National Scholar March 2019 Report

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To our members and friends

On Sunday, February 10, we held a wonderful symposium on the need for our schools and communities to do more to promote ethical behavior as a basic Torah teaching. Our program featured Rabbi David Jaffe, a National Jewish Book Award Winner for his book, Changing the World from the Inside Out; Dr. Shira Weiss, author of several books on ethics; Rabbi Daniel Feldman, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University who has authored several books on ethics in halakhah; and myself. You may now view the symposium on YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjL_o2e4B68.

If you have not yet seen our symposium on Conversion from October 21, featuring Rabbi Marc Angel, Rabbi Yona Reiss, and myself, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG17aaahdPQ.

On Shabbat, February 22-23, I was the scholar-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania. This is part of our initiative to spread our core vision to university students across the country. It was a sensational Shabbat, as we discussed many of the core religious issues pertaining to the intersection of Jewish tradition and contemporary scholarship.

Looking ahead to upcoming educational programs:

On Sundays: March 3, March 31, April 7, 7-8 pm: I will give one class on Purim (March 3), and two on Pesah (March 31, April 7), at the Young Israel of East Brunswick. 193 Dunhams Corner Rd, East Brunswick, NJ 08816. Free and open to the public.

On Mondays, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, and April 15, 1:00-2:15pm I will teach a six-part series on the Book of Psalms, integrating classical commentary and contemporary scholarship as we learn more about prayer and religious experience. It will be held at Lamdeinu Teaneck, at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck. To register, go to lamdeinu.org.

On Shabbat March 22-23, I will be the scholar-in-residence at the Boca Raton Synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida.

On Shabbat May 3-4, I will be the scholar-in-residence at Congregation Ohab Shalom in Manhattan.

I also am the guest editor for Conversations 34, which will feature a collection of Rabbi Marc D. Angel’s essays in celebration of his fifty years in the rabbinate. We also plan on holding several events in honor of this momentous occasion in the coming year.

As always, thank you for all of your support, and we will continue to spread our vision to educators, university students, and the broader Jewish community.