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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

RESCHEDULED---Three Rabbis: Keeping the Faith

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 6:00pm

Three Rabbis


Carolina Room, Capstone Conference Center


A panel discussion led by Columbia’s Jewish congregational leaders, rabbi Jonathan Case, rabbi Hesh Epstein, and rabbi Daniel Sherman. This discussion will address the growing trend of young Jews disassociating from our traditions, synagogues, and chuppahs.

For generations the synagogue has served as the epicenter of every Jewish community, big or small. It has served as the place where Jews congregate to not only pray and celebrate Jewish traditions, but to also educate their children and engage in communal activities. For many Jews, joining and attending a synagogue has been the primary means by which they establish and maintain their Jewish identity. However, in recent years, synagogues across the country have faced numerous obstacles in their efforts to maintain membership and attract younger Jews. This is due, in part, to the reality that younger Jews are increasingly disidentifying from Judaism altogether. A recent Pew Research Center study found that only 68% of Millennials (those born after 1980) identify as Jews by religion. The 32% of young Jews who don’t identify with Jews by religion are less likely to associate with other Jewish organizations, support Jewish causes, and significantly less likely to raise their children Jewish. This trend is alarming, and Jewish communities everywhere are asking what, if anything, can be done to reverse it. What can be done to reengage younger Jews? How can synagogues get younger Jews to stay connected to their Jewish identity? Are synagogues still relevant in the 21st Century?

Please join us for an evening of debate and dialogue as we invite three rabbis from our community, each representing a different movement within Judaism, to address these and other questions posed by the recent Pew Research Center study.


Sponsored by YAD, Hillel, and the Jewish Studies Program

Link to photos of panel discussion:

PDF icon Rescheduled event details: Tuesday, Feb 25, 6pm