Religion, Race, or Nation? Re-Defining Jews in the Modern World

Date: Nov 09, 2016 - Dec 07, 2016

Time: 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Sponsor: JTS Learning in Your Community

Location: Greater Washington, DC

Category: JTS in Your Community Scholar Series

JTS Scholar Series at Shaare Torah, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Join Dr. Jonathan Ray, JTS Fellow and associate professor at Georgetown, for a series of discussions on “Religion, Race, or Nation? Re-Defining Jews in the Modern World.”

Four Wednesdays: November 9, 16, 30; December 7
7:30–9:00 p.m.

About the Series

Is Judaism a religion in the way that other religions are, or is it something else?  Can one separate the spiritual and legal elements of Judaism from the ethnic and cultural heritage of the Jewish people?  These questions lie at the heart of a longstanding debate on the essential nature of Judaism and how to locate the Jews within competing definitions of what it means to be religious and modern. It is a debate that has prompted a host of powerful and creative responses, including the proliferation of Jewish religious movements such as Reform, Conservatism, and Orthodoxy, the birth of Jewish nationalism, and the rise of new forms of anti-Semitism. This series of talks will explore some of the key points in this shift from traditional to modern definitions of the Jewish people. After discussing some of the ways that Jews were redefined in the modern era, we will have the opportunity to reflect upon our own Jewish identities and how they continue to evolve.

Register Now


$25 for four sessions.

About the Scholar

Dr. Jonathan Ray is a JTS Fellow and the Samuel Eig Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University. He holds a BA from Tufts University in History and Religion and a PhD in Jewish History from JTS. He is the author of The Sephardic Frontier: The Reconquista and the Jewish Community in Medieval Iberia (Cornell University Press, 2006) and After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry (NYU Press, 2013).

Shaare Torah
1409 Main Street
Gaithersburg, Maryland