Dr. Arnold M. Eisen will speak on “Imagining a Vibrant Future for American Judaism.” Dr. Eisen - one of the world's leading experts on American Judaism and the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary – will discuss and debunk the recent forecasts of gloom and doom when it comes to the future of non-Orthodox Judaism in America, a future that — so it is said — mirrors the decline of mainstream Christian groups and the triumph of the "nones": individuals who turn away from any kind of religious belief or community. He will explain why he thinks the forecasts of Jewish decline are wrong, and how religious institutions of all sorts can thrive in coming decades.
Arnold Eisen was appointed Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007, having previously served for more than twenty years as Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion at Stanford University. He has also taught at Tel Aviv University and Columbia University. Dr. Eisen is the author of four books: The Jew Within: Self, Family and Community in America (with Steven M. Cohen); Rethinking Modern Judaism: Ritual, Commandment, Community (which won Koret National Jewish Book Award); Galut: Modern Jewish Reflection on Homelessness and Homecoming; and The Chosen People in America: A Study in Jewish Religious Ideology. He has served on the governing boards of the Association for Jewish Studies, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Covenant Foundation, Tannenbaum Center, and several other organizations. He is a lifelong and devoted member of the Conservative Movement.
Sponsor: Jewish Studies Program at SMU; Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, SMU