The Young and Restless: Where are Young American Jews?
May 24, 2012
The young, restless and indifferent, committed, alienated and autonomous: where are young American Jews? How do they think about Israel, about the organized Jewish community, about their own identities as Jews? How, if at all, do we successfully transmit to new generations the passion for Jewish life and for Israel that characterized their parents and grandparents—or has too much already changed?
Peter Beinart (pictured) is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York, Senior Political Writer for The Daily Beast, and a contributor to Time. Beinart has also written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on many network and cable news and general interest programs, including Meet the Press, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, The McLaughlin Group and The Colbert Report.
John Ruskay joined the United Jewish Appeal –Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York in 1993 and has served as its Executive Vice President and CEO since 1999. He was Educational Director of the 92nd Street Y from 1980 to 1985 and Vice Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary from 1965 to 1993.
Rabbi Margie Klein is one of America's leading young Jewish voices. The rabbi of Congregation Sha'arei Shalom in Ashland, MA, she is the founder of Moishe/Kavod House in Brookline, a community of 600 young adults dedicated to social justice, and is currently working with other Jewish social justice groups to create a national network of Kavod Houses. Prior to rabbinical school, she founded and led Project Democracy, a youth voting organization that has mobilized more than 97,000 college students. A graduate of Yale University and Hebrew College, Klein is the co-editor of Righteous Indignation, a Jewish Call for Justice (Jewish Lights).
Avi Weiss, a Modern Orthodox rabbi, heads the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale , a congregation of 850 families. Ranked by Newsweek as among the 15 most prominent rabbis in the US, he is Founder and Dean of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the “open Orthodox” yeshiva. Weiss was an early leader of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and is a leading advocate for equality of Jewish women.
Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations is conceived and produced in collaboration with Leonard Fein who will moderate this forum. The founding editor of Moment Magazine and Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Fein’s 900+ essays, articles and columns have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Nation and The Jewish Daily Forward.