serves on the executive board of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. He is a past chair of the Israel Overseas Committee, and the founder and current copresident of the Boca Raton Interfaith Clergy Association. Rabbi Steinhardt is one of three communal leaders on the steering committee of the Shemin Trilogue at Florida Atlantic University, an annual event that brings together Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders and scholars.

Rabbi Steinhardt is also an instructor at the International Florence Melton Mini School, and a senior rabbinic fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is a national board member of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs Committee, and has recently been involved with Haitian disaster relief through Mazon and the Lambi Fund. He is a member of the JTS Chancellor’s Cabinet and of the advisory board of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Chancellor Eisen, one of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of JTS. Since his appointment in 2007, he has increased JTS’s impact on the communities it serves by transforming the education of religious leadership for Conservative Judaism; articulating a new vision for JTS; guiding the formulation of a new strategic plan to implement that vision; and developing innovative programs in synagogue arts and practices, adult education, pastoral care, Jewish thought, interreligious dialogue, social media, and the arts. His initiatives include the Institute for Jewish Learning at JTS (and its flagship program Context); the interfaith Center for Pastoral Education at JTS; and the Tikvah Institute for Jewish Thought. In addition, by 2011, his Mitzvah Initiative will involve some 75 congregations in a process of reflection upon “commandment, commandedness, and the Commander.” 

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen served in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University, the Department of Jewish Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and the Department of Religion at Columbia University. He earned 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. An award-winning writer and advocate for the Jewish community, the chancellor’s many publications include Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community and Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America, a personal essay.

The couvert is $100 per person. Reservations are required by Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Further information and reservations are available by contacting Carolyn Kantor or Joyce Liss at (561) 852-3454 or cakantor@jtsa.edu or joliss@jtsa.edu.

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