The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Wagner Institute Presents “Times of Crisis: Trying Moments and Great Possibilities”

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

February 18, 2011, New York, NY

The Isidor and Rose Wagner Institute for Leadership Development of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), in partnership with Chicagoland Jewish High School, will host “Times of Crisis: Trying Moments and Great Possibilities” on March 13 and 14, 2011.

JTS LogoThe event will take place at Chicagoland Jewish High School, which is known for its culture of academic excellence; the school is located at 1095 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield, Illinois. On March 13, registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the first session will start at 1:30 p.m. The program will conclude for the day at 7 p.m. On March 14, the program will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

Chicagoland Jewish High School LogoThe Wagner Institute is a key program of continuing education at JTS. In 1994, Nathan Wagner and Ruth Braver (z”l) endowed the Wagner institute, and its first program was held that same year. The Wagner Institute provides a dynamic forum for people to explore ancient and modern Jewish texts and traditions with some of the most creative and compelling faculty of JTS. JTS professors are world-renowned scholars who will help participants deepen their Jewish knowledge and understanding during two days of thought-provoking study and inspirational conversation.

All that participants need to bring to the institute is their curiosity and enthusiasm. While some may have a background in Judaic studies, others may be new to the texts and the information presented. The diversity of backgrounds of our participants will enhance every aspect of the program.
JTS faculty will teach the following courses:

Dr. Eitan Fishbane, assistant professor, Department of Jewish Thought: “Raising Up the Sparks—The Idea of Tikkun in Jewish Mysticism”

Rabbi David Hoffman, lecturer, Department of Talmud and Rabbinics, and scholar-in-residence, Department of Development: “The Future of Faith”

Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky, assistant professor of Bible: “Wings and Wheels: Finding God in Exile”

Dr. Marjorie Lehman, assistant professor, Department of Talmud and Rabbinics: “Imagining the Rabbinic Miracle Worker─Times of Crisis and the Response of Tractate Ta’anit

Dr. Benjamin D. Sommer, professor of Bible: “Is it Good for the Jews? Crisis and Possibility in Isaiah’s Poetry”

Dr. Burton Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute of Religious and Social Studies of JTS: “When Jerusalem Burnt─The Invention of Rabbinic Judaism”

Accommodations for Wagner Institute participants are available at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield, which is located near Chicagoland Jewish High School. Through the generosity of Nathan Wagner and Ruth Braver and the Wagner family, fees for this program are only $72 per participant, which includes all texts and program meals, but not lodging.

For more information about the Wagner Institute’s program, accommodations and cost, please contact Nadine Sasson Cohen, director of Principle Gifts, JTS Midwest Region, at (312) 606-9086 or To register, please visit

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