Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Crane brings ethics to the forefront
By Deb Silverthorn
Congregation Anshai Torah will welcome Rabbi Dr. Jonathan K. Crane as its 2023 Arnie Sweet Scholar-In-Residence Jan. 27 to 29. Crane will engage the community in “Jewish Ethics For Now: Ethics in A Changing World,” with sessions both in-person at Congregation Anshai Torah and online.
The Scholar-In-Residence weekend is produced by event chair, Warren Harmel. The committee includes Faina Aronovich, Cathy Sweet Brook, Ferne Farkas, Joe Kufert, Alisa Makler, Cindy Sweet Moskowitz, Manuel Rajunov, Karen Reid, Janice Sweet Weinberg, Sheryl Weisberg and others who contribute to its planning and execution.
“Once again, we welcome a leading authority with an abundance of riches. Rabbi Dr. Crane, a scholar wise beyond wise on many ethical issues important to our lives today, is an authority on hundreds of subjects,” said Harmel, noting the speaker’s expertise on Jewish ethical perspectives, biomedical, social, political and warfare issues, comparative religious ethics, Jewish theology, law and lore and food studies and ethics.
Rabbi Dr. Jonathan K. Crane is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar of Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Professor of Medicine and affiliated Professor of Religion in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences.
“We’re very blessed and fortunate to welcome this world-
renowned scholar whose teaching influences across the ages and around the world. We welcome him with open arms for what we know will be an exhilarating program,” said Janice Sweet Weinberg.
Crane is the son of Kay and Garry, and brother of Daniel and Paul. The Crane family homes — the one in which he was raised, and the one he has built with his wife Lindy Miller and their sons Nadav, Amitai and Rafi — have always been where Judaism was taken seriously, where attending synagogue was a regular part of life and where questioning and curiosity were encouraged.
“My father was an economist, and my mother a librarian, so I grew up loving and revering books and always finding the learning and wisdom in the conversations around our table,” he said.
Crane was raised at Temple Beth Am in Seattle. From a young age, he was influenced by Rabbi Norman Hirsh and his commitment to social justice — through his sermons and his living example — as well as seven summers spent at the former URJ’s Camp Swig.
“Thinking ‘Jewishly,’ leadership and ethics have been ingrained in my bones as a young person. I studied what, and where, I thought I would best create a life to help bring peace to the world,” said Crane.
Crane’s degrees are from Wheaton College in Massachusetts (his first year spent as international president of NFTY/North American Federation for Temple Youth), the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, India. As a Wexner Graduate Fellow, he received rabbinic ordination and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.
“These 12 years at Emory have been a great fit, with a range of students from undergraduates to seasoned professionals looking for tools to take into their post-service lives,” said Crane. “Urgent and longstanding questions and issues pique my interest as I study through older wisdom and resources and the newest of technology.”
Among Crane’s publications are “Eating Ethically: Religion and Science for a Better Diet,” “Narratives and Jewish Bioethics” and “Ahimsa: The Way to Peace.” A former president of the Society of Jewish Ethics, he founded and continues to co-edit the Journal of Jewish Ethics.
“We’re privileged for the broad scope of knowledge he’ll share,” said Harmel. “We’re grateful for our presenting sponsors, Janice Sweet Weinberg and Art Weinberg, Cathy Sweet Brook and Joel Brook and Cindy Sweet Moskowitz and Mitch Moskowitz, with special thanks to Debbie and Manuel Rajunov and all our sponsors for their generous support.”
For more information, or to RSVP (required to receive Zoom links), visit anshaitorah.org/scholar or call 972-473-7718. For sponsorships, contact Robin Feldman at programming@