2011 Conference
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Abigail Pogrebin

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Abigail Pogrebin, former producer for Mike Wallace at 60 Minutes, is the author of "Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish" and "One and the Same," both published by Doubleday. She has written for numerous publications including New York Magazine, Harper's Bazaar and the Forward, and moderates an interview series at Manhattan's JCC called "What Everyone's Talking About."

Too Many Bored Jews in Synagogue

Admitting the Detachment and Enlivening Services

Identity & Responsibility, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

It's taboo to admit it when we don't feel anything in synagogue services—some of us end up looking at our watches or taking naps. Last year, I watched my son's entire 7th grade class dutifully attend each other's services, only to get progressively turned off at each one. I wanted to shake the clergy, "You just missed such an opportunity to captivate—or at least intrigue—the next generation." In this session, I'll explore ways to invigorate worship for the less pious.

How To Successfully Promote a Jewish Book

The Nuts and Bolts of Publicity in the Jewish World

Arts & Performance, How-To

I had no idea of the power, reach and impact of specifically Jewish book events and readers until I spent two years on the Jewish book circuit for "Stars of David." The fact that my first book had a healthy life can be credited entirely to its Jewish audience, and the experience taught me many lessons I am happy to share—about media pitches, connections, speeches, strategies, and pitfalls.

Why Do Famous People Drop Judaism?

Why Celebrity Seems Incompatible with Observance

Global Culture & History, Identity & Responsibility

When I had revealing conversations with 62 well-known American Jews for my book, "Stars of David" (including Dustin Hoffman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Natalie Portman, Beverly Sills, and Larry King among others), I was struck by how many of these celebrities had abandoned the rituals with which they were raised. I want to explore how being a public figure can result in a watering down (or jettisoning) of Jewish identity and whether Jews should care.

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