2011 Conference
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Scott Shay

Chai Mitzvah

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Scott Shay is the author of "Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry." He serves as a member of the Birthright Israel steering committee and as chair of the NY Community Study. He is past chair of the UJA's Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal and the Fund for Jewish Education. During the day he is Chairman of Signature Bank and a partner of Ranieri Partners.

Chai Mitzvah

The Next Big Thing for American Jews

Identity & Responsibility, Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality

Chai Mitzvah is pioneering the concept of bar/bat mitzvah renewal every 18 years, at around the ages of 31, 49, 67, and 80+. Last year, in Hartford, all 19 synagogues adopted the initiative with wonderful results. About 15 new synagogues have joined in this year. As it turns out, the ages of Chai Mitzvah are important stages of our life journeys. Chai Mitzvah can infuse the questions we all face at these stages with Jewish meaning and perspective. Come to learn more.

Is It Rational to Believe in a Personal God?

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

Modernity casts into question the nature of God as has been traditionally described in Jewish thought. In this session we will discuss if it is possible to embrace all the secular world has to offer in terms of science and critical thinking and to still remain a believing Jew. Many Jews simply live in two different worlds and do not try to reconcile them. We will attempt to do so in our time alloted. Come with an open mind.

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