BJPA & Jewish Community Events

Past Events

  • NewCAJE 6

    August 2, 2015 , University of Hartford (Hartford, CT)
    Email or call 857-288-8765

  • Who Will Lead Us? Training Tomorrow's Rabbis Today

    May 20, 2015 , 7:00 PM , Temple Emanuel Skirball Center, 1 E. 65th St, NYC
    The Jewish Week & Temple Emanuel Skirball Center  <<<>>>  Inspired by the recently published volume, Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation on Rabbinical Education, edited by Rabbi Hayim Herring, Ph.D. and Ellie Roscher.  <<<>>>  Rabbi Hayim Herring in conversation with: Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Senior Rabbi Temple Emanu-El; Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director of The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan; Dr. Erin Leib Smokler, Director of Spiritual Development at Yeshivat Maharat. 

  • Hagigah Ivrit: Celebration of the Hebrew Language in Metropolitan New York

    March 30, 2015 , New York, NY

    March 14-30

  • Contemporary Antisemitism and Jewish Education: What's to be Done?

    December 2, 2014 , Online

    Tuesday through Friday, December 2-5

    The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) and the Jewish Education project present Contemporary Antisemitism and Jewish Education: What’s to be Done? This unique online four-day event brings together an historian, a psychologist, two researchers, a rabbi and a Jewish educator from North America and the United Kingdom to make sense of contemporary antisemitism and consider how to have meaningful dialogue on it in the classroom.

  • BJPA Webinar: Finding and Designing the Best Questions for Your Survey Needs

    June 18, 2014 , 4:00 PM , (Eastern time)
    Prof. Steven M. Cohen


    --Formulating the right questions
    --Identifying previously used questions
    --Revising previously used questions: the upside potential, the downside risks
    --Attending to context and sequence

  • Alisa Rubin Kurshan on Jewish Peoplehood at NYU Wagner

    April 26, 2012 , 6:00 PM , Rudin Forum, NYU Wagner, 295 Lafayette St., 2nd Floor, 10012
    NYU Wagner/Skirball Dual Degree Program in Nonprofit Management & Judaic Studies

    The 6th Annual Hannah Engle z"l Memorial Lecture: Jewish Peoplehood in a Time of Personal Autonomy

    Speaker: Alisa Rubin Kurshan Senior VP for Strategic Planning & Organizational Resources, UJA-Federation of NY

    RSVP at

  • Dual Language Public Schools: Policy, Practice, & Implications for Research

    March 26, 2012 , 3:00 PM , NYU Wagner, Rudin Forum (295 Lafayette St, 2nd Floor, 10012)

    How do dual language public schools advance the cultural horizons of their students and work for a healthier society at large? These schools engage the interest and concerns of numerous stakeholders, among them: educators, parents, scholars, and ethnic/religious communities. Can they, do they and should they serve as vehicles for cultural preservation and identity transmission?

    Join a diverse group of scholars and practitioners as we discuss:

    --Major objectives of dual language public schools, both in terms of the student and the larger society.

    --The major objections to dual language public schools and impediments to their growth and success.

    --Creating a research agenda to advance the discourse on the dialectic above.

    RSVP at

  • NYU: The Forward's Jane Eisner on Salary & Gender in the Jewish Community

    February 2, 2012 , 6:30 PM , NYU King Juan Carlos Center, 53 Washington Square South, 2nd Floor Library, 10012

    Jane Eisner, editor of The Forward, will be coming to talk with Wagner/Skirball dual degree students and alumni and friends of the program about issues relating to salary and gender inequality in the Jewish professional field. Attendees are asked to read the following articles published by The Forward in December as preparation for the discussion:

    RSVP at:

    More about the dual degree program:

  • Jewish Values, Jewish Interests: Negotiating the Tension

    December 5, 2011 , 5:00 PM , NYU Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Sq South, Room 218

    How should Jews and Jewish leaders relate to the larger society and broader world? Prof. Ruth Wisse (Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Harvard University) and Rabbi Joy Levitt (Executive Director of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan) will discuss both real and putative tensions between expressing Jewish values and advancing Jewish interests. BJPA Director Prof. Steven M. Cohen will moderate.

    This event celebrates the complete digital collection of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service on, and honors JJCS Managing Editor Gail Chalew for her 20+ years of service. The event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America and the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner.

    Free and open to the public, but RSVP is required via

  • Fields of Engagement: Debating Key Questions of Research and Jewish Education

    September 19, 2011 , 5:00 PM , NYU Wagner, Rudin Forum

    Who and what is driving the Jewish education agenda? How has research in Jewish education contributed to the development of contemporary Jewish life? How can research connect to new ideas and new technologies? Dr. Lisa Grant and Dr. Alex Pomson will address these and other questions at this symposium celebrating the publication of the International Handbook of Jewish Education. Prof. Steven M. Cohen of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner will moderate. Light refreshments will be served. Click here to RSVP.

  • Ukeles Associates, Inc. 25th Anniversary Forum and Celebration

    September 14, 2011 , 1:30 PM , NYU Wagner

    This forum explores the frontiers of Jewish policy research and celebrates the 25th anniversary of Ukeles Associates.

    By invitation only.

  • The Palestinians and the American Jewish Community: A Challenging Relationship

    March 2, 2011 , 12:15 PM , Via live streaming on
    PLO Representative to the United States Maen Areikat

    The Ambassador will engage with a diverse representation of people highly involved in Jewish communal life or in the academic study of Israel and the Middle East. Clearly, questions pertaining to the American Jewish relationship with Israel are high on the American Jewish communal policy agenda and the Ambassador will address one component of this relationship. This event, in line with the missions of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner and the Taub Center, seeks to elevate and inform discourse on Jewish communal policy.

    (Please note: Ustream shows about 30 seconds of advertising before beginning to stream the event, so please allow time for that. After that, it is possible to close the ad that appears along the bottom of the screen).

    Hosted by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner and the Taub Center for Israel Studies at New York University.

  • Textual Ecstasy and Spiritual Struggle: Serving the Soul of the Practicing Rabbi

    November 30, 2010 , 4:00 PM , Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St., 2nd floor, New York
    Introduction by Rabbi Professor David Ellenson. Presentation by Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi and conversation with Rabbi Dr. Elliot Cosgrove

    Jewish spiritual leadership in an age of uncertainty, experimentation, and creativity has led rabbis across the denominational spectrum to seek significant additional training and spiritual development. What role is text study playing in these initiatives and how does it serve the rabbinic soul in our time? What role does scholarship play? Spiritual practice? Political/social action? Given the intensity of these initiatives and their indisputable impact on the rabbi, what is the impact on the communities they serve and on North American Jewry as a whole? Please RSVP

  • Resisting Re-ghettoization: From Without and Within

    November 4, 2010
    Yossi Klein Halevi

  • Middle East Peace Negotiations: Is There A Chance For Success?

    October 6, 2010 , 12:00 PM , Webinar
    David Makovsky

    David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is the co-author with Dennis Ross of the recently released book, Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin), as well as many other publications. Click here to RSVP or for more information.

  • Baby Boomers, Public Service, and Minority Communities: A Case Study of the Jewish Community in the United States

    September 21, 2010 , 4:00 PM , The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue, 2nd Floor 295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604
    David M. Elcott, Roberta Leiner, Stuart Himmelfarb, and Gary Rosenblatt

    Public service organizations of all kinds have an unprecedented opportunity to harness the expertise and talents of Baby Boomers as they age, since it's a generation that wants to keep working or to volunteer in public service. But a new study finds that as Baby Boomers invigorate and redefine the 60-to-80 year old stage of life in the coming years, there is relatively little understanding of how record numbers of engaged older workers and volunteers will affect America's labor force, or what ethnic and religious communities and voluntary institutions of all kinds could do to mobilize, train, and absorb them. In particular, given national efforts to engage Baby Boomers, minority communities may suffer a loss of leadership, talent and funding as Baby Boomers look outside their religious or ethnic communities for meaningful work and volunteer opportunities.

    Join us for a lively discussion with Dr. Elcott and community leaders about the findings from a nationwide survey of 34 metropolitan Jewish communities and more than 6,500 people. The event will highlight the unique demands that Baby Boomers' interests and needs may place on the institutions, agencies and federations of the Jewish community of North America.


    David M. Elcott, PhD, Henry and Marilyn Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership at NYU Wagner and author of "Baby Boomers, Public Service, and Minority Communities: A Case Study of the Jewish Community in the United States"

    Roberta Leiner, Managing Director of the Caring Commission, UJA-Federation of New York

    Stuart Himmelfarb, Chief Marketing Officer, UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, and Board Co-chair, The Jewish Week

    Moderator: Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Chief of The Jewish Week, the largest Jewish newspaper in the United States

    RSVP by September 17, 2010

  • Policy implications: Changing conceptions of Jewish Peoplehood and what to do about them - Interrogating Jewish Peoplehood, 4 of 4

    May 10, 2010
    Presentation by Dr. Jack Ukeles, followed by discussion

    What practices and policies should be pursued to strengthen commitment to Jewish Peoplehood or, perhaps, to re-fashion Peoplehood commitment in ways that may make it more suitable to the current moment?

    Dr. Ukeles has conducted more than 100 policy-oriented research studies for Jewish communal and other non-profit agencies in the US and abroad

    By invitation only

  • Technology and Jewish Education: New Dawn or False Dawn for Jewish Learning

    May 5, 2010 , 4:30 PM , NYU
    Symposium presented by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner and JESNA's Lippman Kanfer Institute

    New communications technologies are dramatically transforming nearly every dimension of our lives - how we work, how we play, how we connect, how we consume, and - some would say - how we learn. In Jewish education today technology is being used to expand access to texts and a wide range of information and experiences, to connect students and teachers across time and space, and to allow learners to take greater control and exercise greater creativity in their learning. At the same time, some observers worry that technology is undermining vital elements of Jewish education as we have practiced it for millennia - the authority of scholars and teachers, the close and critical reading of texts, the discerning analysis of argument - and fostering the illusion that real learning can be done with just a mouse click on a Google search result.

    This symposium will explore the impact of technology on Jewish education and the policy implications of the ongoing technological revolution for the Jewish community. What steps are needed to maximize the positive benefits of technology, while minimizing its potential negative impacts? Where, how, and how much should we be investing in this area? How can entrepreneurs and innovators, established institutions, and funders work together to achieve the best results?

  • "Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities"

    April 27, 2010 , 7:30 PM , The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City
    A Conversation With Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, and Professor Steven M. Cohen on the publication of Elie Kaunfer's new book

    How will the independent minyan movement affect the traditional American Jewish community? What does this new movement imply for the future of synagogues and Jewish education? Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, and Professor Steven M. Cohen will discuss these issues and others raised in Rabbi Kaunfer's new book Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities. JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen will moderate.

    Cosponsored by JTS and BJPA. Reservations required: or call (212) 280-6093. Please arrive 15 minutes early and bring a photo ID.

  • Challenges to Jewish Peoplehood - Or, why Israel may now present an obstacle to identification with the Jewish People - Interrogating Jewish Peoplehood, 3 of 4

    April 21, 2010
    Presentation by Jay Michaelson, followed by discussion

    To what extent is it suffering from a connection with increasingly unpopular and uninspiring images of Israel, particularly among younger Jewish leaders today?

    Jay Michaelson, a doctoral student in Jewish Thought at The Hebrew University, is a columnist for The Forward, The Huffington Post, and Tikkun.  He is also the executive director of Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture & Spirituality.

    By invitation only

  • Challenging Jewish Peoplehood - Or, why younger Jewish leaders seem to care less about Jewish Peoplehood - Interrogating Jewish Peoplehood, 2 of 4

    April 12, 2010
    Presentation by Prof. Sarah Benor, followed by discussion

    For engaged Jews today, particularly younger Jews, to what extent is Jewish Peoplehood an outmoded concept, increasingly challenged by contemporary notions of Jewish engagement?

    Prof. Benor, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at HUC-JIR, LA, has written about American Jewish language, culture, and society. She has recently completed an ethnographic study of Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s as part of a research team led by Prof. Jack Wertheimer and supported by the Avi Chai Foundation.

    By invitation only

  • Human Rights in the Jewish Tradition: Implications for Israel's Identity as a Jewish and Democratic State

    March 5, 2010
    Presentation and Q&A by Prof. Yedidia Stern

    Israel exists in a state of tension between the universalistic principles implicit in its democratic character and the particularistic concerns inherent in its definition as the Jewish State. Many critics, both in Israel and elsewhere, see an irresolvable contradiction between the two. At the center of the debate lie human rights-an indispensable ingredient of democracy seen by many to be at odds with Judaism. However, argues Professor Yedidia Stern, Vice President of the Israel Democracy Institute, a new field of intellectual inquiry promises to demonstrate the falseness of this dichotomy and build a bridge of ideas across Israel's divided society by uncovering the lost roots of human rights doctrine in the Jewish tradition.

    By invitation only

  • "What do we mean by 'Jewish Peoplehood' - and should it matter?" Interrogating Jewish Peoplehood 1 of 4

    March 1, 2010
    Presentation by Prof. Sylvia Barack Fishman, followed by discussion

    How have ideas of Jewish Peoplehood changed when Jews lived in diverse situations? Today, does the concept of Jewish Peoplehood make a sense in the real world--and should it? How is feeling part of "the Jewish people" connected--or not--to other expressions of Jewishness?  Prof. Fishman, Chair of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University, is the author of well-known studies on varieties of Jewishness, conversion, intermarriage, Jewish feminism and Jewish culture.

    By invitation only

  • Impact or Bias? Measuring Cause and Effect in Jewish Education

    February 1, 2010 , 5:00 PM , NYU Wagner, Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St, 2nd floor. Also via webinar
    Lecture and Webinar by Dr. Adam Gamoran, Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin

    Education researchers have become increasingly aware of the challenges of measuring the impact of educational practices, programs, and policies. Too often what appears to be cause and effect may actually reflect pre-existing differences between program participants and non-participants. A variety of strategies are available to surmount this challenge, but the strategies are often costly and difficult to implement. Examples from general and Jewish education will highlight the challenges, identify strategies that respond to the challenges, and suggest how the difficulties posed by these strategies may be addressed.

  • Opening Reception

    November 11, 2009 , NYU Woolworth Building

    We are marking the opening of the new site with a presentation and discussion led by Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service, on the topic of "Repairing the World for its own Sake: A Principled View of Justice," together with our honored guest, communal leader and philanthropist Bill Berman, who has lent his support and name to our project. By invitation only.

  • Reception in Honor of Bill Berman: At the United Jewish Communities 2009 General Assembly

    November 8, 2009 , 5:45 PM , Marriott Wardman Park, Washington D.C.

    Those attending the GA, are invited to join us in honoring communal leader and philanthropist Bill Berman and his newest project – the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner.

  • Gender Matters: A New Framework for Understanding Jewish Intermarriage Over Time

    June 22, 2009
    A Webinar with Dr. Keren McGinity

    Dr. Keren McGinity is the Berman Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan's Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. She discussed her book, Still Jewish (NYU Press 2009), the first history of Jewish intermarried women, and her research with Harriet Hartman, Professor of Sociology at Rowan University, and Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR and BJPA Director. This unique event was co-sponsored by the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and hosted by the Jewish Women's Archive, who also published this follow-up interview.

  • The Israel = Apartheid Equation: Perspectives of a South African-Born Israeli Zionist

    May 7, 2009
    A Discussion with Professor Gideon Shimoni

    Professor Gideon Shimoni served as the Head of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University and is the author of a comprehensive work entitled The Zionist Ideology. His most recent book is Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa. In this intimate, invitation-only seminar, Professor Shimoni shared his reflections on how the discourse of apartheid is used and mis-used in discussions of the Israeli politics.

  • Doing More With Less: Can Jewish and Other Nonprofits Create Improvement Opportunities out of Economic Crisis?

    March 4, 2009
    Panel Discussion with Jacob B. Ukeles & Barbara J. Cohn Berman

    BJPA and NYU Wagner hosted representatives from philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and the general public to this open forum. Referring to his experience as NYC's first Deputy Director of Operations and Deputy Director of the Emergency Financial Control Board during the city's 1975 fiscal crisis and his long experience and expertise in the not for profit sector, Jack Ukeles shared advice on how nonprofits can best respond to the current economic downturn. Barbara J. Cohn Berman offered thoughts on the best implementation of processes of change, considering questions of law, personnel, morale, and client relations. Barbara J. Cohn Berman offered thoughts on the best implementation of processes of change, considering questions of law, personnel, morale, and client relations. Ukeles and Berman produced a written version of their talk, published by the BJPA. This event was also featured on the Wagner blog and Ukeles later answered some follow-up questions with the Jerusalem Post's Shmuel Rosner.

  • Public Forum on American Jews and the Presidential Election: How Jews and Non-Jews Differ in Their Public Values and Intentions

    October 27, 2008
    Panel Discussion with Professor Steven M. Cohen & Professor Samuel J. Abrams

    BJPA's inaugural event: Professor Cohen and Professor Abrams discussed the results of two parallel national surveys of Jews and non-Jews. These surveys explored variations not only in intention to vote, but also how and why Jews differ from the rest of the electorate. They produced two reports based on their research: "American Jews and the 2008 Presidential Election: As Democratic and Liberal as Ever?" and "Israel Off Their Minds: The Diminished Place of Israel in the Political Thinking of Young Jews".