Summer 2023 Learning Series 

The Dynamics of Change 

Mondays, June 5 to August 14, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET 

Please note that there will be no session on June 19 or July 3. 

Change is an integral part of life and a central feature of the Jewish experience. Join JTS scholars for an in-depth exploration of significant changes—religious, political, and personal—throughout Jewish history and life. Together we’ll consider core questions such as: What inspires change? What circumstances are most conducive to change, and what (or who) drives it? How do we experience change and adapt to its impact? How can Jewish values and ideas inspire us to change the world for the better?   

Topics will include prophets and the art of persuasion, the Rabbis as the first influencers, tikkun olam (repairing the world) in Kabbalistic thought, modern Yiddish culture and political change, evolving Jewish attitudes towards abortion, and more. 

The series launches on June 5 with “Perhaps They Will Listen”: Prophets and the Art of Persuasion, featuring Bible professor Dr. Yael Landman.   

Faculty and Topics:


“Perhaps They Will Listen”: Prophets and the Art of Persuasion 

With Dr. Yael Landman, Assistant Professor of Bible, JTS

JUNE 12 

God: Unchanging? 

With Dr. Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies, JTS 

JUNE 26 

Patient Change, Slow Influence: The Model of the Rabbis of Late Antiquity  

With Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS 

JULY 10 

The Power of Words: How What We Say Affects Us and Those Around Us

With Dr. Eliezer Diamond, Rabbi Judah Nadich Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics 

JULY 17 

Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, Healing God in Kabbalistic Thought  

With Dr. Eitan Fishbane, Professor of Jewish Thought, JTS 

JULY 24 

The Evolution of Law in the Bible: Two Case Studies 

With Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, JTS 

JULY 31 

From Justification to Justice: Evolving Jewish Attitudes Towards Abortion

With Dr. Michal Raucher, JTS Fellow and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University 


Becoming Jewish Americans: Popular Culture and Protest in Yiddish New York 

With Annabel Gottfried Cohen, MRes, PhD student in Modern Jewish Studies, JTS, and curator of Living Yiddish in New York exhibit, JTS Library  


Can Institutions Be Nimble? Community Organizing in Tumultuous Times

With Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, Associate Dean of The Rabbinical School, JTS   

Note: Each Monday series has a new Zoom link. Please register for The Dynamics of Change in order to receive the Zoom link for this series.