Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., Chancellor, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, an internationally recognized scholar, shares twenty-three of his most representative essays in "Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice: Studies in Tradition and Modernity" (Jewish Publication Society, 2014). Drawing on three decades of scholarship and demonstrating the consistency of the intellectual-religious interests that have animated him throughout his lifetime, these essays center on a description and examination of the complex push and pull between Jewish tradition and Western culture.
Dr. Ellenson addresses gender equality, women’s rights, conversion, issues relating to who is a Jew, the future of the rabbinate, Jewish day schools, and other emerging trends in American Jewish life. As an outspoken advocate for a strong Israel that is faithful to the democratic and Jewish values that informed its founders, he also writes about religious tolerance and pluralism in the Jewish state.
Renowned for his publications and research in the areas of Jewish religious thought, ethics, and modern Jewish history, Rabbi Ellenson’s twelve years as President of HUC-JIR have been distinguished by his devotion to sustaining HUC-JIR’s academic excellence and ensuring its financial sustainability. Dr. Ellenson is widely respected for his vision of advancing Jewish unity and of preparing leadership for a contemporary Judaism that balances tradition with the demands of a changing world.