JTS to Honor Wexner Foundation Head

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

May 2, 2006, Columbus, OH

Larry S. Moses, President of The Wexner Foundation, will be presented with the prestigious Shin Award at a dessert reception in his honor sponsored by The Jewish Theological Seminary at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 at a private residence in Columbus. Professor Arnold Eisen, the newly named Chancellor-elect of JTS, will be the guest speaker.

The Shin Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to Judaism and Jewish law through service to their community, synagogue, and JTS.

Moses joined the professional staff of The Wexner Foundation in 1987 as the founding Director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. In 1998 he became President of the Foundation, and assumed overall responsibility for The Wexner Heritage Foundation in 2003. The Foundation, created by Leslie and Abigail Wexner, devotes itself to the strengthening of Jewish leaders in North America and in Israel. Moses also works closely with Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership, which was developed through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Wexner.

In addition to his position as the Wexners' chief philanthropic advisor, Moses sits on many international, national, and regional civic and Jewish boards. Prior to joining The Wexner Foundation, Moses served as the International Director of Hillel and Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in San Francisco. His scholarly interests rest largely in the arena of Holocaust studies (his mother is a survivor of Auschwitz), where he has taught extensively on various historical, theological, and human dimensions of the Shoah. Moses received a BA in philosophy from Indiana University, an MA in modern Jewish history from the Baltimore Hebrew University, and an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning. He also studied and taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A product of the Conservative Movement, Professor Eisen is Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. He is also one of the world’s foremost experts in American Judaism. For the past twenty years he has worked closely with synagogue and federation leadership around the country to analyze and address the issues of Jewish identity, the revitalization of Jewish tradition, and the redefinition of the American Jewish community.

Professor Eisen received a PhD in the History of Jewish Thought from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; a BPhil in the Sociology of Religion at Oxford University; and a BA in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. His recent publications include a personal essay, Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America (1997), which addresses the renewal of Jewish community and commitment in America through a series of five essays built around the Five Books of Moses; a historical work about the origins of contemporary dilemmas concerning these issues entitled Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community (1998); and The Jew Within: Self, Family and Community in America (2000), co-authored with sociologist Steven M. Cohen (2000), which examines the meanings of Judaism and Jewish belonging to contemporary American Jews.

Reservations are requested by Tuesday, May 16; admission is complimentary. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Tom Wexelberg-Clouser, Director of the JTS Great Lakes Region, at (248) 258-0055 or 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.