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

Who is eligible to apply to become a Tikvah Scholar?

The cohort of Tikvah Scholars is selected from current high school juniors and seniors attending Jewish day schools. We welcome applicants from Yeshiva high schools, community day schools, and other full-time Jewish educational programs. Students who attend private or public schools are encouraged to apply to become a Maimonides Scholar.

What are the financial, room and board, and religious arrangements?

Tuition is $695, which covers a portion of the actual costs for books, materials, and food. All other on-site program expenses, including housing, are fully subsidized by the Tikvah 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.

Students will be housed in a Yale dormitory building a short walk from the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, which will serve as the center of daily Jewish life, including daily prayer services. Delicious Kosher meals will be provided throughout the Institute.

The program will be conducted in accord with halakhic standards of behavior.

When does this program take place?

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

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 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!

When are applications open for the summer 2019 program? What is the deadline for submitting an application?

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

How many students participate in this program?

We will accept up to 70 students for our first session, and 40 for our second session. 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.

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

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

While the majority of our participants attend Jewish day schools or yeshivot, the program’s course flexibility means that an intensive Jewish studies background is not always necessary to participate. We will be able to assist you in crafting your experience in a way that is appropriate to your background. Additionally, the curriculum for Maimonides Scholars is developed specifically for students with less traditional Jewish literacy.

Will the food served be kosher?

All food served by the Tikvah Fund is certified strictly kosher.

Do I need to observe Jewish laws to participate in the program?

While many students live halakhic lifestyles in all aspects of their personal and private activity, we expect all students to uphold the laws of Shabbat, kashrut, and sexual modesty in all public spaces over the course of the program.

Included in the schedule is time for communal prayer. A traditional mehitza minyan (prayers with separate seating for men and women) will meet three times daily. An alternative arrangement will be offered to students who are not familiar with this type of service, depending on demand.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Rabbi Gabi Weinberg, gweinberg@tikvahfund.org.

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

All students will be notified if they are finalists by early March, 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 does it mean to be part of the Tikvah family?

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.

Alumni of the Maimonides Scholars and Tikvah Scholars programs 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.


Rabbi Gabi Weinberg

Director of High School Programs