Conservative Movement Leader to Give Address in Wilmette

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

March 23, 2009, Wilmette, IL

Professor Arnold M. EisenProfessor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary, will discuss “The Future of Conservative Judaism” at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, at Beth Hillel-Congregation Bnai Emunah, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette.

The program is being sponsored by the congregation’s adult education committee in celebration of the congregation’s fiftieth anniversary year. The community is invited to attend at no charge; light refreshments will be served.

Arnold M. Eisen, one of the world’s foremost experts on American Judaism, is the seventh chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary. Since his inauguration in 2007, Chancellor Eisen has met with world leaders, engaged in prominent interdenominational and interfaith dialogues, and championed a transformation in the education of the next generation of Conservative leadership.

Among his early achievements, Chancellor Eisen has appointed a new vice chancellor, provost, and deans; led the development and implementation of new curricula that will better prepare rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators for the rapidly changing community of contemporary American Jews; and committed JTS to a higher standard of ecological responsibility. The Mitzvah Initiative, designed by Chancellor Eisen to engage Conservative Jews in thoughtful dialogue about “commandment, commandedness, and the Commander,” began in six synagogues around the country and in 2009 will spread to dozens of synagogues, camps, schools, and organizations throughout the continent.

Before coming to JTS, Chancellor Eisen was the Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. He also 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. Chancellor 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. The Chancellor's many publications include a personal essay, Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America (1997); a historical work entitled Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community (1998); and The Jew Within: Self, Family and Community in America (2000), coauthored with sociologist Steven M. Cohen. He is currently writing a book that probes new possibilities for the meaning of Zionism.

For further information about the evening or JTS-sponsored programs in the Columbus area, please contact Tom Wexelberg-Clouser, director, JTS Great Lakes Region, or Michele Siegal, assistant director, JTS Great Lakes Region, at (248) 258-0055.