Center for Jewish Life Online Archive

Wise’s Center for Jewish Life has been programming intellectually stimulating evenings with movers, shakers, and thought-leaders for well over a decade. Rabbi David Woznica has brought an impressive and diverse array of speakers together for lectures, dialogues, and panel discussions.

Watch this page for future updates as we share more enlightening programs from our archives.

Yousef Bashir in Dialogue with Rabbi David Woznica

February 18, 2020

“[The Words of My Father] is captivating. Full of youthful exuberance, unlikely adventures, and raw discovery.” — The New Yorker

Yousef Bashir is a Palestinian-American from the Gaza Strip, the son of Khalil Bashir, a highly respected educator. Still suffering the effects of a near catastrophic injury at the hands of an anonymous IDF soldier, Yousef made his way to the United States where he became an accomplished author, a vigorous advocate of Israeli-Palestinian peace, and much sought-after public speaker. Learn his truly remarkable life story as he speaks with Rabbi David Woznica.

Obama White House Speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz in Dialogue with Rabbi David Woznica

December 2, 2019

From 2009 to 2017 Sarah Hurwitz served as a White House speechwriter, first for President Barack Obama and then as the chief speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. At the age of 36, Sarah took an introductory class on Judaism, attending on a whim. On the road, she found beauty in the rituals, guidance on living an ethical life, a deeper understanding of God—well beyond anything she had learned in Hebrew school. This initiated a multi-year journey meeting with rabbis, attending meditation retreats, sitting at Shabbat tables of Orthodox families, and the reading of many books on Judaism.

Rabbi Harold Kushner in Dialogue with Rabbi David Woznica

February 2, 2016

As part of Stephen Wise Temple Center for Jewish Life’s Forum on Critical Values, Rabbi David Woznica hosts a dialogue with legendary thinker, teacher, and renowned author Rabbi Harold Kushner. This engaging evening yielded timeless answers to thoughtful questions that apply to our daily lives as well as big-picture values introspections.

Elie Wiesel and Governor Mario Cuomo in Dialogue with Rabbi David Woznica

“God: Personal Thoughts” | April 18, 2002

In 2002 Rabbi David Woznica was invited to return to his former organization, the 92nd St. Y in New York City, for this memorable evening. In addition to a filled concert hall, It was broadcast by satellite around the United States. “While these extraordinary men are no longer with us,” reflects Rabbi Woznica, “their insights, candor and depth remain with me to this day.”

The Supreme Court: Crucial Cases of the Past, Present, and Future

Monday, November 4, 2019

with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Professor Laurie Levenson