"Jewish Renaissance and Revival in America"

Conference to Honor Memory of Promising Scholar

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

February 8, 2008, New York, NY

“Jewish Renaissance and Revival in America,” a conference in memory of the work and promise of Leah Levitz Fishbane, will take place from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 16 at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City.

In today's Jewish world, there are signs of renewal and strengthening while at the same time, indications of weakening and increased assimilation. In keeping with JTS's commitment to strengthening Jewish community and Jewish life in the United States, this conference will explore aspects of religious and cultural renaissance among American Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with attention to how these historical models might be inspirational to the contemporary project of revival and renaissance in the Jewish community.

The conference theme is a tribute to the work and promise of Leah Levitz Fishbane, z"l (1974-2007), whose research was devoted to the early religious, creative, and social projects of the circle of American Jews who went on to found major American Jewish institutions, including JTS, in their more mature years.

Dr. Jonathan Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, will deliver the keynote address. Ms. Levitz Fishbane was writing her PhD dissertation under the guidance of Professor Sarna at Brandeis.  She was nearing completion of a third chapter at the time of her passing.

Additional speakers (in order of presentation), will include: Dr. Eitan Fishbane, assistant professor of Jewish Thought, JTS; Dr. Arthur Kiron, Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections, University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Lance J. Sussman, senior rabbi, Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Irving Lehrman Research Associate Professor of American Jewish History and dean, Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies, JTS; Rabbi Sharon Brous, spiritual leader, IKAR, Los Angeles, California; Dr. Riv-Ellen Prell, professor and chair of American Studies, University of Minnesota; Dr. David Kaufman, associate professor of Contemporary American Jewish Studies, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Dr. Eugene Sheppard, associate professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought and associate director, Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University; and Professor Arnold Eisen, Chancellor of JTS.

Conference sponsors include the Leah Levitz Fishbane Memorial Fund at JTS; JTS; the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University; the University of Pennsylvania Libraries; and the Deanne & Arnold Kaplan Foundation.

The registration fee is $36 or $10 for full-time students with ID. Registration is required by March 12. For further information and to register, visit www.jtsa.edu/x8011.xml. General inquiries can be directed to (212) 280-6093 or publicevents@jtsa.edu.