"Numbers don't keep me up at night; Israel keeps me up at night," Eisen said. "I'm worried about the security of Israel, and I'm worried about the apparent decline in attachment on the part of American Jews to Israel. This literally, from time to time, keeps me up at night."
Local reaction was positive -- with an element of wait and see -- to the choice of Stanford professor Arnold Eisen as the new, de facto leader of the Conservative moment. Eisen, who isn't a rabbi, will take over this summer as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) announced this month that Eisen, 54, the chair of Stanford University's religious studies program, would become just the second nonrabbi to serve as the New York City seminary's chancellor and the first since 1940. He succeeds Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, who held the post for two decades.
With Conservative Judaism at a crossroads, the movement's flagship institution has chosen a scholar of American Jewry to guide it. The new leader of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), announced this week, is Arnold Eisen, a Jewish studies professor and chairman of Stanford University's religious studies department.