The dozens of men at the mid-December breakfast gathering — all of them in their 70s, 80s or older — laughed and applauded, reveling in their alter-kackiness.
Over the last few years, I have spent considerable time on the inside of what is called the “innovation sector” in Jewish life, even spending two terrific and unexpected years as a professor of Jewish communal innovation at Brandeis University. Most recently, the new organization that I am leading, the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, was named in its first year of existence to the prestigious Slingshot list, which catalogs and profiles the most innovative organizations working in the Jewish community.
Frederick M. Lawrence, the new president of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., came to Los Angeles and environs in early February for a dozen meetings with donors, alumni, prospective students and more. With about 1,800 graduate and undergraduate alums in Southern California alone, Lawrence had good reason to see this as fertile ground for fundraising and Brandeis consciousness-raising. Plus, the newly anointed president has ties to the region — his wife, historian Kathy Lawrence née Kurtzman, who happily dons the name “first lady of Brandeis” — is from Beverly Hills, having grown up at Hillcrest Country Club and in a house that once was home to Betty Grable.
Officials at the University of California are talking with their counterparts at Hebrew University of Jerusalem about reopening the UC's study abroad program there for Fall 2009.
Purim is a time to dull our senses with drink and cloak our identity by dressing in costume. We do so in order to confront a troubling part of our history and the threats to Jewish life and continuity in the Diaspora.
A new study gives fairly concrete evidence that the American Jewish population could be more than 1 million people larger than believed -- but if so, it means efforts to engage them may have been less successful than the community realized.
Three in five adults report that their level of Jewish involvement has changed substantially over the course of their adult lives. Remarkably, their involvement is nearly as likely to have increased as to have declined.What's constant is change. American Jews continually adapt and reinvent their identities throughout their adult lives.