Thursday, November 16, 2006

Conservative Movement Leaders Making News

The Forward newspaper's Forward 50 for 2006 is out. Writing to Ravnet, the e-mail listserv for Conservative rabbis, I noted earlier this week that "OVER 10% of the people in the Forward 50 are Conservative rabbis or leaders. Making the list this year are Rabbis Elliot Dorff (religion), Sharon Brous (religion), Jill Jacobs (ideas & activism), Jennie Rosenn (philanthropy), and Irwin Kula (religion). Also, on the list is honorary RA member Elie Weisel. And the first name listed overall is new Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Arnie Eisen. This should give us something to be proud of in our movement."

Apparently, the Seminary noticed this as well, albeit a few days later. Below is the press release they sent out. After reading this press release I realized that I erroneously noted Rabbi Jennie Rosenn was a member of the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly. She is not, but her husband Rabbi David Rosenn (head of Avodah) is. However, I did get Rabbi Kula's first name correct -- it is Irwin and not Irving!

From the Jewish Theological Seminary

JTS and the American Jewish Community
Arnold M. Eisen
Chancellor-elect Arnold M. Eisen
The Jewish Theological Seminary's far-reaching impact on the American Jewish community was highlighted this week, underscoring its role as an institution making a positive difference in the lives of Jews across the country.
JTS was well-represented in the Forward 50, the newspaper's annual compilation of the most influential Jews in the country. According to the paper, the Forward 50 is a "journalistic effort to record some of the key trends and events in American Jewish life in the year just ended, and to illuminate some of the individuals likely to shape the news in the year ahead."
Heading the list under Top Picks is Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor-elect of The Jewish Theological Seminary, whom the Forward called a "bold" choice to lead JTS. In the Ideas and Activism category, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, a 2003 graduate of The Rabbinical School, was cited for her advocacy on behalf of workers' rights. Three of the nine individuals highlighted in the Religion section are graduates of The Rabbinical School. Rabbi Sharon Brous was recognized for her leadership of IKAR, a highly successful, somewhat unconventional religious community in Los Angeles. Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Vice Chair of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and Rector at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, was described as one of the most "unifying and listened-to theological voices in a movement that's spent a generation searching for its theological center." And finally, Rabbi Irving Kula, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, was lauded for his work in "bringing Judaism into the American public square." To read more about these forward thinkers, as well as other Forward 50 honorees, visit the website.

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