Rabbi David Ellenson's "Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice: Studies in Tradition and Modernity"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


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. 

Read an excerpt >

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu