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Sunday, February 16 • 11:30am - 12:45pm
Panel Discussion: Spiritual Seeking in the Contemporary World--Why Judaism?

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In an age when choosing an identity is as simple as putting on a mask, how do we create an identity that is meaningful? "Why Judaism" addresses that and other questions. What is special that we offer and how exclusive is our offering, both for ourselves and for non-Jews? How are we different from Buddhism or other theologies? If part of our exclusivity is ethnicity, does this make our Jewish journey more special or more burdensome? Are mitzvot (commandments) personal enrichment or commanded by God?

avatar for Shai Held

Shai Held

Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought, Mechon Hadar
Shai Held, a leading Jewish theologian, scholar, and educator, is Co-Founder and Dean of Mechon Hadar. He is a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. Rabbi Held's first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was hailed as a "watershed" in our understanding of Heschel; his next book, The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, is due out this summer.

David Ingber

David Ingber is the founder and spiritual director of the Romemu community in NYC. He has been named one of the top 50 rabbis in America by Newsweek and was named one of the Forward 50 this year. David is a widely sought-after speaker and prayer leader who blends the depth of Jewish mysticism with the contemplative silence of alternative spiritual traditions to create a unique integration of East and West. He lives in Manhattan with his wife... Read More →

Asher Lopatin

Asher Lopatin is the President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, the leading modern and open Orthodox rabbinical school. He received his ordination from Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Yeshivas Brisk, and from Yeshiva University, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed a Masters of Philosophy in Medieval Arabic thought at Oxford University. He has written numerous scholarly and popular articles, and was... Read More →

Danya Ruttenberg

Danya Ruttenberg was ordained at the Ziegler School and wrote the Sami Rohr Prize-nominated "Surprised By God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion." She has also edited five anthologies, including "The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism." She was named by Newsweek as one of ten "Rabbis to Watch" and as one of the Jewish Week's "36 under 36." She currently serves as the Educational Consultant to the campus dialogue program Ask Big... Read More →

Sunday February 16, 2014 11:30am - 12:45pm
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