Academic Conference Papers and Invited Papers
Invited Speaker, “Reform Jewish Sacred Space: The Evolution of Theological Conceptions and Spiritual Modes in Post-WWII America,” Many Rooms: Space and Sanctity in Judaism and Christianity, Hayim Perelmuter Conference, sponsored by Catholic Theological Union and University of Notre Dame, April 1-2, 2019.
Invited Speaker, "American Reform Judaism's Increasing Acceptance of Kabbalah: The Contribution of Rabbi Herbert Weiner's 9½ Mystics," Kabbalah in America, conference at Rice University, Houston, Texas, October 28-30, 2018. Schedule of Speakers
"Rabbi Alfred G. Moses of Mobile, Alabama and the Development of Jewish Science in the Early 20th Century," Southern Jews, American Citizens, Southern Jewish Historical Society Annual Conference, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, October 27, 2018. Schedule of Speakers
"The Transnational Influences Behind the Theological Shifts and Transformations in American Reform Judaism on the Crabgrass Frontier, 1935-1975," Re-Framing American Jewish History and Thought: New Transnational Perspectives, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany, July 20-22, 2016.
"The Determinant of Jewish Identity Below the Mason-Dixon Line: Crossing the Boundary from Gentile to Jew in the Nineteenth-Century South," Sylvia & Irving Margolis Lecture on the Jewish Experience in the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, April 20, 2015.
"Redrawing the Boundary Lines: The Non-Jew in Contemporary Reform Synagogue Ritual," North Carolina Jewish Studies Seminar, Duke University, April 19, 2015.
Concluding reflections on the symposium, Looking for Judaism in (Un)conventional Places, with Jonathan Sarna, William McKinney, and Diane Winston, UCLA Center for Religious Studies, UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, Los Angeles, California, February 12-13, 2012.
"Between Holocaust and Redemption: Teaching the Socio-theological Crisis of the Pre-Six Day War Period through A Serious Man," Interpreting Film, Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., December 18-20, 2011.
“American Jewish Conceptions and Perceptions of Zionism and the State of Israel, 1948 - Present,” Baylor University, Waco, Texas, October 26, 2010.
“The Changing Landscape of American Judaism: A Historical Perspective 1945 - Present,” Issues in Jewish Studies, History Department. Baylor University, Waco, Texas, October 26, 2010.
“Analyzing Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal,” Modern Judaism Seminar, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, October 26, 2010.
“Pluralism in Contemporary American Judaism” and “Denominationalism and Postdenominationalism in American Judaism,” De La Salle University, Department of Theology, Manila, Philippines, June 2009.
“Fidel Castro, the Jew,” 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, Miami Beach, Florida, August 7-9, 2005.
“From One Judaism to Many: Embryonic Development of a Modern Pluralistic Judaism in Nineteenth Century America,” International Conference entitled “350 Years of American Jewry, 1654-2004: Transcending the European Experience?”, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich and the University of Erfurt, Akademie für Politische Bildung, Tutzing, Germany, May 22-26, 2005.
Discussant, The Metamorphosis of American Reform Judaism From Rationalist Ideology to Folk Religion (A Roundtable), Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, December 19-21, 2004.
Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, December 21-23, 2003.
Invited Chair, The Politics of Jewish Experience: The Making of Identity
“Non-Orthodox Liturgical Change In Post World War II American Judaism,” Performances and Studies of American Jewry
“Castro’s Jews: Judaism in Contemporary Cuba,” Navon Program for the Study of Sephardic and Oriental Jewry, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, December 3, 2003.
“The Renaissance of Jewish Religious Life in Contemporary Cuba,” Replotting American Religion: The Transnational Perspective, North American Religions Section, American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, November 22, 2003.
“Is There a Future for Reform Judaism?,” The Miller Center, The University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, October 29, 2003.
Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Los Angeles, California, December 15-17, 2002.
Chair, Post-Apartheid South African Jewry: History, Memory, and Reconciliation
"Religious Contact and Exchange between Cuban Jews in Miami and Havana from 1959 to the Present"
American Academy of Religion Southeastern Regional Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 8-10, 2002.
"The Jews of Cuba"
Panel, Recent Scholarship on American Reform Judaism
“Contemporary Debates in American Reform Judaism,” Western Jewish Studies Association, March 2002.
Plenary Speaker, “Jewish Perspectives on Reading Scripture,” The Theology of Scripture, Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa, February 1-3, 2002.
Invited Speaker, “The Sephardic Jews of Cuba,” Navon Program for the Study of Sephardic and Oriental Jewry, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, January 20, 2002.
Chair, From Community to Identity: Modern Jewish Presence and Representation, Midwest Jewish Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois, October 29, 2001.
“The Impact of the 1959 Cuban Revolution on the Jewish Community,” Jewish between Politics and Communism, Midwest Jewish Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois, October 28, 2001.
"The Strategic Advantages of Theological Inconsistency: Isaac Mayer Wise’s Political Use of Religious Thought," Moderate and Radical Trends in Nineteenth-Century American Reform Judaism, Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, December 17-19, 2000.
“Rabbi Bernard Illowy and the New Orleans Circumcision Controversy of 1864,” The Southern Jewish Historical Society Annual Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 2000.
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee, November 18-21, 2000.
“The Judaic Crabgrass Frontier: The Impact of Suburbanization On Reform Congregations In Two Midwestern Communities”
Panel, The Discourse of Disagreement in the Contemporary American Reform Movement
“Southern Societal Patterns and 19th Century Jewish Identity: Conversion to Judaism as a Survivalist Response to Intermarriage," Tulane University and the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2000.
"Judaism for Jews or for all Humanity? Kohler as an Ideological Leader of Reform Judaism," Section on Kaufmann Kohler and Modern Jewish Thought, Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, December 19-21, 1999.
“Jewish Ethnic vs. Religious Identification in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Jewish Identities and Society: National and Cultural Variations, Boston, Massachusetts, November 5-7, 1999.
Featured Speaker, The Changing Theology of American Reform Platforms: 1869 to the Present, CCAR Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 24-25, 1999.
“Cultural Experiences of Violence—Violence in the New South Africa: Its Impact on Jews and Judaism," American Academy of Religion New England-Maritime Regional Meeting, Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Massachusetts, April 16, 1999.
“The Cleveland Conference of 1855 and the Emerging Conflict Over the Nature of Jewish Identity in Antebellum American Judaism," American Judaisms, Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, December 20-22, 1998.
“Isaac Mayer Wise and Conversion to Judaism," Midwest Jewish Studies Association Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 18-19, 1998.
“Women in American Jewish History: The Role of Gender in the Determination of Jewish Identity,” University of Denver Center for Jewish Studies, Denver, Colorado, May 5, 1998.
“The Rationalist Tradition and American Classical Judaism,” Faculty-Graduate Student Seminar, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, May 4, 1998.
Speaker, “Gender and the Determination of Jewish Identity: Women, Intermarriage, and the Conversion to Judaism Phenomenon in 19th-Century America,” University of Denver Center for Judaic Studies and Hadassah Desert-Mountain Region Conference, Denver, Colorado, May 3, 1998.
“Conversion to Judaism in 19th Century America,” Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, Massachusetts, December 21-23, 1997.
“The Concept of Political Power and South African Judaism during the Apartheid Years,” Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, Cape Town, South Africa, November 1996.
“Jews, Religion and Political Power: The South African Case,” Steinberg Memorial Seminar, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, November 17, 1996.
“American Reform and Conversion to Judaism: Origins and Development 1846-1897,” American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1996.
“Jewish Religious Conversion in South Africa Today,” South African Academy of Religion Conference (SAAR), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 24-25, 1996.
“Modernity and the Changing Nature of Jewish Identity in the Thought of Isaac Mayer Wise,” Annual Conference of South African Society for Semitics, Jewish Studies, Pretoria, South Africa, June 6-8, 1995.
“Progressive Judaism and the New South Africa,” The Rabbinate and the New South Africa Conference, The Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa, August 1994.