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“Boundaries and Opportunities — Reimagining Centrist American Judaism in the 21st Century”

Please join us for an important conversation, moderated by Dan Cedarbaum:

“Boundaries and Opportunities — Reimagining Centrist American Judaism in the 21st Century”

With speakers Rabbi Annie Tucker and Professor Roberta Rosenthal Kwall

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

At Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation
4500 Dempster Street, Skokie, IL 60076

Solomon Schechter, we hope, will be with us in spirit.

In the fall of 2001, the journal Conservative Judaism devoted much space to discussing the question, “Will the Center Hold?”. With controversies swirling around intermarriage, patrilineal descent, and other issues, we return to that question on August 30. What can we do to help to assure that, outside of Orthodoxy, communities that embody a vibrant, authentic Judaism will be available to our grandchildren, and to their grandchildren? Our two speakers bring important, and different, perspectives to bear on these vital matters.

Professor Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. Kwall is an internationally renowned scholar and lecturer and has published over 30 articles on a wide variety of topics including Jewish law and culture, authorship rights, and intellectual property. She is the author of two books, The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2015) and The Soul of Creativity (Stanford University Press, 2010). Currently she is working on a book for a popular audience about transmitting Jewish tradition in a diverse world. Kwall’s article “Saving Conservative Judaism,” which appeared in the March 15, 2017 issue of Commentary magazine (https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/saving-conservative-judaism), has received much attention.

Kwall earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and received her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from Brown University. She also has a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Annie Tucker is the Rabbi of Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah (“BHCBE”), a Conservative synagogue in Wilmette (http://bhcbe.org). Before coming to BHCBE in 2013, Tucker was the Associate Rabbi of The Jewish Center, a Conservative synagogue in Princeton, New Jersey. While there, she earned an “Ateret Kavod” award for innovation and creating dynamic programming, such as an annual confirmation class service program in New Orleans and women’s trips to Israel, Jewish Spain, and Eastern Europe. At BHCBE, Tucker has introduced new opportunities for adult learning, like the popular “Scientists in Synagogues” series, developed initiatives to engage children and families, such as “Ice-cream Office Hours,” and continued to work closely with BHCBE’s Cantor to energize worship with offerings like monthly “Shabbat MiBalev” musical services. She has deepened the community’s commitment to both Disability and LGBTQ inclusion and created a Young Professionals Group for those in their 20’s and 30’s. Tucker serves as President of the Community Mikvah of the Conservative Movement and is a past Vice President of the Chicago Rabbinical Assembly.

Tucker graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Psychology and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, she received a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2001, continuing on in the Seminary’s rabbinical program where she was ordained in 2006 with a concentration in pastoral counseling. At graduation, Tucker received the Bernard & Sydell Citron Scholastic Prize awarded to the outstanding graduating student of the Rabbinical School. She also was granted the Lamport Prize in Homiletics.

Dan Cedarbaum (moderator) is the Executive Director of The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood. See https://kaplancenter.org.