JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen to Discuss “Mitzvah, Community, and the Future of Conservative Judaism” at Chizuk Amuno Congregation

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

December 23, 2009, Baltimore, MD

aeProfessor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will discuss “Mitzvah, Community, and the Future of Conservative Judaism” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at Chizuk Amuno Congregation, 8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore. The program is open to the public at no charge.

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.

Among his early achievements, Chancellor Eisen has appointed a new vice chancellor, provost, and deans; led the development and implementation of new curricula that will better prepare rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators for the rapidly changing community of contemporary American Jews; and committed JTS to a higher standard of ecological responsibility. The Mitzvah Initiative, designed by Chancellor Eisen to engage Conservative Jews in thoughtful dialogue about “commandment, commandedness, and the Commander,” began in six synagogues around the country and in 2009 has spread to nearly fifty synagogues.

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen was the Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. He also 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. 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.

The chancellor's many 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 writing a book that probes new possibilities for the meaning of Zionism.

Admission is free. Further information about the program is available by contacting Chizuk Amuno Congregation at (410) 486-6400. Further information about JTS programs and activities in the Mid-Atlantic region is available by contacting Barbara Rosenau at (215) 376-0474.