“Doing Jewish Theology Today: God, Torah, and Israel in Modern Judaism” to Celebrate Remarkable Career of Rabbi Neil Gillman

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

December 30, 2009, New York, NY

Doing Jewish Theology Today: God, Torah, and Israel in Modern Judaism,” a celebration of the remarkable fifty-year career of Rabbi Neil Gillman, professor emeritus of Jewish Philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2010. The event will be held at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Neil GillmanThe program, which is JTS’s Henry N. Rapaport Memorial Lecture, will explore directions in Jewish theology that can speak to Jews in the twenty-first century. In addition to Rabbi Gillman, speakers will include Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor, JTS; Rabbi Julie Roth, executive director, HillelCenter for Jewish Life, Princeton University; and Rabbi Gordon Tucker, senior rabbi, Temple Israel Center, White Plains, New York.

In his passionate and insightful teaching and writing over the course of five decades, Rabbi Gillman has enriched countless lives by boldly and creatively exploring such questions as: How can we know anything about God? What is the source of authority for what we believe? What constitutes Torah and how is it sacred?

Dr. Gillman, a native of Quebec City, is Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Professor Emeritus of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. He is the author of several essays and seven books, including Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, the 1991 National Jewish Book Award winner in Jewish Thought, and Conservative Judaism: A New Century (Behrman House, 1993) an insightful and thought-provoking record of the Conservative Movement's history. His most recent publication, Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah, and Israel in Modern Judaism (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008), explores six basic themes of Judaism.

In addition to having been a regular contributor to the "Sabbath Week" column in the Jewish Week, Dr. Gillman is a member of Sh'ma Advisory Committee and served on the Commission on the Philosophy of Conservative Judaism, which produced Emet Ve'Emunah, the first statement of principles for Conservative Judaism. Dr. Gillman also serves as a faculty fellow at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Congregation Emanu-El in New York City. A popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Gillman has served as scholar-in-residence in many Conservative and Reform congregations across the country and has taught at the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow on behalf of JTS's Project Judaica.

Dr. Gillman graduated from McGill University, was ordained at JTS, and received his PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University.

Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen Rabbi Julie Roth Rabbi Gordon Tucker

JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen is one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism. Since his inauguration at JTS, he 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 Jewish leadership.

Executive director of the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University, Rabbi Julie Roth’s passion for pluralism, Jewish life, and multiculturalism makes campus work an ideal match. Previously, she worked for Hillel on the local and international levels.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker, senior rabbi of Temple Israel Center, has also served for many years as adjunct assistant professor of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. He has published numerous articles on Jewish philosophy and law, as well as Heavenly Torah, a translation of and commentary on Abraham Joshua Heschel’s three-volume work on rabbinic theology.

The annual Henry N. Rapaport Memorial Lecture was established in 1982 by Selma Rapaport Pressman, a past president of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism and a longtime JTS board member, in memory of her late husband. A distinguished attorney and committed Jew, Mr. Rapaport (1905–1980) served as president of Temple Israel in White Plains, New York, and president of the United Synagogue. He was an active member of the JTS board and a generous benefactor of its scholarly programs.

Admission is free but reservations and valid photo identification are required. Attendees are asked to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the program. For more information and to register, please email publicevents@jtsa.edu or call the JTS Department of Public Events at (212) 280-6093.