Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove’s Opinion piece, “Former Soviet Union Illuminates New Jewish World” (Oct. 14), pointedly concludes that in the “post-assimilationist” 21st century, capturing the minds, hearts and souls of Jews around the world, whether in the former Soviet Union, Israel or the United States, requires compelling, inspirational models of Jewish engagement rather than leaning on past affiliations or generational attachments that may no longer be accessible or relevant for contemporary Jews.
Yale’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life is pursuing this endeavor head-on with an intense focus on providing programming and experiences meant to inspire and deepen Jewish engagement for a community fully reflecting the contemporary global spectrum of backgrounds in Jewish education and levels of observance. Recently, Slifka has launched Eli’s Mishpacha – Yale’s Jewish Alumni Group, to ensure this focus extends beyond campus as well.
To further explore this critical challenge at Yale and in America and to consider prescriptive steps forward, Eli’s Mishpacha is bringing together five leading voices on Jewish engagement — Peter Beinart (class of ‘93), Rebecca Neuwirth (class of ‘95), Jonathan Sarna (PhD class of ‘79), Yale professor Eliyahu Stern and panel moderator Abigail Pogrebin (class of ‘87) — for a Nov. 3 panel discussion, “Building the American Jewish Future – Religion, Israel and Identity.” The event is being hosted by Central Synagogue and is open to the community (RSVP to email@example.com).
Ultimately, the task ahead is to seize the enormous 21st-century opportunity to reap Judaism’s infinite capacity to inspire every single Jew and our world beyond.
Eli’s Mishpacha -Yale’s Jewish Alumni Group Manhattan