Jewish Theology in America, Today and Tomorrow

Jewish Theology in America, Today and Tomorrow

May 23, 2022 By Arnold M. Eisen | Public Event video

Professor Eisen explores recent developments in Jewish thought about God and what God requires of us as Jews and human beings against the background of past Jewish thought, recent work by non-Jewish thinkers, and Professor Eisen’s own theological reflections in the age of COVID.

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Watering the Soul in Times of Faith and Doubt

Watering the Soul in Times of Faith and Doubt

May 16, 2022 By Mychal Springer | Public Event video

together—is central to a life of faith and often plunges people into doubt. We will make space for the “watering of the soul,” both metaphorically and through exploration of the connection between resurrection and water—in the form of rain and dew. 

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Expanding the Canon: Transforming Judaism in the 21st Century

Expanding the Canon: Transforming Judaism in the 21st Century

May 15, 2022

Jewish learning has long focused on texts by an elite group of ancient rabbis. What would it mean to radically expand our canon, incorporating the voices of women, Jews of Color, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized groups? JTS scholars will introduce new voices and also offer new lenses through which to read ancient texts. Together we will explore how diversifying our canonical texts can help us create a more inclusive Jewish community. 

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Reaching for the Heavens: <br>The Music of Composer Gerald Cohen

Reaching for the Heavens:
The Music of Composer Gerald Cohen

May 10, 2022 By Gerald Cohen | Public Event video

Download Program Amid the Alien Corn Text Reaching for the Heavens featured the vibrant and compelling music of Gerald Cohen, a leading composer of concert and Jewish music, and a faculty member of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School for nearly 30 years, as well as the Cassatt String Quartet and other renowned performers. The […]

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Does Faith Matter? The Ancient Jewish Debate About Faith and Mitzvot

Does Faith Matter? The Ancient Jewish Debate About Faith and Mitzvot

May 9, 2022 By David C. Kraemer | Public Event video

One often hears it said that “Judaism cares what one does, not what one believes.” But this is a distortion, an oversimplification. When one looks at sources from the period of the birth of Rabbinic Judaism (including early “Christian” writings), one finds that there was an active debate about this matter. In this session, we will begin by considering the arguments of those ancient Jews—Paul and James—who raised the important question of faith vs. mitzvot. We will then examine echoes of the same debate in early rabbinic sources.

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The Gender of God in Ancient Israel

The Gender of God in Ancient Israel

May 2, 2022 By Benjamin D. Sommer | Public Event video

How did the biblical authors, and other Israelites, view the gender of God? Did they perceive God to be male? Did any of them perceive God as female? To answer this question, we examine both several biblical texts as well as archaeological evidence.

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Between the Lines: Hélène Jawhara Piñer on the History of Sephardi Cuisine

Between the Lines: Hélène Jawhara Piñer on the History of Sephardi Cuisine

Apr 27, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Scholar and author Hélène Jawhara Piñer discusses her unique books about Sephardi cuisine and demonstrates how to make a delicious muleta. About Hélène Jawhara Piñer Hélène Jawhara Piñer has a PhD in Medieval History and the History of Food. As a research associate of the Research Center CESR in Tours, her research interests include the […]

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Because You Hear the Prayers of Your People Israel in Mercy

Because You Hear the Prayers of Your People Israel in Mercy

Apr 25, 2022 By Rachel Rosenthal | Public Event video

We often think of God’s choice to respond to our prayers as an act of mercy, but the rabbis in the Babylonian Talmud believed that God was powerless to ignore certain prayers. We look at five models of people whose prayers God answers and consider how they act as messengers on behalf of their communities.

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Writing Jewish: A Discussion with Nicole Krauss and Joshua Cohen

Writing Jewish: A Discussion with Nicole Krauss and Joshua Cohen

Apr 25, 2022 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Part of JTS’s Opening Season Jews have always been writers of books—from books for Jews with self-consciously Jewish content to books with no obvious Jewish consciousness directed toward the general reading public. But there are also authors who create worlds filled with Jews (and others) who embody human experiences with a Jewish twist for readers […]

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The Still, Small Voice: A Journalist and Her Rabbi on Regaining Intimate, Authentic Conversation

The Still, Small Voice: A Journalist and Her Rabbi on Regaining Intimate, Authentic Conversation

Apr 6, 2022 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

Two years ago, when the pandemic first hit, good friends Dahlia Lithwick and Rabbi Jan Uhrbach decided it was time to begin the weekly Jewish study session they’d been talking about for a while.

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Mandatory Fun: The Commandment of Joy

Mandatory Fun: The Commandment of Joy

Apr 4, 2022 By Sarah Wolf | Public Event video

Usually we think of the mitzvot, the commandments of Jewish law, as involving specific actions. Yet the Torah also commands us to feel certain emotions, including love for God and joy on the festivals. Dr. Sarah Wolf to explores rabbinic texts that grapple with questions about what fulfillment of such a commandment should look like.

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Hate on Trial: The Charlottesville Case

Hate on Trial: The Charlottesville Case

Mar 30, 2022

In August 2017, white nationalists orchestrated a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—with torch-carrying marchers chanting, “Jews will not replace us.“ The result was intimidation, violence, and death. In November 2021, at a landmark trial in Charlottesville, a jury found the rally organizers liable and awarded more than $25 million in damages.

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Divine Rage

Divine Rage

Mar 28, 2022 By Amy Kalmanofsky | Public Event video

God’s anger has been a problem for generations of theologians. Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky explores the power and purpose of divine rage and the different ways the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel use God’s anger.   

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Loneliness as a Spiritual Crisis

Loneliness as a Spiritual Crisis

Mar 21, 2022 By Mychal Springer | Public Event video

Rabbi Mychal Springer explores the existential issues related to belonging and abandonment, drawing on Jewish spiritual resources that help foster a loving embrace, divine and human, even when we must carefully balance distance and proximity in the face of contagion. 

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Purim Eve On (and Off) Broadway!

Purim Eve On (and Off) Broadway!

Mar 16, 2022 By Jan Uhrbach | Public Event video | Purim

Watch the parody songs: View the whole service: For Ma’ariv (Evening Service) and Megillat Esther (Book of Esther), we will be using the Rabbinical Assembly’s newly published volume featuring a new translation of Esther by Dr. Pamela Barmash, an alumna of JTS’s Rabbinical School, and the translation of the evening service from Siddur Lev Shalem. […]

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Compassion and Love in Jewish Mystical Sources

Compassion and Love in Jewish Mystical Sources

Mar 14, 2022 By Eitan Fishbane | Public Event video

Through study of Kabbalistic texts ranging from 13th-century Spain to 16th-century Tzfat, Dr. Eitan Fishbane, associate professor of Jewish Thought, JTS, explored how the related themes of love and compassion were central to the spiritual and ethical thinking of key Kabbalists. For these mystics, compassion and love were simultaneously ideals in relation to other people and in relation to God; what is more, many understood interpersonal compassion and love as actual manifestations of Divinity in the earthly realm. Our createdness in the image of God brings the ideals of emotion and virtue to life in the physical world.

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Space, Place, and Communities of Faith

Space, Place, and Communities of Faith

Mar 13, 2022

Renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien say that the foundation of architecture “lies in believing that it is possible to make places on earth that can give a sense of grace to life.” Join Williams, Tsien, and their partner Paul Schulhof when they speak with Professor Barbara Mann about their philosophy and how it is reflected in their design for the JTS campus.

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The “Burning Heart”: <br>From the Book of Jeremiah to the Metropolitan Opera

The “Burning Heart”:
From the Book of Jeremiah to the Metropolitan Opera

Mar 7, 2022 By Alan Cooper | Public Event video

In Jeremiah 20:9, the prophet compares the divine word to “a burning fire in my heart, shut up in my bones.” This powerful image of irresistible passion constrained has long been interpreted in both positive and negative ways.  Dr. Alan Cooper examined how the image has been used by Jewish authors and also glance at the way it has come to prominence as the title of both Charles M. Blow’s memoir and Terence Blanchard’s pioneering opera based on the memoir. Dr. Alan Cooper examined how the image has been used by Jewish authors and also glance at the way it has come to prominence as the title of both Charles M. Blow’s memoir and Terence Blanchard’s pioneering opera based on the memoir. 

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Can American Judaism Change Jewish Identity in Israel?

Can American Judaism Change Jewish Identity in Israel?

Mar 3, 2022

THE HENRY N. AND SELMA S. RAPAPORT MEMORIAL LECTURE “The New Jew”—a recent Israeli TV documentary series exploring the diverse and creative ways in which American Jews express their Jewishness—was immensely popular in Israel. What accounts for Israelis’ positive response to several distinctively American models of Jewish identity and practice? How can religious expression in […]

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The Jewish Community of Ukraine and the Current Crisis

The Jewish Community of Ukraine and the Current Crisis

Mar 2, 2022 By David Fishman | Public Event video

There are between 50,000 to 100,000 Jews in Ukraine today. This talk, featuring Dr. David Fishman and senior JTS rabbinical student Alisa Tzipi Zilbershtein, analyzed the state of the community, and its reactions to the unfolding events.

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