Judith Shulevitz to Speak at The Jewish Theological Seminary

Acclaimed Author to Discuss Her Recent Book About the Sabbath

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089
Email: evglasberg@jtsa.edu

January 25, 2011, New York, NY

We know the Sabbath as a holy day of rest, but what else might it have been or meant in the past? Was it the first effort to protect the rights of workers? Of women? Today, is it a smart way to manage stress in a world in which computers and cell phones never get turned off and work never comes to an end?

Author Judith Shulevitz will reflect on the Sabbath when she discusses her recent book, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time, at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) on February 17, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. She will be joined in dialogue by Rabbi Shai Held, cofounder, rosh yeshiva, and chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. The event, a Henry N. Rapaport Memorial Lecture, will take place at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. (RSVP online at www.jtsa.edu/sabbathworld or call (212) 280-6093. On the day of the event, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to register, and have photo ID available.)

In The Sabbath World—winner of the American Library Association’s 2011 Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish Literature, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and named by the New York Times as among the 100 most notable books of 2010—Judith Shulevitz explores the Jewish and Christian day of rest, from its origins in the ancient world to its complicated observance in the modern one. Braiding ideas and history together with her own memories of wistful, occasional Sabbath-keeping, Ms. Shulevitz delves into the legends and philosophies that have grown up around a custom that has lessons for one and all, not just for those who are fully observant. The shared day of nonwork has built communities, sustained cultures, and connected us to the memory of our ancestors, as well as our better selves; but, the Sabbath has also aroused as much resentment as love.

Judith Shulevitz is a cultural critic and magazine editor who helped to start both Slate and Lingua Franca, which won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence under her coeditorship. She has been a columnist for Slate and the New York Times Book Review, and is now a contributing editor at the New Republic. For more information, visit judithshulevitz.com.

Rabbi Shai Held, a renowned lecturer and educator, has served on the faculties of Drisha, JTS, and the Me’ah and Wexner Heritage programs. He has recently completed a doctorate in the department of religion at Harvard University.

The annual Henry N. Rapaport Memorial Lecture was established in 1982 by Selma Rapaport Pressman (z”l), who served as president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and as a longtime JTS board member, in memory of her late husband. A distinguished attorney and committed Jew, Mr. Rapaport (1905–1980) served as president of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York, and president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. He was an active member of the JTS board and a generous benefactor of its scholarly programs.

Visit JTS at www.jtsa.edu