Mechon Hadar, in conjunction with the Charles R. Bronfman Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation at Brandeis University will be conducting a daylong mini-conference on Independent Minyanim and Contemporary Jewish Life on Monday, November 10, 2008 at Brandeis University. The mini-conference seeks to broaden the conversation about the phenomenon of independent communal minyanim. The conference will consist of lectures, papers, workshops and panel discussions with independent minyan leaders and many significant voices in the academic and Jewish professional world.
The general public is invited to attend the mini-conference, and interested parties are invited to participate by presenting papers. Subjects under consideration include but are not limited to the historical significance of this phenomenon; its implications for future Jewish life; the denominational makeup of independent congregations; the halachic and cultural underpinnings of these communities; the relationship of these minyanim to other start-up organizations in the Jewish community; and sociological analyses of the participants. The conference hopes to eventually publish qualifying papers in a volume of conference proceedings.
Presenters include Prof. Steven Cohen, Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Rabbi Art Green, Prof. Sylvia Barack Fishman, Prof. Jonathan Sarna as well as dozens of independent minyan leaders nationwide.