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Session #1: June 23–July 5 | Session #2: July 28–August 8
Check out the Tikvah Scholars page!

Who is eligible to apply to be a Maimonides Scholar?

The cohort of Maimonides Scholars is selected from current high school juniors and seniors, generally students from public and private school communities, who want to engage deeply with the Jewish and Western philosophical traditions.

Students who attend Yeshiva high schools, community day schools, or other full-time Jewish educational programs, we have an affiliate program are encouraged to apply to become a Tikvah Scholar. If you’re not sure which one to apply to, don’t worry; the programs have the same application and our staff will assist you to ensure you are placed in the right program.

When does the Institute take place?

Our first session runs from June 23-July 5, 2019. Our second session runs from July 28 – August 8, 2019.

When are applications open for the summer program? What is the deadline for submitting an application?

Applications open September 15, 2018 and close February 3rd, 2019.

How much money does the Institute cost?

The tuition is $695 which includes costs for books, materials, and food. All other onsite program expenses, including housing, are fully subsidized by the Maimonides Fund. Full and partial need-based tuition scholarships are available. No student will be turned away because of need. and The application is free and need-blind.

What does a day at the Institute look like?

Although the central features of every day are the seminars, a variety of extracurricular activities are also scheduled throughout the program. Check out last year’s daily schedule for a taste of what this year will be like!

How can I learn more about the program?

You can learn more by visiting our Overview Page or by reviewing our course offerings from 2018 and downloading our brochure!

What kind of students become Maimonides Scholars?

We seek intellectually curious students who want to make a difference in the world. They should be willing to grapple with big questions, and be ready for vigorous but respectful debate.

Maimonides Scholars, and students at the Tikvah Fund more generally, are not merely with us for the duration of the program. Maimonides Scholars Program will have access to mentoring opportunities, alumni networking, follow-up career opportunities, and educational programming through our Tikvah Alumni Network.

Is there a way to find out if I will get in early?

There is no formal “early admissions date” for the Institute. Students will be notified if they are finalists by mid-February, and will receive further information at that time regarding an interview with a member of the Institute selection committee. Final decisions will be delivered by early April.

What will Jewish life be like on the program?

The Tikvah Institute for High School Students seeks to create an inclusive and vibrant space for students to explore the Jewish tradition and Jewish ritual. Students will be housed in a Yale dormitory building a short walk from the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. There will be space throughout the program for students to participate in the rhythms of Jewish life including voluntary prayer times and Shabbat.

On Shabbat evening, students will attend a musical Kabbalat Shabbat service as well as enjoy a Shabbat meal together . On Saturday morning, students can choose between egalitarian or orthodox services, or attend a non-religious text study. We request that Shabbat observance be respected in public spaces between Friday evening and Saturday evening. We seek to create a space where all students can grow Jewishly and encounter new traditions, we recognize that our students will be coming from diverse Jewish backgrounds and modes of observance. Tikvah endeavors to create a Jewish community that respects Maimonides Scholars’ traditions, practices, and beliefs.

Do you need to have a Jewish studies background to participate in the program?

A background in Jewish studies is not necessary to be a Maimonides Scholar. We care more about your hunger for learning more than we do about what may or may not have learned already.

Is there transportation to the program?

The Tikvah Fund will provide a complimentary bus to the Yale University campus in New Haven, CT, from a central location in the New York City area on June 23 and a return bus on July 5. For the second session, there will also be a bus to New Haven, CT from the New York City area on July 28 and a return bus to New York City on August 8.

The student’s family or guardian is responsible for getting the student to the bus in New York or to New Haven directly.

What is the food like at the program?

All food that we provide will be delicious and kosher. We will work with students and with our excellent caterers to make sure any special dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, allergies) are accommodated.

What is the dress code for the program?

We expect our participants to come to the seminar table prepared to engage in high-level, serious discussion, and to conduct themselves maturely and professionally.

To that end, the classroom and evening event dress expectations are: slacks and khakis with a collared shirt appropriate for young men and slacks, khakis, skirts, blouses and dresses for young women. Torn or ripped clothing is not allowed. On Shabbat, clothing should be dressier than normal seminar attire, reflecting the elevated nature of the day. Regular summer clothing is acceptable outside of class and special events.

What is the Tikvah Fund?

The Tikvah Fund is a philanthropic foundation and ideas institution committed to cultivating the next generation of intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. Tikvah runs and invests in a wide range of initiatives in Israel, the United States, and around the world, including educational programs, publications, and fellowships. We invite you to explore some of these initiatives through the links on our website.

Our animating mission and guiding spirit is to advance Jewish excellence and Jewish flourishing in the modern age. Our institutes, programs, and publications all reflect this spirit of bringing forward the serious alternatives for what the Jewish future should look like and bringing Jewish thinking and leaders into conversation with Western political, moral, and economic thought.

We run educational programs for high school students, students spending a gap-year in Israel, and college students. We also offer extensive programming and content for the alumni of our various programs. In this way, we encourage our students to think about their time at Yale not as a one-time encounter but as the gateway to an entire continuum of educational experiences designed to equip them with the intellectual and moral tools to take up their roles as young leaders in the Jewish and world community.

Maimonides Scholars alumni and Tikvah Scholars alumni are invited to participate in an annual Alumni Institute at Yale University, developed and led by Alumni from previous cohorts of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students. Alumni of the High School Institute are encouraged to participate in the many educational and social programs hosted at the Tikvah Center in New York City throughout the year, as well as our various academic programs and institutes specifically-designed for college students taking place during the summer.

More Questions

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Kate Havard, khavard@tikvahfund.org.


Kate Havard Rozansky

Academic Dean