Stars of David: Author to Discuss Jewish Lives of Celebrities

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 1, 2006, New York, NY

Leonard Nimoy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sarah Jessica Parker all have very successful public lives, but when the world is not watching how do they deal with issues of faith and observance? To what extent does being identified as Jews impact their day–to–day lives?

Abigail Pogrebin, whose best–selling Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish examines the Jewish identities and attitudes of famous Jews, will be the guest speaker at The Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture sponsored by The Jewish Theological Seminary. The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28 at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City.

Pogrebin was aware of how connected she felt to other Jews but was confused about her own relationship to Jewish traditions and what she wanted to pass along to her two young children. This personal search led her to share intimate conversations about the role Judaism and Jewish identity (or lack thereof) play in their personal lives with sixty–two well–known Jews in entertainment, politics, fashion, media, sports, and business. Stars of David is the intriguing and important result. Leon Wieseltier, Kenneth Cole and Mark Spitz are among those who talked frankly with Pogrebin about their childhood rituals, experiences in (and out of) synagogue, and their feelings about God, Israel, anti–Semitism, intermarriage, and assimilation.

In this fascinating lecture, Pogrebin will relate the varying — and often contradictory — Jewish experiences and opinions revealed in her book. She will explore the question of whether being Jewish and being famous "collide," how a Jewish upbringing informs a "prominent career," what it means to many of these luminaries to be Jewish, and why writing this book triggered her own pursuit of a deeper Jewish education.

Pogrebin has been a producer for Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers, and 60 Minutes. She was a senior correspondent for Brill's Content, a contributing writer for Talk magazine, and is currently a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and Salon.

The annual fall and spring Jack and Lewis Rudin Lectures provide an opportunity for distinguished academic, religious and business leaders, and other public figures to discuss topics of interest with the JTS community and the public–at–large.

Admission is free; advance reservations and valid photo identification are required. For more information and to register, please call the Department of Public Events at (212) 280–6093 or email.

Editors/Reporters: To cover the Jack and Lewis Rudin Lecture, please contact Sherry Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communications at (212) 678–8953; 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.

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