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What role should the government play in educating its citizens? In this 1955 essay, economics Nobel laureate Milton Friedman argues that while there is an economic case to be made for government to subsidize the education of the young, it does not follow that government itself should be in the business of running schools. Friedman […]

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Synagogue membership rolls have been dwindling, and the Jewish establishment is right to wonder about the fate of the one communal institution around which the religious lives of most Jewish men and women have revolved since the destruction of the Second Temple. In the United States, the synagogue is threatened by a scale of young […]

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Does Bible Criticism leave room for faith? Noted Bible scholar Jon Levenson points out in this 1993 First Things article that the purely secular, critical approach to the Bible of many academics suffers from the same faults as does the fundamentalist religious approach: both ultimately rely on their own uncriticized values and assumptions. Pluralism and […]

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Tribe and Family

July 13, 2016 | By: Isaiah Rackovsky

Writing in Tradition in 1965, Rabbi Isaiah Rackovsky explores the tension between the institution of the family, which serves as the foundation of the Jewish way of life, and modernity, its ideas and political institutions. Judaism sets the framework for cultural transmission by imparting a duty on parents to educate their children and commanding children […]

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Understanding the human condition, the essential qualities that make us who we are, shapes how we think about our purpose as men and women created in the image of God.  Searching for distinctive characteristics that separate the human animal from all others, philosophers have proposed that man is an acquisitive animal, a social animal, a […]

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Does religious life benefit from studying the secular liberal arts? In this 2012 essay, Yeshiva University professor Shalom Carmy argues that literature, history, and philosophy enrich an education grounded in the halachic tradition. The study of humanities sheds light on the human condition, making us more aware of the divine presence and the man’s place in […]

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By the time Eliezer Berkovits wrote “Jewish Education in a World Adrift” in 1970, the “value system” that had sustained the West had collapsed. Relativism, nihilism, boredom, and permissiveness characterized the age–and the education of the young. Here Berkovits issues a call to arms, urging Jews to counter the nihilism of the broader culture by […]

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In the wake of the market crash of 2008, Jack Wertheimer spotlighted the “affordability crisis” plaguing American Jewish families. Adding up the cost of day school, Jewish camping, Kosher meat, synagogue dues, premiums for real estate near a synagogue, trips to Israel, and much else besides, Wertheimer guesses that an “actively engaged” Jewish family pays a […]

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Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.  In this podcast, the Tikvah Fund’s Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ruth Wisse, joins Eric Cohen to discuss her 2015 Mosaic essay, “Anti-Semitism Goes to School.” Drawing on her experiences at Harvard University and elsewhere, Wisse argues that there has been […]

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Forgetting Zion

June 3, 2016 | By: Ruth Wisse

Zionism was once a source of honor for American Jews. In 2008’s “Forgetting Zion,” Ruth Wisse tells the story of how that sense of triumph has unraveled, and how it has been replaced by susceptibility to shame in Jewish nationalism. With first-hand observations of the campuses and the institutions of American Judaism, Wisse recounts the change in popular […]

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