What Does It Mean To Belong in a Jewish Community?

February 27, 2023 Boston Free
(Photo: selimaksan/iStock)
(Photo: selimaksan/iStock)

What does it mean to truly belong in a Jewish community? How does the current discourse around identity politics challenge our conception of Jewish peoplehood? What are the divergent historical strategies within the American Jewish community to advocate for Jewish interests? How do these different strategies relate to debates today both within the American Jewish community, and between Israel and American Jewry? Join us as we explore these questions together, led in conversation by Dr. Mijal Bitton and Rabbi Elaine Zecher. All are welcome.

Dr. Mijal Bitton is Scholar in Residence at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Mijal is a teacher, writer, and leading thinker on questions relating to Jewish American identity, pluralism, gender equity and sociological diversity. She is co-founder and Rosh Kehilla (communal leader) of the Downtown Minyan in New York City. Mijal received a BA from Yeshiva University and earned her doctorate from New York University, where she conducted an ethnographic study of a Syrian Jewish community with a focus on developing the field of contemporary Sephardic studies in America.  She is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.

Rabbi Elaine Zecher is senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, leading the largest congregation in New England. Rabbi Zecher speaks passionately about social justice; she is a tireless worker in interfaith partnerships, and an advocate for progressive legislation and policy. Committed to developing creative liturgy and prayer, she was instrumental in developing new prayer books for Shabbat and weekdays, as well as the Machzor, which is used on the High Holy Days. Active in the national Reform Jewish movement, she served as Vice President for Leadership of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Rabbi Zecher is a graduate of Brandeis University and she was ordained from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1988.

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Fact Sheet
Monday, February 27, 2023, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Temple Israel
477 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02215

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