Is Cultural Judaism a Myth?
How Culture and Law Form Jewish Tradition
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm ET, Zoom
Dr. Roberta Rosenthall Kwall, DePaul University College of Law
Often we hear someone say that they are a "cultural Jew." This program takes a deep dive into whether such a concept is even possible given that the tradition "cultural Jews" prize includes cultural components that are influenced by Jewish law. Applying the paradigm of "cultural analysis" to Jewish law, we will explore the development of Jewish law over the centuries as well as the implications of the intersection between Jewish law and culture for 21st century American Judaism.
General Admission: $10
Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. She graduated from Brown University with a major in Religious Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also has a master’s degree in Jewish Studies. Kwall is an internationally renowned scholar and lecturer and has published over 30 scholarly articles and book chapters on a wide variety of topics including Jewish law and culture, authorship rights, and intellectual property.
Kwall also has written three important books: “Remix Judaism: Preserving Tradition in a Diverse World,” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020); “The Myth of the Cultural Jew: Culture and Law in Jewish Tradition” (Oxford UP, 2015) and “The Soul of Creativity” (Stanford UP, 2010). Currently Kwall is co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Law as well as writing an essay for this volume about lawmaking in the Conservative Movement.
Kwall has received numerous awards for teaching and scholarship and in 2006, was designated as one of the 10 Best Law Professors in Illinois by Chicago Lawyer magazine. She also has taught at Tulane Law School and is a frequent visiting professor at Radzyner Law School in Israel where she teaches a course on The American Jewish Movements and Jewish law.
Kwall is a keen observer of the American Jewish community and has also written numerous OpEds and articles on topics of general interest. Her popular writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune and most of the major Jewish media venues such as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Commentary Magazine, The Jerusalem Report, The Jerusalem Post, The Forward, The Jewish Week, The Lehrhaus, The Jewish Journal, Kveller, and eJewish Philanthropy. She is a frequent speaker about Jewish law and culture at synagogues and for Jewish organizations in the United States and in Israel.
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