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A Morning of Jewish History, Culture, and Science (NYC)

April 28, 2019 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
American Jews: Where Are We Now?

Mark Oppenheimer / Yale University

If you're an American Jew, you don't know what to think. One day, you read that we are disappearing due to intermarriage and low birth rate; the next day, you read that young Jews are fomenting a renaissance of religious life. One day, you read that anti-Semitic attacks are up; the next day, you read that Jews are, according to surveys, one of American's most admired ethnic groups. And then there's Trump: good for the Jews or bad? In this talk, a former NY Times religion columnist, who now hosts the #1 Jewish podcast, sorts out fact from fiction, and offers some surprising conclusions.

Mark Oppenheimer / Yale University
Mark Oppenheimer is the host of the weekly podcast Unorthodox, produced by Tablet magazine. He is also a staff writer for the Christian Century and has written for many publications, including Harper's, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Yale Review, the Hartford Courant, Playboy, and Slate. He has taught at Wesleyan, Yale, Stanford, Boston College, and NYU.

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
The Jewish Brain: Neuroscience, Philosophy, Ritual, and Ethics

Andrew Newberg / Thomas Jefferson University

Until very recently, most everyone assumed that Neurology and Theology were entirely unrelated. But U Penn Professor Andrew Newberg has changed all of that with his remarkable research on topic of “Neurotheology.” It has garnered increasing attention in academic as well as religious communities for its attempts at exploring more specifically how Jewish religious thought and experience may intersect with brain function. His brand new The Jewish Brain presentation engages this groundbreaking area. He'll adopt a neurological approach to the foundational beliefs that arise from the Torah and associated scriptures, Jewish learning, an exploration of the different elements of Judaism (i.e. reform, conservative, and orthodox), an exploration of specifically Jewish practices (i.e. Davening, Sabbath, Kosher), and even a somewhat suprising review of Jewish mysticism!

Andrew Newberg / Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Andrew Newberg is a neuroscientist and Professor at Thomas Jefferson University, as well as an adjunct professor at The University of Pennsylvania, who studies the relationship between brain function and various mental states. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as "neurotheology." His research includes taking brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, in an attempt to better understand the nature of religious and spiritual practices and attitudes.

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