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In coordination with many yeshivas, seminaries, and gap-year programs in Israel, the Tikvah Fund is pleased to sponsor a year-long seminar to promote serious thinking about the nexus of Jewish values and enduring human questions. Through presentations and retreats, the program brings together some of Israel's finest rabbis, scholars, and activists with curious and motivated students. The program, directed by Rabbi Shlomo Brody, intends to supplement Israel program curriculums by providing a forum for interdisciplinary study, dialogue, and camaraderie amongst a select group of students. By exposing our participants to a range of perspectives from public intellectuals and thinkers, we hope to help develop the next generation of thoughtful and learned Jewish leaders.
How to Apply / Program Details
Applications will be accepted until September 14th, 2012, and interviews will be conducted over the following weeks, including the period of the extended Sukkot vacation.
The first seminar will take place mid-October at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, with subsequent seminars every three weeks until mid-June. The format of each seminar varies, including debates, panel discussions, and lectures. Regular sessions take place on Friday mornings between 9:15 AM - 2 PM to avoid conflicting with program schedules. Two weekend retreats will take place over the course of the year. When necessary, transportation is provided to prevent conflicts with program schedules. A delicious brunch will be served at each meeting. Students must commit to constant attendance, prepare one or two readings before each seminar, and actively participate in discussions.
The simple application can be downloaded from this page.
The curriculum includes lectures and readings based around central themes, with a balance between sessions that focus on theoretical questions and other meetings that discuss real-world dilemmas. The 2012-2013 (5773) curriculum will center on two major themes and explore the following questions:
Previous presentations from 2010-2012 have included:
Dr. Micah Goodman - Zionism, Ben Gurion and the Bible: Progress or Return?
Prof. Asa Kasher - Writing the IDF's Code of Ethics
Rabbi Yitzchak Blau - The Relationship Between Values and Hermeneutics: Military Ethics in Halakha as a Case Example
Prof. Mark Schwartz - Business Ethics in Israel
Rabbi Motti Bar-Or - The Attitude of the Non-Orthodox Israeli Population to the Jewish Tradition and Torah Study
Rabbis Seth Farber and Yuval Cherlow - The Chief Rabbinate: Halakha, Democracy, and the Challenges of a Modern Jewish State (Shabbaton Retreat in Kibbutz Shefayim)
Dr. Daniel Gordis - Zionism and Jewish Identity in the Diaspora
Dr. Aviad Hacohen - Religion and State in the Supreme Court
Rabbi Ari Berman - Minorities in the State of Israel (Shabbaton Retreat in Ein Gedi)
Rabbi Shlomo Brody - Does Ideology Impact Law? The Case of Religious Zionist Halakha
Meirav Jones - The Bible in Early Modern Western Democratic Thought and its Contemporary Implications
Prof. Shlomo Fischer - Democracy & Halakha: Theoretical and Educational Challenges
For more information, or to apply, please contact Rabbi Shlomo Brody at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Shlomo (Myles) Brody serves as a senior faculty member (Ram) at Yeshivat Hakotel, the historic Yeshivat Hesder in Jerusalem's Old City. He is the online editor of Tradition, including its blog Text & Texture, and writes a regular Ask the Rabbi column for The Jerusalem Post. His essays have also appeared in First Things, Jewish Action, The Forward, The Jewish Press, Meorot, Hakirah, and other publications. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, he received rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University.