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Conservative Judaism: The Next Generation

While the title is a bit too Star Treky for me, it will most likely be an interesting evening:


Three influential leaders and thinkers of Conservative Judaism will probe the changes required if Conservative Judaism is to speak confidently and authentically to a new generation in a new century. The program, “Conservative Judaism: The Next Generation,” The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Henry N. Rapaport Memorial Lecture, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Panelists will include New York City rabbis Elliot J. Cosgrove, senior rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue; Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Congregation Ansche Chesed; and Joanna Samuels, former rabbi of Congregation Habonim. JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen will moderate.

The discussion will focus on the future direction of Conservative Judaism and address such questions as: should Conservative Judaism be thought of as a set of beliefs and practices or is Conservative Judaism more akin to a conversation, a language and grammar for thinking and living Jewishly in our time?

Rabbi Cosgrove began his term as senior rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue in July 2008. Previously, he served as rabbi of Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Rabbi Cosgrove, ordained by JTS in 1999, earned a PhD from the University of Chicago in the History of Judaism.

Rabbi Kalmanofsky is rabbi of Congregation Ansche Chesed. Before assuming that pulpit in 2001, he served as assistant dean of The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He was ordained by JTS in 1997, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

Rabbi Samuels served from 2002 to 2008 at Congregation Habonim, where her leadership was instrumental in revitalizing the synagogue. Rabbi Samuels, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, was ordained by JTS in 2002. She is currently working on a book about gender and the contemporary rabbinate.

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

Admission is free but reservations and valid photo identification are required. Attendees are asked to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the program. For more information and to register, please email or call the JTS Department of Public Events at (212) 280-6093.

5 Responses to “Conservative Judaism: The Next Generation”

  1. 1

    I am totally on the outside here, but isn’t it funny that all three rabbis are based in NYC. It’s a wide wide country out there, and we New York intellectuals live in an incredible bubble.

  2. 2
    MIchael P.:

    You have a point, but at least in the cases of Elliot Cosgrove and Jeremy Kalmanofsky, I know that they have both spent substantial time outside of NYC and are not born and bred New Yorkers. With the budgetary problems at JTS, flying someone in from out of NYC might have also been in issue.

  3. 3

    I think ssecunda has a point. As a modern orthodox person who lives “out of town” (but am a New Yorker born and bred who still views NYC as “in town”), we’re constantly amazed at the craziness that certain folks in NY seem to be engaged in. Stuff that would never fly even in large out of town communities that, since we are smaller than NY, tend to be a little more heterogeneous. The NY Jewish community, because of its size, tends to view the world like the old New Yorker community, except it would be NY, Israel, and the rest is flyover.

  4. 4

    Sorry, that last line should read “New Yorker cartoon.” Need more caffeine before posting.

  5. 5

    The conservative movement after more than one hundred years still cannot get its act together.Keeps shooting it self in the foot and does not produce gedolim. The serious go orthodox and the left goes reform.




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