A contest for the next big idea in Judaism is down to five finalists.
Brandeis University made the choices for its Charles R. Bronfman Visiting Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation competition.
Applicants were asked to come up with an innovation in Judaism and develop it with proposals for changing the way Jews think about themselves and their community. The winner will receive a visiting professorship at Brandeis and two years to develop the idea into a book that Brandeis will publish.
The finalists are Jerusalem Post editorial page editor and columnist Saul Singer; Harvard doctoral candidate Yehuda Kurtzer; author Anita Diamant; Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the founder of the Jewish Values Network; and Ariel Beery, the publisher of PresenTense magazine.
They were selected from 231 applicants, including 49 rabbis and from such countries as Israel, Italy, India, Australia and Sweden.
The five will present their proposals Feb. 24 at a symposium for members of the Brandeis community and Boston-area Jewish leaders.