Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief

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Jewish Lights Publishing
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About the Author

Rabbi Carole B. Balin, PhD, is professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is currently working on an updated version of the 1984 edition of Liberal Judaism with Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz and Frances W. Schwartz.

Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, PhD, serves as congregational scholar at Congregation
Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York. He received his PhD in Jewish
history from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and was
ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi
Bronstein has taught in a variety of forums, from synagogues to the Association
for Jewish Studies, the Center for Jewish History, and The Jewish
Theological Seminary. His writing has been featured in popular and academic
publications, including The Forward, JEWCY, Central Conference of
American Rabbis Journal
, and Jews and American Popular Culture and The
Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History, and Culture.

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, is rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He received his masters of Hebrew letters from American Jewish University, studied at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem, and was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate in the history of Judaism from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum is interim rabbi serving alongside Rabbi
Gordon Tucker at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York. She is
the designated associate dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in
Jerusalem; former rabbi of congregation Magen Avraham Omer in the
Israeli Negev; former vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel;
serves on the boards of several organizations working to achieve religious
pluralism in Israel; and is a writer of contemporary Hebrew poetry and
thought. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two daughters.

Jeremy Gordon is rabbi of New London Synagogue, England. He blogs at

Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual
practices, and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in
Jerusalem. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago in
Jewish mysticism and has taught Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish
spiritual practices in a variety of settings in America and Israel.

Rabbi Naamah Kelman is dean of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute
of Religion in Jerusalem. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in
Israel for over three decades. She is active in feminist causes and a staunch
advocate of a Progressive, pluralistic, democratic Israel.

Michael Marmur is the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Provost of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Leon A. Morris is the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, New York.
He is the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning
at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. He has contributed essays to the
Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Sh'ma, Jewish Week and Beliefnet, and
has contributed a chapter entitled Beyond Autonomy in Platforms and
Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism.

Rabbi William Plevan is a graduate of the Rabbinical School of The Jewish
Theological Seminary and is currently a pursuing a doctorate in religion at
Princeton University, where he is writing his dissertation on Martin Buber's
philosophical anthropology. In addition to Jewish thought, his interests
include interfaith dialogue, ethics, and political theory.

Benjamin Sax, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Religion
and Culture and director of the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in
Judaic Studies at Virginia Tech. He received his MA from the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem and PhD from the University of Chicago.

Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD, is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages
at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as director
of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University
and as a visiting faculty member at Hebrew University and the Shalom Hartman
Institute. He is currently working on the Jewish Publication Society
commentary on the book of Psalms. His first book, A Prophet Reads Scripture:
Allusion in Isaiah 40-66
, was awarded the Salo Wittmayer Baron Prize
by the American Academy for Jewish Research. His second book, The Bodies
of God and the World of Ancient Israel
, received the Jeremy Schnitzer Prize
from the Association of Jewish Studies.

Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, PhD, is a rabbi and scholar who was ordained
at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a PhD in
Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the Shalom
Hartman Institute's director of lay leadership education and co-director of
its North American Scholars Circle. She is also a member of the faculty of
HUC-JIR, Jerusalem, and teaches in communities throughout North
America. She is co-author of two books, Striving Toward Virtue and Preparing
Your Heart for the High Holidays
, and author of many articles and rituals.
She lives outside Jerusalem with her husband, Rabbi Ofer Sabath
Beit-Halachmi, and their children, Tehillah and Yedidya.

Simon Cooper is a computer professional currently working in Silicon Valley. He has worked in different computer-related fields ranging from hardware through operating systems and device drivers to application software and systems support in both commercial and educational environments. He has an interest in the activities of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and USENIX, is a member of the British Computer Conservation Society, and is a founding member of the Computer Museum History Center. Simon has released a small number of his own open source programs and has contributed time and code to the XFree86 project. In his spare time, Simon likes to play ice hockey, solve puzzles of a mathematical nature, and tinker with Linux.

Rabbi Jonathan Crane, PhD, a former Wexner Graduate Fellow at Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is a visiting instructor at the
University of Toronto. His scholarship focuses on contemporary Jewish
thought, law, and ethics.

Eitan Fishbane, PhD, a frequent scholar-in-residence and guest speaker at congregations across North America, is assistant professor of Jewish thought at The Jewish Theological Seminary; author of As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford University Press); and co-editor of Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections (Jewish Lights).

Eitan Fishbane is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Shabbat
  • Prayer
  • Spirituality
  • God and Theology
  • Mysticism
  • Ethics
  • Torah

Rabbi Shai Held is cofounder, rosh ha-yeshiva, and chair in Jewish thought at
Mechon Hadar in New York City. He is completing a doctoral dissertation on the
religious thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel at Harvard University. He contributed
to Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and
Future of Jewish Belief
(both Jewish Lights).

Jeremy Kalmanofsky is rabbi of congregation Ansche Chesed in New York City.
He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His articles
have appeared in a variety of Jewish journals, as well as in Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in
Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish
(both Jewish Lights). He serves on the editorial board of Conservative Judaism,
and is a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the
Conservative movement.

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 Evan Moffic is a guide to Jewish wisdom for people of all faiths. A graduate of Stanford University, he is the spiritual leader of Congregation Solel on the North Shore of Chicago. He has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Forward, and Christianity Today, and he appears regularly as a religious commentator on Fox News and CNN. He is an active blogger/vlogger who has contributed to sites such as,, and Through his speaking events, he brings new understanding of the Jewish heritage to churches of varied denominations and beliefs. Moffic is the author of several books, including What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Jewishness of Jesus, What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover, First the Jews, and Shalom for the Heart.

Rabbi Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School of
The Jewish Theological Seminary and is the chairman and a senior lecturer
in its Department of Professional Skills. He serves on the executive council,
joint placement commission, and law committee of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Previously he served as senior rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue in
Farmington Hills, Michigan.

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).
Marc Shapiro holds the Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Brandeis and Harvard universities, he is also the author of Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy: The Life and Works of Rabbi Jehiel Jacob Weinberg, 1884-1966 (2002); The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides' Thirteen Principles Reappraised (); and Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History (), all published by the Littman Library.

Rabbi Eliyahu Stern is assistant professor of modern Jewish intellectual and
cultural history at Yale University. He is an American fellow of the Shalom
Hartman Institute and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University.
He is currently writing a book on Elijah of Vilna.

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL (, an inspiring speaker and educator, holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is vice president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the philosophy department, supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. He is also dean of Zecharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany, ordaining rabbis for the European Union. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is author of many articles and books, including God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, is available to speak on the following topics:

- Almighty? No Way! Loving the God You Actually Believe in

- What I Learned Ordaining and Installing Uganda's First African Rabbi (and Sailing up the Nile!)

- All God's Children: Sharing Life with My Autistic Son

- Embracing the World: Science and Religion

- Jewish Continuity: What's in It for Me?

David J. Wolpe is widely known for his acclaimed books: Teaching Your Children About God, In Speech and In Silence, and The Healer of Shattered Hearts. Ordained in 1987, he is Assistant to the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary.


"Demonstrates that there is not only a future to the Jewish theological enterprise in America but an exciting, fully realized, and challenging future. Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan would be thrilled. This book belongs on the shelf of every serious student of Jewish thought."
--Rabbi Neil Gillman, PhD, Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Emeritus Professor of Jewish Philosophy, The Jewish Theological Seminary; author, Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah and Israel in Modern Judaism

"The Jewish conversation about God has continued for thousands of years. The wonderful collection of new voices represented in [this book] enriches not only the conversation but also the reader who will discover how rich, varied, and meaningful that conversation can be."
--Rabbi Laura Geller, senior rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

"Intellectually and spiritually exhilarating. Indeed, it augurs well for the future of American Judaism."
--Paul Mendes-Flohr, PhD, professor of Jewish thought, University of Chicago Divinity School; professor emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem