Seekers of Meaning 5/19/2023: Rabbi Danny Schiff, author of “Judaism in a Digital Age”

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Dr. Danny Schiff discusses his new book, Judaism in a Digital Age: An Ancient Tradition Confronts a Transformative Era.

What is the next chapter in Judaism’s story, the next step in its journey?

The dramatic changes of recent decades invite us to explore what role Judaism is to play in this new era. As the digital future becomes the present, Danny Schiff makes the case that the period known as “modernity” has come to an end.

Noting the declining strength of Conservative and Reform Judaism, the largest US Jewish movements of modernity, he argues for new iterations of Judaism to arise in response to the myriad of weighty questions that now confront us about what it means to be human.

Here is an account of the digital age through a Jewish lens, in which Schiff examines Jewish teachings and traditions, exploring what moral insight they might have to offer in this period of great flux. He marshals the thought of well-known futurists such as Ray Kurzweil and Yuval Noah Harari to forecast the exponentially larger shifts in the human condition that lie ahead, and proposes that a countercultural Judaism could have renewed relevance in addressing some of the pressing issues that confront humanity in the twenty-first century.

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About the Guest

Rabbi Dr. Danny Schiff

Rabbi Dr. Danny Schiff is the Foundation Scholar at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the founder and president of MOJI, the Museum of Jewish Ideas. He is a noted teacher and researcher in Jewish ethics.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Rabbi Dr. Schiff grew up in Melbourne. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Melbourne. Rabbi Dr. Schiff received ordination, as well as his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters degree, from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (H.U.C. – J.I.R.). He also received his Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree, as well as an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, from H.U.C. – J.I.R. Additionally, Rabbi Dr. Schiff earned an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.Rabbi Dr. Schiff previously served as the Community Scholar for the Agency for Jewish Learning in Pittsburgh, as rabbi of B’nai Israel in White Oak, Pennsylvania, and as rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Abortion in Judaism, published by Cambridge University Press. He has written a substantial number of articles, particularly in the field of Jewish law and ethics. Additionally, he is a former Board member of the City of Pittsburgh Ethics Board and of the Society of Jewish Ethics.

Rabbi Dr. Schiff is married to Anne Schiff. They have a son, David, and a daughter, Adina.

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