Guest post by the Beth Israel office manager Jeannie Nickels.
Episode 2 of Good Shabbos Nebraska (GSN) airs on Shabbos, October 12, 2013. Rabbi Gross will be talking with special guest , Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Rosenbaum.
Rabbi Rosenbaum is a specialist in Biblical history, the and
of ancient languages, and American Jewish history.
He was the 's first Maurice Greenberg Professor of Judaic Studies and director of its Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies from 1986 to 1998. He conceived and helped guide the Henry Luce Forum in Abrahamic Religions, a program jointly sponsored by the University of Hartford devoted to advancing scholarship concerning and mutual understanding among American Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
From 1995 to 1998 Rosenbaum served as a deputy director of the Ein Gedi Archaeological Expedition in Israel.
He was president of Gratz College from 1998-2009, and he now serves as president emeritus.
A rarity in the contemporary Jewish world, Rabbi Rosenbaum has served as a rabbi in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox congregations. During his student years at HUC-JIR, he held a student rabbi position at Congregation Israel (Reform), Galesburg, IL (1970-1972). While at Harvard he was assistant rabbi, Temple Israel (Conservative), Swampscott, MA, (1972–76), and then a part-time rabbi of Congregation Israel (Conservative), Danville, IL (1976–84). From 1994 to 1998 he was rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim, a mainstream Orthodox, century-old congregation in West Hartford, CT.
Dr. Rosenbaum has a strong connection to Omaha which formed when he taught in the Department of Religious Studies at the from 1978 to 1986. During that time he was an active member of the Jewish community, a member of Beth Israel synagogue, and he was the study partner of Beth Israel's Rabbi Isaac Nadoff.
“My wife Susan, my children, and I consider Omaha our home, of all of the many communities that we have lived in we never found one that was more welcoming and committed to the ideals of Jewish life and living,” said Dr. Rosenbaum.
Dr. Rosenbaum is excited to be part of Good Shabbos Nebraska. In a recent interview Dr. Rosenbaum said, “GSN is indicative of the classic approach at Beth Israel. The openness to community and utilizing shabbos as an opportunity to engage and immerse in Torah. The program is not called Good Shabbos Beth Israel - it is Good Shabbos Nebraska demonstrating how it is for everyone in the Jewish community.”
In an interview, Rabbi Gross said, “It is a great honor to be hosting a scholar of Rabbi Dr. Rosenbaum’s credentials and reputation. I look forward to having a chance to interview him and learn Torah together with him. It is especially nice to have something with deep ties to Omaha. He made a great impact on our community that is still felt 30 years later.”
Every episode of GSN engages viewers with fascinating discussions on Jewish topics ranging from current events, history, philosophy, and of course the weekly Torah portion. Say farewell to the pulpit and say hello to the contemporary synagogue experience featuring discussions that talk with you and not at you.