The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) announced Rabbi Peter Berg, senior rabbi of The Temple, as the LEAP (Leverage, Expand, and Popularize) Corkin Family Fellow for 2020-21. LEAP is a partnership between the rabbinate, CLAL, and academia, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at The University of Pennsylvania.
“I am thrilled to be joining the 2020 LEAP Fellowship with distinguished rabbis from across North America,” Rabbi Berg stated in the announcement release. “Engaging with the Katz Center and CLAL is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and begin the work.”
CLAL president Rabbi Brad Hirschfield said, “We are deeply proud to have launched this boundary crossing initiative which brings together leading rabbis from across the nation and outstanding academics from around world, empowering all of them to contribute, lead, and serve ever more widely; and we are especially proud that Rabbi Berg will be joining us in this year’s cohort as he is one of the nation’s outstanding congregational rabbis.”
Fellows will delve into some of the most pressing debates within U.S. history and Jewish history, examining vital questions shaping Jewish cultural studies, literary theory and social scientific inquiry, according to the release. Scholars will direct their attention to the diversity of Jewish practices, politics, and peoples, reconsidering many of the basic assumptions and concepts that have shaped the study of American Jews. This theme provides the perfect opportunity for rabbis, already in positions of leadership and influence, to more effectively and meaningfully serve the thousands of people in their networks.
LEAP was founded in recognition of the pivotal role played by rabbis, not only as teachers, leaders and pastoral care-takers, but also because of their unique position to leverage, expand, and popularize (LEAP) the most cutting-edge work coming out of Judaic academic studies, according to the release. The program brings together outstanding academics at the Katz Center with equally outstanding rabbis who serve in a variety of roles and settings, including the pulpit, Hillel, chaplaincy, education, and organizations.