Authors Abigail Pogrebin and Joseph Telushkin to Speak at JTS

Press Contact: Tom Hopkins
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 14, 2017, New York, NY

The much-discussed Pew Research Center study of 2013, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” revealed that most US Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture―not in religion. Acclaimed author Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that’s because we haven’t all looked at religion closely enough.

Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and current relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, in some cases for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the Jewish calendar, culminating in the authorship of her celebrated new book My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew (Fig Tree Books, 2017).

In discussion with acclaimed Jewish thinker Joseph Telushkin, Pogrebin will consider My Jewish Year in “Wondering Jews: Abigail Pogrebin and Joseph Telushkin in Conversation,” the Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). The program will be presented Monday, March 27, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at JTS, 3080 Broadway (corner 122nd Street) in New York City.

RSVP at Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students. Tickets and photo ID are required for admission.

The event will also be livestreamed at no charge at (registration not required for the livestream). JTS encourages synagogues and other Jewish communal organizations to hold a public screening of this outstanding program. To learn more, please contact

Abigail Pogrebin’s books include My Jewish Year and Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.

Joseph Telushkin’s books include Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History, and Hillel: If Not Now, When?

The annual Henry N. and Selma S. Rapaport Memorial Lecture was originally established in 1982 by Selma S. Rapaport (1916–2010), who served as president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and as a longtime JTS board member, in memory of her late husband. A distinguished attorney and committed Jew, Henry N. Rapaport (1905–1980) served as president of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York, and as president of United Synagogue. He was an active member of the JTS board and a generous benefactor of JTS’s scholarly programs.

This program is cosponsored by the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS.