The Tikvah Scholars Program is an immersive, 12-day residential learning program located at Yale University. We bring together exceptional high school students from all Jewish backgrounds (offering both a 9th–10th grade track and an 11th–12th grade track) to consider the enduring questions of human life and the great challenges facing Jewish, American, and Israeli civilization. Our seminars tackle big themes carefully and yet boldly—such as war and peace, love and friendship, faith and reason, the individual and community—drawing upon the seminal texts of the Jewish, Western, and Zionist traditions.
Every class is a seminar, where hard questions are encouraged and vigorous debate and discussion are cultivated. In this civil yet spirited cauldron of ideas, lifelong friendships quickly develop, all in a college-like atmosphere that encourages reflection and community. Time for daily leisure, prayer, worship, and Shabbat—all at the appropriate level of the individual student—round out this transformative experience.
Curriculum and Classes
We aim to select Tikvah Scholars who aspire to lives of meaning, integrity, and Jewish leadership. We believe that serious Jewish and intellectual inquiry is the best preparation for such a life, and we aim to inspire our students with the best of our traditions—Jewish, Zionist, American, and Western.
Led by master teachers, Tikvah students learn to take positions, formulate arguments, and articulate their commitments respectfully. In this way, students join the perennial conversations studied in our classes. Our seminar rooms foster deep intellectual friendships among serious young Jews from around the world.
Our curriculum centers around the following four areas, which we believe all serious young Jews should study:
- Jewish Thought and Civilization
- Zionism and Modern Israel
- American Ideas and Institutions
- Philosophy, Literature, and the Western Canon
Courses previously offered include: