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Writing in 1994, Irving Kristol warns about the demographic problems facing American Jews. By the mid-nineties, the American Jewish community was pursuing a path to assimilation through low birth rates and intermarriage. Both phenomena, Kristol argues, were not failures of Jewish communal policy, but instead the unanticipated consequences of its success. For years, championing the […]

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In this essay, the second of a two-part series on Abraham, Leon Kass reads the stories of God’s promise to Abraham, the birth and banishment of Ishmael, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac’s circumcision, and the sacrifice of Isaac in a wisdom-seeking spirit. Kass explores how Abraham learns the arts of fatherhood and founding, elevating the household above […]

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Faith in the Flesh

June 20, 2016 | By: R.R. Reno

As Catholic theologian, social critic, and First Things editor R.R. Reno sat in the synagogue pews one Saturday morning, watching his daughter assume her place in the people of Israel as a bat mitzvah, he was provoked to scrutinize his own Christian faith in light of the Judaism of his wife and children. In this […]

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The Jewish Mother

June 9, 2016 | By: Meir Soloveichik

Few Jewish doctrines sound as strange to modern ears as that of “matrilineal descent,” the notion that membership in the Jewish people is passed on through the mother even as other specific qualities of Jewishness (like whether one is a Levite) are passed on through the father. In “The Jewish Mother,” Rabbi Meir Soloveichik looks beyond sociological […]

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Rabbi David Stav on Jewish Unity

September 10, 2015 | By: David Stav

Through his leadership of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, Rabbi David Stav has been at the forefront of debates over the relationship between religion and state in Israel, pushing for reforms in the State’s handling of marriage, conversion, and kashrut. Why is Tzohar focused on these issues? And how does he think about government’s role in religious life?

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The Tikvah Fund once again had the privilege of learning from prize-winning novelist Dara Horn at our recent week-long seminar Jewish Thought, Jewish Literature, Jewish Politics. After leading university students in a stimulating study of love, sexuality, and family guided by readings from the Book of Genesis, S.Y. Agnon, and Sholem Aleichem, Horn opened up about her own life and literary career. […]

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As part of its ongoing series on “Jewish Ideals & Current Dilemmas in Contemporary Zionism,” the Tikvah Overseas Seminars hosted two of Israel’s leading rabbinic activists to discuss recent legislation regarding marriage and conversion in Israel. Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinic Organization, and Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founding director of ITIM, have […]

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Dara Horn - Life and Work

February 24, 2015 | By: Dara Horn

Dara Horn has won acclaim for her imaginative novels and for the richness of their Jewish foundations. As part of the 2014 Summer Fellowship, Horn sat down to discuss Yiddish literature, American Judaism, her writing process, reactions to her work (from Jews and non-Jews alike), and her life as the mother of four children. In […]

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Tsaytl and Parenting

September 5, 2014

In Sholem Aleichem’s short story “Today’s Children,” Tevye’s eldest daughter Tsaytl yearns to marry a lowly tailor over a wealthy butcher. For her father Tevye this poses a real dilemma. In this clip the novelist Dara Horn discusses the sorts of questions we must ask to evaluate Tevye with the participants in Tikvah’s advanced institute […]

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Children and Freedom

August 13, 2014

Yuval Levin of National Affairs and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik explore in this clip the tensions between the social aim of liberty and the need for child-rearing. Bringing in Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and John Locke, Levin and Soloveichik show how this tension comes down to the foundational question of the nature of man. How much […]

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