JTS Chancellor to Discuss "Commandment, Community, and the Future of American Judaism"

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

January 14, 2008, Sarasota, FL

Professor Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will discuss “Commandment, Community, and the Future of American Judaism” at a luncheon at 12:00 noon on February 1, 2008 at Temple Beth Sholom, 1050 S. Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota.

The event is part of a scholar-in-residence weekend honoring TBS’s religious leader, Rabbi Joel Mishkin, during which JTS will present the rabbi with the prestigious Rabbi Simon Greenberg Award for rabbinic leadership.

Since arriving at TBS in June 1995, Rabbi Mishkin has revitalized the congregation through several new lecture series, adult education classes, and innovations for Shabbat services. He is currently one of twelve rabbis from around the country serving on Chancellor Eisen’s Rabbinic Cabinet.

Chancellor Eisen, one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism, has worked closely for the past 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, Chancellor Eisen has regularly served as a faculty member of the Wexner Heritage Program, the Wexner Fellowship, and the Nahum Goldmann Fellowship of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. He has served, and is now serving again, as a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency and has long been well known as a passionate advocate of strengthening the connection between American Jews and Israel.

Chancellor Eisen's publications include a personal essay, Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America (1997); a historical work entitled Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community (1998); and The Jew Within: Self, Family and Community in America (2000), coauthored with sociologist Steven M. Cohen. He is currently at work on a book that probes new possibilities for the meaning of Zionism.

Chancellor 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. Before assuming his role as chancellor, he was the Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. 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.
Reservations for select weekend events are required. For further information or to RSVP, please contact Carolyn Kantor, director of the JTS Florida Region, at (561) 852-3454 or the TBS office at (941) 955-8121.

Editors/Reporters: For further information or to schedule an interview with Chancellor Eisen, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678-8953.