/ Chicago

Chicago Launch

What Do We Mean by a ‘Big Tent’?

Yehuda Kurtzer explores the challenges and opportunities of ideological pluralism, and how we might foster an ethic of inclusion in the Chicago Jewish community.
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Yehuda is a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, on Jewish history and Jewish memory, and on questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda led the creation of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in 2010 as a pioneering research and educational center for the leadership of the North American Jewish community, and teaches in

The American Jewish community has long used the metaphor of a ‘big tent’ to describe its aspiration, a vision that it could tolerate a broad spectrum of viewpoints on Israel. This idea may have originated as a way of being inclusive, but it often functions in the opposite: as a rigid policing of boundaries that designates some views as outside the range of acceptable communal discourse. This in turn gives rise to hostility and criticism of the Jewish community and the ideas that it built the tent around.

At the launch of our new regional offices in Chicago on June 1, 2022, Yehuda Kurtzer explored the challenges and opportunities of ideological pluralism, and how we might foster an ethic of inclusion in the Chicago Jewish community. The lecture was followed by a conversation and Q&A with Rabbis Michael Siegel, Shoshanah Conover, and David Wolkenfeld moderated by Jason Rosensweig.

Presented in partnership with Anshe Emet Synagogue, Temple Sholom of Chicago, and Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation.

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