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Rabbis Without Borders Inaugural Meeting this Month

By Alison Cies

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Rabbis Without Borders, an initiative to make Jewish wisdom accessible to a wider audience by creating a network of interdenominational religious leaders, meets for the first time this month.

The program, started by the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) will host the principle investigator of the 2001 American Religious Identification survey, Professor Barry Kosmin.

Prof. Kosmin was a natural choice for the program’s first gathering—as RWB director, Rebecca W. Sirbu, explained to the Forward, his research is an ideal starting point for a discussion of the complexities and dimensions of American religious life.

As the Forward reported in mid-April, the ultimate goal of the program is to create a network of 300 rabbis in the next 10 years to update and broaden the rabbinic role.

Fellows will study with leading experts from a variety of fields, including Steve Waldman, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Beliefnet, and Bill Donahue, President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. They will also work with CLAL faculty to develop methodologies that draw on the texts and tradition in new ways.

Last month, the CLAL selected its first group of fellows for the program, who hail from a wide geographic, age, and gender distribution, as well as from various religious movements in Judaism. Over the course of the next year, the Rabbinic Fellows will gather six times in New York City to discuss recent trends in American Judaism. These gatherings will help the rabbis “meld tradition with trend,” Sirbu told the Forward.

Click “Read More” to view the list of the 22 Rabbinic Fellows after the jump.

Alana Suskin of Gaithersburg, MD
Amy Small of Summit, NJ
Carnie Rose of Creve Coeur, MO
Dan Ain of Brooklyn, NY
Darby Leigh of Englewood, NJ
Eliot Pearlson of Miami Beach, FL
Eric Solomon of Raleigh, NC
Geoffrey Mitelman of Chappaqua, NY
Helaine Ettinger of Millburn, NJ
Hillel Norry of Atlanta, GA
Jason Herman of New York, NY
Jason Miller of Farmington Hills, MI
Marcia Prager of Philadelphia, PA
Michael Balinsky of Chicago, IL
Nahum Ward-Lev of Santa Fe, NM
Phil Liberman of Englewood, NJ
Rachel Ain of Dewitt, NY
Rachel Gurevitz of Bridgeport, CT
Rachel Khan Troster of Teaneck, NJ
Ruth Abusch-Magder of CA
Tamara Miller of Washington, DC
Yonah Berman of Westmount, QC.


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