JTS Chancellor to Serve as Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Mishkah Tefila

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

February 21, 2008, Chestnut Hill, MA

Professor Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will serve as scholar-in-residence April 4-5 at a Shabbaton at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in honor of the congregation’s 150th anniversary. The congregation is located at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill.

Chancellor Eisen will deliver a d’var Torah at the Friday evening services, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session with synagogue youth and an Oneg Shabbat. At Shabbat morning services he will discuss “Standing Up for Judaism,” followed by a kiddush luncheon.

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.

Further details regarding the Shabbaton are available by contacting Congregation Mishkan Tefila at (617) 332-7770 or ExecutiveDirector@mishkantefila.org. For more information about JTS, please contact Joan Goodman, director of the Northeast Region, at (212) 678-8861.