Conservative Judaism: A Community Conversation

JTS and Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen Launch Weekly Blog

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

May 19, 2011, New York, NY

Today, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and its chancellor, Arnold M. Eisen, are introducing an exciting new initiative: a weekly blog devoted to Conservative Judaism. Entitled “Conservative Judaism: A Community Conversation,” the blog is launching on the same day as JTS’s 117th Commencement Exercises and features a series of short essays written by Chancellor Eisen on various topics related to the nature and distinctiveness of Conservative Judaism: covenant, community, mitzvah, tefillah (prayers), and more. Written in the chancellor’s characteristically engaging, inspirational tone, the essays are accompanied by responses from invited dialogue partners and a wide-ranging community discussion. The provocative, definitional content that these essays provide is meant to stimulate online debate about these topics.

“Why are we launching this blog now? My strong sense is that Conservative Jews want to hear from us, and from one another,” says Chancellor Eisen. “They want to know what ideas we have for moving forward, our best thinking about what distinguishes Conservative Judaism from other forms of our tradition, and how we can most effectively translate the singular insights of our Movement into institutions that meet the needs of contemporary Jews.”

As one of the world’s leading centers of Jewish learning—a place that integrates rigorous academic scholarship and teaching with a commitment to strengthening Jewish tradition, Jewish lives, and Jewish communities—JTS is the ideal venue for the launch of such a compelling project. JTS articulates and transmits a vision of Judaism that is at once learned and passionate, pluralist and authentic, traditional and egalitarian. It is an institution that learns from the past, while being fully engaged with the present, as it educates leaders who serve Conservative Judaism and the vital religious center for North American Jewry.

It is entirely appropriate, then, that the digital conversation about tomorrow’s Conservative Judaism begins at JTS today.

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