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October 24, 2014 | 30th Tishrei 5775

Reform Jewish Think Tank to Address Challenges to Religious Institutions


Contact: Annette Powers URJ
212-650-4154 apowers@urj.org
Jeanie Rosensaft HUC-JIR
212-824-2209 jrosensaft@huc.edu

October 14, 2010 -- The future of the North American Jewish community is being shaped by divergent forces unlike those we have confronted in the past. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) are convening a Think Tank to provide creative leadership in addressing these trends and are asking for input from the public. Feedback will be used to direct the Think Tank's discussions and will help identify core issues, trends and challenges to the Reform Jewish community. This work will result in a shared understanding about future possibilities and directions for the Reform Movement. Think Tank discussions will include topics such as:

  • Communal: How does technology change the nature of community building and affiliation?
  • Financial: The nature of community in an era of "free" and financial uncertainty.
  • Post-Denominationalism: What does it mean to be a denomination/movement in a culture that is inherently anti-institutional?

Congregations and individuals are invited to participate in several public forums that will impact the work of the Think Tank and the future of Reform Judaism. Organizers will be soliciting feedback from all participants at the conclusion of the forum and will be sharing this feedback with the Think Tank.

The first forum, Nov. 21, 2010 at 7:00 - 8:30 PM ET (4:00 - 5:30 PM PT). will take place at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, CA and will be streamed live over the Internet. The Nov. 21 forum will feature an address by Dr. Diane Winston, the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, who will discuss the intersection of religion and media. Other participants will include Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR; Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Shawn Landres, co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a think tank in L.A; Phil Liff-Grieff, Associate Executive Director of Bureau of Jewish Education. Future Think Tank public forums are being planned for:

  • April 10-11, 2011 at HUC in Cincinnati
  • December 14-16 at the URJ Biennial in Maryland
  • March 18-21 at the CCAR Convention in Boston

Please visit www.urj.org/thinktank for more information.

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