Judaism is About Love: Book Release with Shai Held and Robert Krulwich

Thursday, Mar 28, 2024

Thursday, March 28
In Person at The Weitzman (5th and Market)

6pm Doors | 7pm Program
$18 | $13 Weitzman Members


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What does Judaism say about love, and why do so many people–Jews included– seem to think that love is a “Christian idea”?  How can Judaism’s teachings on love transform our lives and the lives of our families, communities, and the broader world?  Philosopher and educator Rabbi Shai Held and and host emeritus of Radiolab, Robert Krulwich, take to the Weitzman Museum’s stage in Philadelphia for a freewheeling conversation on just how and why “Judaism Is About Love.”

Produced by the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in partnership with the Hadar Institute, the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia, Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, Society Hill Synagogue and Mekor Habracha/Center City Synagogue.

About the Book
A dramatic misinterpretation of the Jewish tradition has shaped the history of the West: Christianity is the religion of love, and Judaism the religion of law. In the face of centuries of this widespread misrepresentation, Rabbi Shai Held—one of the most important Jewish thinkers in America today—recovers the heart of the Jewish tradition, offering the radical and moving argument that love belongs as much to Judaism as it does to Christianity. Blending intellectual rigor, a respect for tradition and the practices of a living Judaism, and a commitment to the full equality of all people, Held seeks to reclaim Judaism as it authentically is. He shows that love is foundational and constitutive of true Jewish faith, animating the singular Jewish perspective on injustice and protest, grace, family life, responsibilities to our neighbors and even our enemies, and chosenness.

Ambitious and revelatory, Judaism Is About Love illuminates the true essence of Judaism—an act of restoration from within.

About the Author
Rabbi Shai Held, one of the most influential Jewish thinkers and leaders in America, is President and Dean of the Hadar Institute in New York City. He received the prestigious Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and has been named multiple times by Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in America and by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of the fifty most prominent Jews in the world. Rabbi Held is the author of Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence (2013), The Heart of Torah (2017) and Judaism is About Love (2024), published by Farrar, Straus.

About the Moderator
Robert Krulwich is Host Emeritus of Radiolab, WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’ now one of public radio’s most popular shows. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 5 million times each month. He is also the author of the “Curiously Krulwich” blog, featured on National Geographic, where he illustrates hard-to-fathom concepts in science using drawings, cartoons, videos, and more.

For 22 years, Krulwich was a science, economics, general assignment and foreign correspondent at ABC and CBS News. Krulwich has been called “the most inventive network reporter in television” by TV Guide.  His specialty is explaining complex subjects, science, technology, economics, in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining.  On television he has explored the structure of DNA using a banana; on radio he created an Italian opera, “Ratto Interesso” to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates; he also pioneered the use of new animation on ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight.

He has won Emmy awards for a cultural history of Barbie, the world famous doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and an Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout, and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Krulwich also won the AAAS Science Journalism Award for a 2001 a NOVA Special, Cracking the Code of Life, The Extraordinary Communicator Award from the National Cancer Institute, and an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award.

Krulwich earned a BA in history from Oberlin College, and a law degree from Columbia University in 1974.