Two nationally prominent rabbis will be in Tucson next week to talk about faith in America.

The discussion comes on the heels of a new national study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which showed Jews are not only an aging faith group — about half are over 50 — but also a small group, at just under 2 percent of the population.

Other studies have shown that Jews' percentage in the population as a whole has been diminishing.

In Tucson, Jews make up about 3 percent of the population, according to a census released in 2002.

Wednesday's discussion at the Tucson Hebrew Academy will feature Rabbis Irwin Kula and Brad Hirschfield.

The rabbis, who co-host the weekly radio show, "Hirschfield and Kula," on KXL in Portland, Ore., are expected to discuss how people honor their own faith traditions while remaining part of the larger community, as well as how religion plays out in the political, social and societal landscape.

Kula, ordained as a Conservative rabbi, is a regular on NBC television's "Today" show. He is known for offering Jewish wisdom in ways that speak to modern life and is the author of "Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life."

He has been a repeat guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and was featured in a PBS special about the anniversary of 9/11.

Hirschfield, ordained as an Orthodox rabbi, is author of the recently published "You Don't Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith without Fanaticism."

He is a nationally recognized commentator on religion, society and pop culture. He has appeared on CNN, PBS, MTV and NPR. He was also featured in the documentary "Freaks Like Me," which explores religion in the age of terrorism.

Professor J. Edward Wright, director of Judaic studies at the University of Arizona, will moderate the talk.

The event's sponsors include the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, in collaboration with the Coalition for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Hebrew Academy.

If you go

Rabbis Irwin Kula and Brad Hirschfield will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tucson Hebrew Academy, 3888 E. River Road. J. Edward Wright, UA director of Judaic Studies, will moderate the talk, which is free and open to the public.

● Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at 573-4134 or at