D’var Torah & Shabbat Lunch and Learn – The Testimony of Song with guest Scholar Dr. Stephen Arnoff

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Date(s) - February 17 2018
12:00 pm - 1:45 pm

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February 17 – D’var Torah: Dr Stephen Arnoff

and then we will have a Shabbat Lunch and Learn –

“The Testimony of Song” with guest scholar Dr. Stephen Arnoff 

“This song shall testify before them as a witness.” -Deuteronomy 31:21

Beethoven said that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

In seeking Jewish meaning through prayer, story, and even law, music plays a

remarkable role. We will visit ancient texts about the power of music, and then

listen to how popular music in our era has provided a pivot from traditional

religious practice to new ways of experiencing the life of the spirit. From the

Hebrew Bible to Bob Dylan and back again, we will tune in to the testimony of song.


Stephen has served in senior leadership roles in the Jewish community for much of the past two decades, holding positions including CEO and President of JCC Association, the chief convener of the Jewish Community Centers of North America; Director of Culture, Community and Society at Shalem College, Israel’s first four-year liberal arts college; and Executive Director of the 14th Street Y in New York City, which tripled in size during his tenure. He lectures on topics spanning religion, popular music, spirituality, and Jewish life and learning at universities and cultural venues in North America, Europe and Israel; publishes widely in media outlets like Huffington Post, Forward and Ha’aretz; and mentors many of Jerusalem’s most dynamic arts and theater organizations through Jerusalem Culture Unlimited for which he serves as Board Chair. Stephen earned a doctorate in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) as a Wexner Graduate Fellow and has been a Tikvah Scholar at the New York University School of Law, a Mandel Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute, and a Revson Fellow at JTS.

SHORT BIO – A leading writer, teacher, and thought leader in the Jewish world for nearly two decades, Dr. Stephen Arnoff serves as Executive Director of USCJ’s Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center, home of the Conservative Yeshiva.