Communings of the Spirit, Vol. III

Communings of the Spirit, Vol. III

Dec 7, 2020 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

A discussion with Dr. Mel Scult: Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionism, and the rabbi who initiated the first Bat Mitzvah, also produced the longest Jewish diary on record. In 27 volumes, running from 1913 to 1978, Kaplan shares with us not only his reaction to the great events of his time, but also his very personal thoughts on every aspect of religion and Jewish life. In this volume, editor and Kaplan biographer Mel Scult presents Kaplan contemplating the momentous events of the 1940s. 

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Boundaries on the Move

Boundaries on the Move

Aug 2, 2019 By Benjamin D. Sommer | Commentary | Masei | Mattot

Every week, we read a parashah from the Torah during our Shabbat morning service, and then the beginning of the next parashah during our Shabbat afternoon service. The result of reading from two parashiyot on a single day can be surprising. This week, as we read first from Masei, the last parashah of Numbers, and then from Devarim, the first from Deuteronomy, we can hear an ancient debate about an issue that remains deeply contested: where to draw the line.

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A Virtual Minyan? Communal Prayer in the Digital Age

A Virtual Minyan? Communal Prayer in the Digital Age

Jun 4, 2019 By Daniel Nevins | Public Event video | Video Lecture

Judaism places great value on communal prayer, mandating that we pray with others whenever possible. But what does it mean to pray in community? Are we really connecting if we make a minyan via videoconference?

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The Changing Face of the American Jewish Family

The Changing Face of the American Jewish Family

Nov 19, 2018 By Leonard A. Sharzer

Co-published by the Louis Finkelstein Inistitute for Religious and Social Studies and JTS Press, and edited by Rabbi Leonard Sharzer and Rabbi Burton Visotzky.

In the American Jewish community of the 21st century, as in the broader American community, the meaning of being a family is changing, often at a pace that communal institutions have difficulty keeping up with. 

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Both/And: 250 Years of Conservative Judaism in 80 Minutes

Both/And: 250 Years of Conservative Judaism in 80 Minutes

Aug 31, 2018 By Arnold M. Eisen | Podcast or Radio Program

Learn how Conservative Judaism became what it is today in this accessible mini-series adaptation of Chancellor Eisen’s semester-long class for JTS students.

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Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism

Jun 26, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Collected Resources

A collection of resources about Conservative Judaism on the JTS website.

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The Poet’s Hand

The Poet’s Hand

Jun 29, 2018 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Commentary

Beginning with Siddur Sim Shalom, Conservative prayer books began including a slightly different version of the much-loved Sabbath evening hymn Yedid Nefesh. The changes, though mostly slight, caused—and sometimes still cause—confusion, disrupting those who learned the traditionally printed version of this hymn with different grammatical forms and a few different words. What caused the change and why was it deemed sufficiently important that it should supersede the better-known version?

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Israel at 70: Bridging Divides

Israel at 70: Bridging Divides

Apr 17, 2018 By Arnold M. Eisen

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Upgrading the Torah—and the World

Upgrading the Torah—and the World

Jul 21, 2017 By Benjamin D. Sommer | Commentary | Masei | Mattot

Is God’s law perfect? Most of us would assume that anything created by an omniscient and omnipotent being must have no flaws. But a story in today’s parashah suggests otherwise—in a manner that shows a surprising similarity to a key concept of Jewish mysticism.

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I Will Get Back Up Again

I Will Get Back Up Again

Jul 14, 2017 By Stephanie Ruskay | Commentary | Pinehas

“What does your dad do at Google?”

One of our JustCity Leadership Institute pre-college program students explained that her mother works at Google in a significant leadership position. Yet each time she wears a Google T-shirt, people ask her what her father does there.

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