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Conference Explores the Teaching and Work of Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

International Rabbinic Fellowship Hosts May 2016 Conference

(Miami, March 27, 2016)— Targum Shlishi is helping to support the 2016 annual conference of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), which is focused on the teaching, work, and legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg. The conference, titled Exploring the Teaching and Work of Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Its Meaning for Us Today, takes place in Baltimore, Maryland on May 22–24, 2016; registration is currently open.

“The conference will go beyond simply exploring Rabbi Greenberg’s work,” notes Rabbi Jason Herman, IRF’s executive director. “We expect that the sessions during the conference will contribute to a conversation as to how Rabbi Greenberg’s thought and work can frame a philosophy for a younger generation of Orthodox rabbis, and particularly can help today’s rabbis address many of the difficult issues now facing the Orthodox community.”
The conference will open with a session in which several IRF members reflect on Rabbi Greenberg’s work. In all, the conference will include five sessions dedicated to Rabbi Greenberg. The other four are:

  • “Feminism and Halakha: How do we experience these questions?”
    Facilitated by Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman, this session will be a conversation centered on the contributions to the Orthodox feminist movement made by Rabbi Greenberg and his wife, leading Orthodox Jewish feminist Blu Greenberg.
  • “Beyond the Synagogue: Imagining Possibilities for Jewish Life”
    Rabbi Dr. Josh Feigelson will facilitate this session, which will explore what is possible in Jewish life, in part by looking to Rabbi Greenberg’s example of creating and leading unique organizations and to building Jewish life beyond traditional avenues.
  • “Orthodoxy and Public Life: 50 Years Since the Greenberg-Lichtenstein Debate”
    This panel discussion will consider both the original debate between Rabbi Greenberg and Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and how those issues are reflected in today’s world. The debate took place in 1966 in the pages of the YU Commentator in the form of a series of written statements that the two exchanged. A central question in their debate was the responsibility of Orthodox Jews to engage in American public life.
  • “Learning from Rav Yitz”
    Rabbi Greenberg will lead a session open to all conference registrants.

In addition to supporting the conference, Targum Shlishi’s grant will be applied toward videotaping some of the sessions, which will then be made available on the online archive dedicated to Rabbi Greenberg’s work, http://rabbiirvinggreenberg.com/, a website created and maintained by Targum Shlishi.

“I am proud to call myself a disciple of Yitz Greenberg, and I am honored to help support this conference exploring his work,” says Aryeh Rubin, director of Targum Shlishi. “The first time I heard Yitz speak was when I was 19. I was instantly and profoundly affected. I had never before heard a rabbi like him. No religious fairy tales. The depth of his thinking and his theological vision, the intensity of his presentation, and his seamless blending of the sacred and the contemporary rooted me to my seat and the rest is history. His influence strengthened my relationship to Judaism  and deepened my commitment to our people.

“Yitz is a rabbi, a history professor, a leader and founder of organizations, a prolific writer, and above all esle, a revolutionary thinker. The nature of his thinking includes the Holocause and its impact, the Covenant, the State of Israel, modern Orthodoxy, modernity, pluralism, Christian-Jewish relations, and so much more. His teaching, his organizational work, and his writing have helped shape modern Jewry. I believe Yitz has had a greater influence on American and world Jewry than any other leader of his time.”

To learn more about the conference, contact Rabbi Jason Herman at execdirector@internationalrabbinicfellowship.org.

About the International Rabbinic Fellowship

The International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF) was founded in 2007. The IRF brings together Orthodox rabbis and scholars for serious, open, and respectful study of Torah and halacha and to advocate policies and implement actions out of a sense of responsibility for Klal Yisrael and humanity. The IRF promotes a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is endowed with yirat shamayim, spirituality, and intellectual rigor. The IRF is the only Orthodox rabbinic organization to include both male and female clergy. It is also the only organization that was founded with the core principle of providing safe space for rabbis and clergy to engage ideas and programs that will benefit the Orthodox community. To learn more about the IRF, visit its website: http://www.internationalrabbinicfellowship.org/.

About Targum Shlishi

Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org. Follow Aryeh Rubin, Targum Shlishi’s director, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Aryeh5.

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