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Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove wrote a provocative article in 2007 titled “Where Have All the Theologians Gone?” This is the question Shearith Israel rabbi Meir Soloveichik and Mechon Hadar rabbi Shai Held begin with: Why is there so much less public argument about Jewish theology than there was in the middle of the last century? What […]

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What is the condition of modern Judaism? It is simultaneously rationalist and non-rationalist, Israeli and Diasporic, nationalist and individualist, powerful and fearful of rising anti-Semitism, particularist and universalist. To sort out modern Judaism’s camps and contradictions and to offer some thoughts on Judaism’s theological, sociological, and political future, Tikvah hosted a conversation between two very […]

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Tikvah advanced institute alumnus David Bernstein has a thoughtful post on the spate of hand-wringing articles about how hard it has become for self-described liberal Zionists to remain both liberal and Zionist. Writing on the Volokh Conspiracy blog, Bernstein rebuts this nonsensical meme. First, any feasible alternative to Zionism would be profoundly illiberal. Second, why […]

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Jack Wertheimer, a professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary, has authored this month’s Mosaic essay, an overview of the unique vitality of and bubbling tension in Modern Orthodoxy. Though 3% of American Jewry, the Modern Orthodox are especially prominent, counting among their ranks Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and former-vice-presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman. […]

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Why are Jews liberals? One plausible answer lies in the Jewish experience in Europe. European conservatives, as Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution points out, differ greatly from American conservatives. European conservatism has sought to conserve “altar and throne”—the non-democratic ancien régime that oppressed the Jews. American conservatism, on the other hand, has sought to conserve liberty […]

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As part of the advanced institute on “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews,” Tikvah hosted the legendary editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz has been a partisan of the left, the right, and, most of all, the Jews. In an interview with Tikvah’s executive director Eric Cohen, Podhoretz discussed his life’s work and his ideological transformation.

Watch here.

Last week, Tikvah’s Advanced Institute Moments of Decision, Great Debates pivoted from 20th century turning points for Israel to the alternatives faced by leaders in mid-Century America. Their engagement with Jewish America was deepened by a lunchtime visit from one of the country’s leading scholars on contemporary American Judaism, Professor Jack Wertheimer of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Listen here to an interview with Professor Wertheimer, conducted by Tikvah’s Senior Director Mark Gottlieb.

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The Chabad Paradox

December 4, 2013

The Hasidic group known both as Lubavitch, after a town in Russia, and as Chabad, an acronym for the three elements of human and divine intelligence, Chochma (wisdom), Bina (understanding), and Da’at (knowledge), is not just the most successful contemporary Hasidic sect. It might be the most successful Jewish religious movement of the second half […]

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The battle is over; or so we’re told. A half-century after the rate of Jewish intermarriage began its rapid ascent in the United States, reaching just under 50 percent by the late 1990s, many communal spokesmen appear to have resigned themselves to the inevitable. Some speak in tones of sorrow and defeat. Encouraging endogamy, they […]

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The transformations of Jewish life in the last two-and-a-half centuries still boggle the mind. Deep ruptures opened to separate the present from the past, modernity from tradition, setting terms that have defined the contours of Jewish life until today. How did people try to think their way through the change? That vital question is central […]

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