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From People to Purpose: The New Ethos of Innovative Jewish Leaders

Jewish leaders under age 40 have created new minyanim (prayer groups), social justice activities, cultural endeavors, text-learning, and Web 2.0 innovation. In doing so, they have shifted the focus of their Jewish identity from the organizations that traditionally brought Jews together. Instead they find focus in purpose, emphasizing spirituality, cultural engagement, autonomous growth, new connections, and the transcendence of traditional boundaries.

Steven M. Cohen is a leading a sociologist of American Jewry. He splits his time between Israel and New York, where he is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University. He is author of The Jew Within (with Arnold Eisen) and Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences (with Charles Liebman). He will share his current research on patterns of Jewish engagement among American Jews under age 40.


Recorded Monday, March 08, 2010 at Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

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