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Between Synagogue and State: Modern Conversion Controversies in the United States, Israel, and Great Britain

Event: Between Synagogue and State: Modern Conversion Controversies in the United States, Israel, and Great Britain
The Melton Center for Jewish Studies presents:

The Pearl and Troy Feibel Lecture on Judaism and Law


Leora Batnitzky
Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies, Chair, Department of Religion
Princeton University

With the advent of modern democracies and the development of the modern idea of freedom of religion, many would argue that matters of religious conversion have nothing to do with state powers. Yet questions about the status of religious conversion continue to find their way into secular courts.

Three such cases, concerning conversion to Judaism: Warder Cresson in nineteenth century America, Avraham Borokovsky in mid-twentieth century Israel, and most recently M of the Jewish Free School Case in London. Though very different from each other, these three cases taken together allow us to consider two of the most significant conundrums of modern Judaism on the one hand, and of modernity on the other. The modern separation is between the national and religious dimensions of Judaism (even in, or perhaps especially in, the State of Israel). Religious law and state law, while separate in theory, continue to shape each other in practice.

Sponsored by The Feibel Family and Robert Shamansky zl, Melton Center for Jewish Studies, Moritz College of Law, and Jewish Federation of Columbus
Date and time:April 6, 2014
7:00 PM
Location:Area on Campus: Columbus Jewish Community Center, 1125 College Ave.
Contact:Lori Fireman
Phone Number:614-292-0700
Event category:Melton Center for Jewish Studies
Event Type:Lecture

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