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Lois Lowry, Newbery Medal-winning author of Number the Stars and The Giver, will deliver the keynote address, “Telling Our Stories to One Another,” at the second annual Maine Conference for Jewish Life at Colby June 12-14. Other conference highlights will include lectures by rabbis from around the country and by Colby faculty, a panel discussion with state senators on Jews in public service, and family events such as art making, music, and dancing.

“This is an incredible opportunity to bring Jews from around the state to a single location for superior learning and joyous celebration,” said Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, one of the organizers and Colby’s Jewish chaplain, instructor in Jewish studies, and Center for Small Town Jewish Life executive director. “When we come together and pool our resources, Jewish life in Maine truly reaches its potential.”

Living far from America’s major urban centers and from one another, Jews in northern New England rarely gain access to the Jewish world’s finest scholars and cultural innovators or experience being surrounded by a critical mass of other Jews, Isaacs said. This conference brings Jews from across the region together to gain familiarity with the jewels of Jewish civilization, exchange best practices for crafting successful rural Jewish lives, experience the benefits and challenges of celebrating in a pluralistic environment, and revel in Torah learning.

Beth Israel Congregation Director of Education Melanie Weiss and Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Erica Asch joined Isaacs in coordinating the conference.

More information—including how to register and a tentative schedule—is available at web.colby.edu/mainejewishlifeconference.