Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future

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Jewish Lights Publishing
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6.1 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.15 pounds
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About the Author
Rabbi Sidney Schwarz is a social entrepreneur, an author and a political activist. He founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for twenty-one years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, where he continues to teach and lead services. Currently, he serves as a senior fellow at Clal--The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he is involved in a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders. He is the author of Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future; Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World.Rabbi Sidney Schwarz is available to speak on the following topics: Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish FutureTribal vs. Covenantal Identity: Jews and the American Public SquareFinding a Spiritual Home: Redefining the Religious EnterpriseReaching the Jewish Community of the 21st Century: Educating for Jewish CitizenshipBetween Conscience and SolidarityCan Social Justice Save the Jewish Soul?

Elise Bernhardt, has been president and CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Culture (formerly the National Foundation for Jewish Culture) since 2006. Before that, Bernhardt was the artistic advisor of New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival and executive director of The Kitchen, the performance space in Manhattan, from 1998 to 2004. She founded the organization Dancing in the Streets, which produces performances in public spaces, and directed it from 1983 to 1998. She received the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture, the BAX 10 Award, and the Doris C. Freedman Award for enriching the public environment.

Rabbi Sharon Brous is the founding rabbi of IKAR (, a spiritual community dedicated to reanimating Jewish life through soulful religious practice that is rooted in a deep commitment to social justice. She has been noted as one of the leading rabbis in the country in Newsweek/Daily Beast and has been listed among the Forward's fifty most influential American Jews numerous times. She serves on the faculty of the Wexner Heritage Program, the Shalom Hartman Institute, and Reboot and sits on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights.

Sanford R. ("Sandy") Cardin is president of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network (CLSPN), a global effort to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create change for themselves, in the Jewish community, and across the broader world. Cardin is a frequent presenter and panelist in global forums on topics related to catalytic grant making, innovative program building, Jewish identity, young adult engagement, Israel, and more.

Dr. Barry Chazan is professor emeritus of the Hebrew University, founding educational director of Birthright Israel, and professor of education and director of the Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies Program at Spertus College in Chicago. He is married to Anne Lanski.

Dr. David Ellenson is president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Dr. Ellenson was ordained as a rabbi at HUC JIR and received his PhD from Columbia University. His book After Emancipation: Jewish Religious Responses to Modernity won the National Jewish Book Award. His most recent book, Pledges of Jewish Allegiance: Conversion, Law, and Policymaking in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Orthodox Responsa, was coauthored with Daniel Gordis.

Wayne Firestone is the president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He is a lawyer, writer, and Jewish community professional who has lived and studied in Israel for almost a decade. He is the founding executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition and serves on the advisory boards of Repair the World, Mazon, and the National Urban Debate League.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is executive director of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. . Widely acknowledged as one of the leading voices in Jewish social justice, Rabbi Jacobs is also the author of There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition and Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community (both Jewish Lights). She has been voted to the Forward newspaper's list of fifty influential Jews, to Newsweek's list of the fifty most influential rabbis in America and to the Jewish Week's list of "thirty-six under thirty-six."

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Social Justice in Judaism: Historical, Textual and Political Roots, and Their Meaning for Jews Today
  • Synagogue Social Justice That Works
  • In the Image: A Jewish Take on Human Rights
  • Torah in the Workplace: Ethical Business Practices for the Synagogue, School, Home and Business
  • A Jewish Approach to Combating Human Trafficking
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Anne Lanski is the executive director of the iCenter, a national organization established by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation to build and support the field of precollegiate Israel education. Lanski was founder of Shorashim, a nationally acclaimed Israel experience program, and she is widely regarded as the pioneering figure in the formulation and implementation of the mifgash as a seminal context for experiencing Israel. She is married to Dr. Barry Chazan.

Rabbi Joy Levitt is the executive director at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Prior to coming to the JCC, she served as a congregational rabbi on Long Island and in New Jersey for twenty years. She is the coeditor of A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah. Most recently, Rabbi Levitt founded the Jewish Journey Project, a new initiative designed to revolutionize Jewish education for children.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. On a Rhodes Scholarship, he completed an MPhil in medieval Arabic thought from Oxford University and did doctoral work at Oxford on Islamic fundamentalist attitudes toward Jews. He was ordained by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Yeshivas Brisk, and Yeshiva University. He is the incoming president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, succeeding Rabbi Avi Weiss.

Rabbi Or N. Rose is an associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is the coauthor of God in All Moments: Mystical and Practical Spiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters and coeditor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice; Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (all Jewish Lights).

Nigel Savage, originally from Manchester, England, founded Hazon in 2000. Since then Hazon has grown to be a nationally significant organization, both renewing Jewish life in profound ways and working to create a healthier and more sustainable world for all. Before founding Hazon, Savage was a professional fund manager in London. He has a master's degree in history from Georgetown University and has learned at Pardes, Yakar, and Hebrew University. Savage is infamous in the United Kingdom for his cameo appearance in the cult Anglo-Jewish comic movie Leon the Pig Farmer. He is also believed to be the first English Jew to have cycled across South Dakota on a recumbent bike.

Barry Shrage has served as president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston since 1987 and has worked in the Jewish community since graduating from the Boston University School of Social Work in 1970. His passion for Jewish education and strengthening Jewish identity has been at the heart of his work throughout his professional career.

Dr. Jonathan Woocher is chief ideas officer of JESNA and heads its Lippman Kanfer Institute: An Action-Oriented Think Tank for Innovation in Jewish Learning and Engagement. He served for twenty years as JESNA's president and chief executive officer before assuming his current position in 2007. Dr. Woocher is the author of Sacred Survival: The Civil Religion of American Jews and many articles on Jewish education, community, and religious life.

Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat has served in senior leadership posts in four U.S. administrations while also playing a leadership role in the Jewish community, most recently as the co-chairman of the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem. He is the author of Imperfect Justice and The Future of the Jews.

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