JTS Chancellor-elect and New York Artist Collaborate on "Seeing Sinai"

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

May 22, 2006, New York, NY

The "Seeing Sinai Collaboration: Meditations on Exodus 33-34" with text by Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor-elect of The Jewish Theological Seminary, and paintings by Jill Nathanson, a renowned New York artist, will be on display June 1-22 at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue in New York.

The exhibit is the result of a year-long visual and textual hevruta (partner) study, during which the artist and author studied the Torah chapters concerning one of the most well-known chapters of the Book of Exodus: the fashioning of the Golden Calf and the encounters between God and Moses that followed. Viewing hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Wednesdays from 7:00-10:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

"Seeing Sinai" has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, and will travel throughout the coming year. Its installation at the JCC coincides with the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which celebrates the Jewish people receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Professor Eisen is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University, where he has served on the faculty since 1986. He is also one of the world's foremost experts on American Judaism. His many books and articles focus on the transformation of Jewish religious belief and practice over the past two centuries, with special focus on the patterns of Judaism and Jewish life in Israel and America today.

Professor Eisen received a PhD in the History of Jewish Thought from Hebrew University; a BPhil in the Sociology of Religion at Oxford University; and a BA in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania.

Painter Jill Nathanson has had numerous shows in New York galleries and is well known for abstract paintings in which color strongly impacts structure. As a painter living a Jewish life, she is fascinated by the ways in which Jewish sacred text seeks to create an abstract understanding of the Divine.

Both Professor Eisen and Nathanson will participate in the JCC's Alma Tikkun Leil Shavuot program on Thursday, June 1 from 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., where they will discuss the exhibit. On June 3, Professor Eisen will discuss "Standing at Sinai With the Ancestors" at Shavuot services at the Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East 87th Street. Services begin at 9:15 a.m.

Editors/Reporters: To schedule an interview with Professor Eisen or for further information on JTS, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the JTS Department of Communications at (212) 678-8953 or by email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.