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Our 2022 Convention Scholars


This year we are delighted to present two amazing scholars to enrich our Convention experience.



Our theme for the convention is Emergence: Historical & Contemporary. As we start by fits to emerge from our cocoons and yearn to be in community, we will explore the unusual times we are in and draw comparisons with our past.

Dr. Richard Elliott Friedman is the Ann & Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia. He earned his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge, a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa. He is the author of the classic Who Wrote the Bible? and many other works.




Dr. Friedman will present two lectures:

The Exodus or the Exile?

Almost the whole of biblical scholarship in the last two centuries has connected the major innovations and contributions of Judaism to the Babylonian exile. That’s wrong linguistically and historically, wrong by nearly seven centuries. Also: The exile is about being thrown out of your homeland. The exodus is about leaving exile to go to your homeland. 

Which would you rather commemorate?


The Birth of Monotheism and of Love for Aliens

Dr. Friedman will make the case that both of these two contributions derive from a common historical development, something that happened very early in Israel’s history.




Rabbi Dr. Joan Friedman is Professor of History and Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of History at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. She received her doctorate in Jewish history at Columbia University. Her 2013 book “Guidance, Not Governance”: Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof and Reform Responsa was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist.   She has been the chair of the CCAR Responsa Committee since 2019.


Rabbi Dr. Friedman will address:


What COVID-19 Taught Us About Reform Responsa

You are probably thinking, “Shouldn’t that title be reversed?” Yes, the Responsa Committee was called upon to answer many questions relating to the pandemic, and we will address those questions. But a look at the bigger picture – which questions we were asked and which ones we were not; which questions we could answer definitively and which ones we could not; which of our responsa were followed and which were essentially ignored – sheds light on the current dynamics of broader questions about the Responsa Committee and its role, and about the role of halakha in Reform Judaism, that have existed since the CCAR created it in 1909.


Honor our 50th year Ordination Class


50 years of Women in the Rabbinate

This year’s Convention will honor Sally Priesand, the first woman in modern times to be Ordained a Rabbi….along with 45 of her male classmates! Join us in CELEBRATION of all their 50 years in the Rabbinate.