Wondering Jews: Abigail Pogrebin and Joseph Telushkin in Conversation
The Pew Research Center study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” revealed that most US Jews locate their Jewishness in their ancestry and culture—not in religion. Abigail Pogrebin wondered if perhaps that’s because we haven’t all looked at religious ritual closely enough. Her new book, My Jewish Year, is the result of a deep spiritual and scholarly exploration of every festival and fast, coming at an ancient tradition with fresh eyes.
How can 21st century Jews relate to and find meaning in Jewish observance? What might motivate wandering and wondering Jews to learn more about their faith?
About the Presenters
Abigail Pogrebin is the author of the upcoming book My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew (March 2017), Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, and One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned about Everyone’s Struggle to be Singular. A former producer for Mike Wallace at 60 Minutes and for Charlie Rose at PBS, she has written for numerous publications including New York magazine, The Daily Beast, the Forward and Tablet, and has moderated conversations at the JCC in Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y, the Skirball Center, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and the Samuel Bronfman Foundation.
Joseph Telushkin, named by Talk magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, is the author of Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. The most widely selling book on Judaism of the past two decades, Jewish Literacy has been hailed by leading figures in all the major movements of Judaism. Among his many other works is The Book of Jewish Values: A Day by Day Guide to Ethical Living, which was the subject of a PBS special entitled Moral Imagination that aired throughout the US. He is also co-author with Dennis Prager of one of the most influential Jewish books published in the last 35 years, The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism.
About the Rapaport Memorial Lecture
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.