Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary to Serve as Scholar-in-Residence at Temple Emunah

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

December 3, 2009, Lexington, MA

Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will speak about the current and future state of Conservative Judaism as scholar-in-residence at the Glatzer Memorial Weekend on December 18–20 at Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Road, Lexington.

The Glatzer Memorial Weekend is devoted to the memories of Professor Nahum and Mrs. Anne Glatzer, renowned scholars and teachers who were active members of Temple Emunah for twenty-five years. This year it will also celebrate the congregation’s fiftieth anniversary.

Chancellor Eisen will discuss “Re-imagining the Future of Conservative Judaism” on Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, he will speak about “Living the Stories of Our Ancestors” during Shabbat morning services, which begin at 9:30 a.m., and on “Thinking About Mitzvah” at 1:00 p.m.

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of JTS. Since his inauguration as JTS chancellor in 2007, Professor 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 more than forty congregations.

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen was the Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. He 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 his book, Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America (1997), a personal essay; 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.

The celebratory weekend will conclude with a discussion on “Intermarriage, Keruv, and Conservative Judaism” led by Rabbi David Lerner, religious leader of Temple Emunah, at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 20. The discussion will be preceded by breakfast at 9:45 a.m. There is a nominal fee for the breakfast; the 10:30 a.m. presentation is free.

The Glatzer Memorial Weekend is sponsored by the Glatzer Fund. All presentations are open to the public and the community is welcome. Lectures are free; there is a nominal fee for meals and reservations are required. For more information on times, fees for meals, and reservations for the Friday night dinner or the Sunday morning breakfast, please email

To learn more about JTS and programs in the Boston area, please contact Joan Goodman at (212) 678-8861.