Tuesday, October 11, 2011

[Shefa] Fwd: Happenings at JTS



From: news@jtsa.edu
To: alanjayg46@aol.com
Sent: 10/11/2011 6:45:23 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Happenings at JTS


The Jewish Theological Seminary: In Our Community

Chancellor Eisen Announces Initiative to Broaden JTS Reach 

Rabbi Marc Wolf Appointed Vice Chancellor of External Affairs

JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen has announced a personnel change designed to help JTS achieve the significant broadening of its work outside the walls of 3080 Broadway that is called for in the JTS Strategic Plan adopted in spring 2010:

"We want to reach new audiences—Jewish and Gentile, Conservative and others—with a new set of courses, programs, initiatives, and ideas. Some of these programs will be offered on a fee-for-service basis. All will greatly increase the visibility of JTS and widen the circle of our supporters.

Rabbi_Marc_Wolf.jpg"To best take advantage of these opportunities, I am creating a new senior level position, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, and have asked Rabbi Marc Wolf to assume it. When Marc took the helm in Development three years ago, it was our intention that he remain in that position for a transitional period and then move on to a wider set of roles that draw more fully on his expertise, experience, and relationships. The time for that move has arrived, following on the heels of last year's development campaign in which giving to JTS increased by 8 percent and many new donors joined the ranks of our supporters. Marc has long been involved closely with JTS—first as a student here, then as a proud alumnus, and, most recently, as one of the leaders of the institution. His record, aptitude, and interest in advancing programmatic aspects of JTS in the areas of public and continuing education will serve him and JTS well as he seeks to bring JTS resources to bear in partnership with the Conservative Movement, the Jewish community, and our society at large.

"A search is now underway to find a successor to Marc, who will continue to serve as Head of Development until his successor is appointed and only then will assume his new role. Please join me in congratulating Marc on the responsibilities that await him—and join me, too, in helping JTS make this coming year's campaign the most successful ever."

Back to top^


JTS Joins White House Interfaith Program on Student/Community Dialogue

The Jewish Theological Seminary is now a partner in the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge: Advancing Interfaith Cooperation and Community Service, a program that invites institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming on campus. The best examples of students coming together to help those in need will be recognized by the White House in summer 2012.

JTS, Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen, and Dr. Burton L. Visotzky—director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, director of the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue, and JTS's liaison to the president's initiative—are joining several other partners in this commitment:

  • Union Theological Seminary (Serene Jones, president; Dr. Su Yon Pak, senior director and associate professor, Integrative and Field-based Education; and Piper Dumont, director of the Edible Churchyard program)
  • The Poverty Initiative
  • Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood
  • St. Mary's Episcopal Church

Justice in the Sukkah: An Interfaith Exploration of Food and Social Change will be the first event of the initiative. It will take place at JTS on October 16 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Nathan Schumer (LC '09, GS '09), Shuli Passow (RS '14), Yael Hammerman (RS '14), many additional JTS students, and members of other faiths, community organizations, and the government will discuss "food justice"—tackling hunger by exploring its underlying political and social issues—and how to get involved in food issues in the Harlem community. Suggested donation for the evening—and a light dinner in the JTS sukkah—is $10. Please email Shuli Passow at shpassow@jtsa.edu.

The "official" inaugural event of worship, work, and celebration will be held on October 23 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on 126th Street in Manhattan. The day will begin at 10:00 a.m. with an interfaith service, and be dedicated to clearing the garden at St. Mary's and making way for the interfaith gardening project that will be a focus of the initiative. A potluck meal will be served: please contribute a dish if you can, and consider making it vegetarian to accommodate various religious eating practices and dietary considerations. For more information about the White House initiative and this event, and to RSVP, contact Dr. Visotzky at buvisotzky@jtsa.edu or (212) 678-8989.

Back to top^


Prospective Graduate Student Open House at JTS

Students who want to learn about graduate study at one or more of JTS's renowned graduate and professional schools—William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, The Rabbinical School, The Graduate School, and the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music—are welcome to join us for all or part of JTS's annual Prospective Graduate Student Open House on Sunday and Monday, October 16 and 17. Participants will have a chance to study with JTS faculty and meet with current students and alumni. JTS graduate-level classes are small and offer individualized attention from world-class Jewish studies faculty, plus rigorous encounters with Jewish texts in their original languages. Generous merit- and need-based financial aid is available, as are experienced career mentors. So take a day or two to learn why JTS is a great fit for you, and invite other aspiring students you know as well. See the Prospective Graduate Student Open House schedule and register.

Back to top^



Chancellor Launches Latest Phase of JTS Arts Initiative

New Jewish Art Collection Begins in the Sukkah

Chancellor Eisen has announced the next phase of the JTS Arts Initiative. Called Ushpizin (guests), which builds on the tradition of inviting biblical heroes and deceased relatives into the booths built during the harvest celebration of Sukkot, the new JTS art collection will feature works of art old and new: historical pieces from The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and new works created by current artists. The compilation will be on display in the Brandt Family Sukkah during the holiday season, and will be the basis of a new collection designed to spotlight the essence of Judaism, Torah, and the history of the Jewish people.

Ushpizin was developed by the chancellor and the JTS Arts Advisory Board, whose members include Provost Dr. Alan Cooper, representatives of The Jewish Museum, professionals from several artistic disciplines, arts philanthropists, and collectors. "The ushpizin panels that beautify this year's Brandt Family Sukkah," says Dr. Cooper, "were created by artists at JTS under the supervision of JTS Artist-in-Residence Tobi Kahn. Shirah Rubin, who received a master's degree in Jewish Education from the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education in 2003 and whose support helped make the display of these works possible, wishes to dedicate it to the memory of her beloved mother, a teacher of art who saw the creative process as a spiritual act and who sought to inspire everyone to explore their creativity to the fullest."

Back to top^

                 happenings hr       

More Sukkot at JTS and Beyond

• The JTS quadrangle is now populated by the three familiar sukkot erected annually to celebrate the holiday. Although the deadline for reserving space in the courtyard-level sukkot has passed, the sukkah on the third-floor terrace, which is not weather-protected, is first-come, first-served.

The annual List College Alumni Sukkah Dinner will celebrate the holiday on Monday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Brandt Family Sukkah at courtyard level. Free to alumni and $18 for guests, List College alumni can click here to RSVP.

• On this holiday of the harvest, alum Heather G. Stoltz (GS '04) explores the stories of homeless New Yorkers. She's created an 8' x 8' x 8' sukkah, the outside walls of which display works of art created by children in family shelters throughout the city; the inside walls are fiber-art panels Stoltz created based on her conversations with homeless individuals in faith-based shelters. The installation piece will travel to churches and synagogues in Manhattan during November; refer to the exhibitions section of www.sewingstories.com for the schedule and see Stoltz's blog at the site for some of the panels and student work.

• As the holiday month continues, enjoy the annual Erev Shemini Atzeret Concert of Pizmon, a JTS/Columbia/Barnard a cappella group, October 19 at 10 p.m. in JTS's Feinberg Auditorium. Tickets are free and are available now in the JTS Office of Student Life (Unterberg 209) and the Kraft Center (606 W. 115th Street).

Back to top^


happenings hr       

Library Book Talk with Dr. Eitan Fishbane

Dr. Eitan Fishbane will speak about his book The Sabbath Soul: Mystical Reflections on the Transformative Power of Holy Time at a JTS Library Book Talk on October 24. The book draws on the writings of mystical masters from the history of Hasidism to convey an appreciation of the specific rituals of the Sabbath and the ways they transform awareness on the seventh day. The Sabbath Soul is one of two books by Dr. Fishbane published in the past two weeks. The other is Shadows in Winter: A Memoir of Love and Loss, a memoir of grief and parenthood in the wake of his wife's death. The Library Book Talk will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Kripke 406. Admission is free, but reservations and a photo ID are required. RSVP to Hector Guzman at heguzman@jtsa.edu.

Back to top^

happenings hr       

New Milstein Center Celebrates Its Founding and Its First Academic Event

Dr._David_Kraemer.jpgJTS's new Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue is cosponsoring a one-day academic colloquium on "Oral Transmission of Sacred Texts in Judaism and Islam." The host and partner for the Tuesday, October 25, event is Georgetown University's Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding. JTS faculty members Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Dr. David Kraemer, and Dr. Neil Danzig will participate. The Georgetown/JTS colloquium brings together scholars on orality in each religious tradition to familiarize them with the scholarship of one another's traditions and to open new vistas in scholarship and comparative religious studies.

The Milstein Center's own inaugural event is a luncheon on Monday, October 31, welcoming His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch from the Vatican, where he is president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which includes the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. This is Cardinal Koch's first trip to New York City in that capacity.

JTS announced the founding of the Milstein Center in September. The center is funded with a $2 million gift from New York philanthropist Howard Milstein and the Paul Milstein family. The Milsteins have a long history of engagement with JTS. Irma Milstein chaired The Davidson School and served on the JTS Board of Trustees. The gift from her family marks the second generation of relationship between the Milsteins and JTS.

Back to top^

happenings hr       

JTS Convocation to Honor Members of the Rabbinical Assembly

On November 1, The Jewish Theological Seminary will award honorary doctorates to 42 rabbis who have served the Jewish community with distinction for a quarter century or more at a Convocation being held in tribute to members of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA). JTS Board Chair Abby Joseph Cohen will preside at the event.

Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen, who will deliver the convocation address and confer the degrees, has noted that the occasion will enable JTS's faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees to express their collective esteem and thanks to these rabbis—spiritual leaders and scholars—for their more than 25 years of religious leadership in the cause of Conservative Judaism and kelal Yisra'el. JTS will celebrate their achievements and voice appreciation for their devotion.

Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins, dean of the Division of Religious Leadership and Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School at JTS, and Randie Malinsky, chair of the Religious Leadership Advisory Board, will be the sponsors of the honorees at the ceremony, and Rabbi Gilah Dror, president of the RA, will deliver greetings on behalf of the RA. Those honored will include congregational rabbis, Jewish communal professionals, educators, and chaplains from the United States and abroad.

Back to top^

happenings hr       

What's Happening at JTS and in Your Community

On Thursday, October 6, the H. L. Miller Cantorial School choir, under the direction of Hazzan David Tilman, provided the moving musical interlude at one of the New York City stops on the "Jewish Chaplain's Monument Tour: Honoring the Memory of 14 Jewish Chaplains Who Died While on Active Duty" held at the Center for Rabbi_Andy_Shugerman.jpgJewish History. A memorial plaque listing the fallen becomes a permanent installation later in the month at Arlington National Cemetery. • JTS students and alumni take note: If you are attending the Jewish Federations of North America's 2011 General Assembly in Denver, Colorado, early next month, you'll want to make time in your schedule for the Ramah Alumni Reception on Monday, November 7, at 5 p.m. National Ramah Assistant Director Amy Skopp Cooper will receive the prestigious 2011 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Request an invitation online, via email, or by calling (212) 678-8881. • "Rebel Women of the Bible" is Rabbi Andy Shugerman's topic at a JTS Lunch & Learn in Florida on two Tuesdays, November 8 and November 15. It takes place at noon at B'nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton. To RSVP, contact Carolyn Kantor at cakantor@jtsa.edu or (561) 852-3454.

Back to top^


Making News: In Print and Online

Dr._Robert_Harris.jpgChancellor Eisen's poignant High Holiday Message of Hope is a must-read at HuffingtonPost.com. • JTS's recent survey commissioned by Chancellor Eisen and conducted by Dr. Steven M. Cohen on the generational differences about Israel among JTS rabbis and rabbinical students is discussed in the JTA's "Rabbis' Love for Israel: Is It a Generational Thing?" and in the Forward's "Young Rabbis Love Israel But Lean to Left of Elders." • Rabbi Daniel Nevins's essay, "Rebranding Tzedakah: From Charity to Sacred Spending," is the cover story in October's issue of Sh'ma and on the journal's website. The essay has been selected by Sh'ma to be syndicated to all Jewish newspapers around the country. • An article by Dr. Robert Harris, "The Book of Leviticus Interpreted as Jewish Community," appears in the online journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011: 1–15). • Dr. Eitan Fishbane is quoted about Kabbalah and why married couples tend to seek it out when they experience marital woes at abcnews.com in a piece called "How Kabbalah Could Help Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher." • "Atoning for Nothing" in the Jewish Week describes the development of Ohel Ayalah, an organization founded by Rabbi Judith Hauptman that provides free High Holiday services for hundreds of Jews. • Cantor Nancy Abramson, Dr. Carol K. Ingall, Dr. Anne Lapidus Lerner, and David Wachtel each contributed essays to the Hiddur Mitzvah Project: A Fresh Approach to Enhancing Mitzvot, a publication of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ). The text helps to enhance and adorn holiday and Shabbat celebrations throughout the year, and is available on the WLCJ website for purchase at $18 each and, in a few weeks, for downloading by members only. WLCJ's semiannual newsletter, BookMarks, features interviews with JTS faculty members Dr. Carol Ingall, Shira Kohn, and Dr. Edna Nahshon and introduces their current books. • Rabbi Moshe Margolin is quoted in "JTS Reaches Out to Suburbs Through Adult Study," a New Jersey Jewish News article about JTS's Institute for Jewish Learning and its inaugural program, Context

Unable to attend an event, but interested in what we're doing? You can still share in the inspiration, wisdom, and community of JTS. Listen to lectures, programs, performances, commentary, and more. Connect with your fellow alumni and friends of JTS—check out our Social Media Initiatives. And visit our online community calendar to find out about upcoming talks and events on and off campus.

Missed an edition of Happenings? You can visit www.jtsa.edu/News/Happenings.xml to browse the archive and get caught up. You can now receive JTS Torah commentary automatically, as soon as it's posted online, through RSS feeds such as Live Bookmarks or Google, by signing up at http://www.jtsa.edu/x15092.xml.

Back to top^


Admissions and Recruitment Highlights 

Once a month, the admissions offices let you know what's happening in the admissions and enrollment world at JTS. Keep up to date with JTS admissions—learn about upcoming events and important deadlines, and read profiles of the next generations of Jewish leaders, the students of JTS. Join our distribution list by clicking getadmissionshighlights@jtsa.edu and sending the blank email—you don't need to include any text or a subject.



Recent Activity:
Visit our home page at http://www.shefanetwork.org


"Shefa: The Conservative Movement Dreaming from Within" is a forum for
passionate Conservative Jews to reflect together as they increase creative
energy within within the culture and environment of the Conservative
Movement in an effort to bring a renewed and revitalized perspective to
Conservative Jews.

We belong to the Conservative Movement and commit ourselves to working
towards its revitalization. Be a part of this community of visionary
thinkers and builders. To join the conversation, email

Visit our home page at http://www.shefanetwork.org

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.