10 episodes

Both/And: 250 Years of Conservative Judaism in 80 Minutes, with Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen.
In an adaptation of his semester-long class for JTS students, Chancellor Arnie Eisen teaches us how Conservative Judaism became what it is today.

Both/And JTS

    • Religion & Spirituality

Both/And: 250 Years of Conservative Judaism in 80 Minutes, with Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen.
In an adaptation of his semester-long class for JTS students, Chancellor Arnie Eisen teaches us how Conservative Judaism became what it is today.

    Introducing The Evolution of Torah: a history of rabbinic literature

    Introducing The Evolution of Torah: a history of rabbinic literature

    Episode 1: Who Were the Rabbis?

    What led to the emergence of the group of scholars and teachers we call the Rabbis? What motivated them and what did they value? The Rabbis looked to their forebear, Hillel, as an exemplar of religious leadership, and in this episode, we’ll look at three stories they told about Hillel to see what we can learn about the Rabbis’ self-conception.

    Subscribe now:
    Apple podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-evolution-of-torah-a-history-of-rabbinic-literature/id1488
    RSS: http://www.spreaker.com/show/4136441/episodes/feed

    Credits:
    Produced by Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Cover art: Rabbi Tim Bernard
    Theme music: Stock media provided by u19_studios / Pond5

    • 13 min
    Introducing What Now? A JTS Podcast

    Introducing What Now? A JTS Podcast

    In this opening episode of JTS’s new podcast, What Now?, host Sara Beth Berman tells her story and speaks with Professor Alan Mittleman. Dr. Mittleman shares his own experiences with loss, framing tragedies as taking place in a world that is nevertheless good and that gives us reason for hope. We also learn why giving Professor Mittleman advice is never a good idea.

    Subscribe now:
    RSS: https://www.spreaker.com/show/3550593/episodes/feed
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-now-a-jts-podcast/id1465791989

    Cover art: Aura Lewis
    Theme music: “Jat Poure”by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
    Funding: The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious & Social Studies at JTS.

    Contact us at onlinelearning@jtsa.edu, and find other JTS podcasts at www.jtsa.edu/podcasts.

    • 29 min
    8: Looking to the future

    8: Looking to the future

    Neil Gillman, professor of philosophy at JTS, made it his mission to encourage generations of JTS students, as well as countless members of the Jewish public, to develop their own theologies, rather than relying exclusively on the giants of the past such as those who have been discussed in this podcast. Chancellor Eisen lays out his own approach, grounded in the ongoing covenant with God that enables us to continue the authoritative Jewish conversation in our generation.

    Further reading
    Neil Gillman, Sacred Fragments
    Arnold Eisen, Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow (www.jtsa.edu/today)

    • 12 min
    7: Hearing women’s voices and moving “from path to pathlessness”

    7: Hearing women’s voices and moving “from path to pathlessness”

    Jewish feminism has been a major influence on Conservative Judaism since the 1970s. Judith Hauptman, professor emerita at JTS, has brought her deep knowledge of rabbinic literature to developing new positions on women’s halakhic obligations. Mara Benjamin is soon to publish a book that uses her own experience of motherhood as a lens on Jewish ethics. A further example of innovating out of a thorough understanding of the tradition comes from Arthur Green, who syntheses Kaplan and Heschel into a naturalist mystical theology.

    Further reading
    Hauptman: “Women and Prayer: An Attempt to Dispel Some Fallacies,” (JUDAISM, Winter 1993) https://ohelayalah.org/wp-content/uploads/article.pdf
    Mara Benjamin, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (2018)
    Arthur Green, “Rethinking Theology,” Radical Judaism, 1-15

    • 11 min
    6: Finding God through the “leap of action”

    6: Finding God through the “leap of action”

    Both Mordecai Kaplan, the rationalist, and Abraham Joshua Heschel, the mystic, believed that Judaism compels us to make the world a better place. Kaplan was committed to the ethical practice adopted by the Jewish People throughout our history, while Heschel’s social activism was motivated by a prophetic imperative: transforming God’s will into action. Louis Finkelstein, the influential Chancellor of JTS, also stressed the importance of action, recognizing the unique role of the Jewish community in his time and place.

    Further reading
    Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man, 3-4, 167, 184-199
    Louis Finkelstein, “Tradition in the Making,” “The Things that Unite Us,” in Waxman, Tradition and Change, 187-197, 313-324

    • 11 min
    5: American Judaism in the mid-20th Century

    5: American Judaism in the mid-20th Century

    In identifying the aspects of Judaism that he considered compelling for modern American Jews, Mordecai Kaplan focused on the human part of Judaism: community and folkways, rather than commandments and spirituality. In contrast, JTS professor Abraham Joshua Heschel sought to reawaken American Jewry to the power of mystery and the imperative to respond to God’s presence in the world.

    Further reading:
    Mordecai M. Kaplan, Judaism as a Civilization, (3-15, 173-208, 431-435);
    The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion, Chapter 1
    Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man, 3-4, 167, 184-199

    • 10 min

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