The Samuel Bronfman Foundation will convene its annual Why Be Jewish Gathering today and tomorrow in New York City on the topic “Engaging the Sacred.” The program will explore Judaism’s rich tradition of examining and struggling with the concept and value of sacred experiences, and seek to understand what such conversations might mean for the many today who are asking the question Why Be Jewish?

This is the fourth year the gathering will take place, and will welcome a diverse group of Jewish thought leaders and professionals including Rabbi Andy Bachman, Congregation Beth Elohoim; Daniel Septimus, MyJewishLearning.com; Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Advancing Women Professionals; Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hyman Hebrew Academy; Avital Hochstein, Mechon Hadar; Wayne Firestone, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; author Abigail Pogrebin and Rabbi Shai Held, Mechon Hadar among others.

The goal of this year’s gathering, “Engaging the Sacred,” is to highlight a topic which is important, divisive, highly personal, and also rarely discussed within the Jewish community. A number of participants will be sharing their experiences via blog posts later this week on jewcy.com.

The annual Why Be Jewish Gathering is held under the Bronfman Vision Forum, a separate arm of The Samuel Bronfman Foundation rooted in its belief that Jewish renaissance is grounded in Jewish learning. The Forum offers opportunities and venues for cultural influentials, Jewish thought leaders and those who believe in the power of ideas and learning to come together, collaborate, and infuse Jewish life with intellectual dynamism. You can find more information on the annual gathering and The Samuel Bronfman Foundation’s Bronfman Vision Forum on their website.