Dallas Conservative Congregations Host JTS Scholar for Slichot

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

September 8, 2009, Dallas, TX

Congregation Anshai Torah will host the community-wide Slichot service at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, September 12. Sponsored by The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in partnership with Congregation Beth Torah and Congregation Shearith Israel, Dr. Jonathan Milgram, assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, will be the guest scholar and present "Memory, Manuscript, and Modernization: From Mishnah to Microsoft."

The son of Venezuelan immigrants who provided him with a colorful childhood imbued with the mix of their Latin American culture and the old-world Yiddish culture of his grandparents' Romanian shtetl, Dr. Milgram's background laid the groundwork for a life of intellectual inquiry.

Always interested in the process and historical development of Judaism, Dr. Milgram believes that the history of technology is, in effect, the history of the text of the Talmud, with each mode of transmission affecting the text and how it was preserved.

"The same Judaism that intrigued my great-grandparents," says Dr. Milgram, "will, I hope, inspire my great-grandchildren. New methodologies for the study of our heritage ensure that the Judaism of our ancestors is reframed for the needs of every generation and is kept meaningful. That, in essence, is the meaning and purpose of Slichot and the High Holy Day season."

Prior to coming to JTS in 2004, Dr. Milgram served as professor at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and London School for Jewish Studies (formerly Jews' College) in England. Dr. Milgram is the former coordinator of JTS's Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research, a research institute dedicated to the computerization of medieval Jewish manuscripts, and recently was on the editorial staff of the Encyclopedia Judaica, second edition. He has also taught at Hunter College, Drisha Institute, and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Dr. Milgram's research interests and publications deal with Talmud criticism, medieval Jewish law, and the intersection of these two fields. He has taught broadly, including in Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, comparative sex ethics, Talmudic literature, and medieval Jewish law.

Dr. Milgram graduated from the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies at JTS, where he received a BA from JTS and a BA from Columbia University. He earned his MA and rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University and his PhD from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is currently writing a study of rabbinic inheritance law in comparative context with the goal of understanding the legal contexts that produced rabbinic inheritance law.

Congregation Anshai Torah is located at 5501 West Parker Road, Plano. The evening, open to the community at no charge, will include High Holiday selections by the choirs of the sponsoring congregations. Further information is available by calling Congregation Anshai Torah at (972) 473-7718.