Debating Great Ideas
At school, your Jewish learning may largely center on learning the mechanics of Jewish literacy and on learning the practical tools one needs to live an observant Jewish life. Sometimes this can mean that there is not enough time for philosophic inquiry in the classroom. At the Tikvah Scholars Program, we want to supplement that education with one dedicated to the spirit of true inquiry and philosophic conversation.
In the Tikvah Scholars Program, students will explore philosophical questions in advanced seminar-style courses where the teachers instigate true debate and meaningful discussion. We will tackle the complex, pressing issues of our time, while also exploring the transcendent and timeless questions of the human condition. How can our Jewish and American identities shape each other? What does it mean to be a free-thinking individual and to embrace tradition at the same time? What is chosenness? What is a covenant? How do reason and faith interact?
At Tikvah, these conversations will continue outside the classroom, over meals with your teachers, and in the dorms with your friends, where you’ll be arguing philosophical questions late into the night.
At the Tikvah Scholars Program, we seek to explore these questions, and many more, together. In the morning, students will choose an elective course examining, in depth, a topic of Jewish significance, such as chosenness, covenant, or free will. In the afternoon, they will study some of the great texts of Western Civilization in a college-level course on economics, politics, philosophy, law, or literature. In the second week, students will choose a course on a pressing and relevant public policy issue or other political question. They will also take a course on Zionist philosophy, where they will study, discuss, and debate the origins and the future of the state of Israel. All courses are conducted seminar-style, and students will be expected to be active leaders in the discussions, driving and shaping the conversation in conjunction with our world-class faculty members.
Summer 2019 Topics