Conservative Movement Leader to Give Address in Columbus

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

February 23, 2009, Columbus, OH

Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will discuss "The Eternal Light: Bringing Torah to the World" at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23. The program will take place at Congregation Tifereth Israel, 1354 East Broad Street, Columbus. The community is invited to attend at no charge.

Starting in the 1940s, JTS produced the groundbreaking radio and television series The Eternal Light to promote the value of Jewish thought to the modern world as it tackled the moral and ethical issues of the day. JTS continues to bring the message of Torah and Jewish ideas to today's society.

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. 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 will spread to dozens of synagogues, camps, schools, and organizations throughout the continent.

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.

For further information about the evening or JTS-sponsored programs in the Columbus area, please contact Tom Wexelberg-Clouser, director, JTS Great Lakes Region, or Michele Siegal, assistant director, JTS Great Lakes Region, at (248) 258-0055.