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June 24-July 8, 2018 | Yale University | Tikvah Institute for High School Students
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What does it mean to be both an American and a Jew? How do these two identities inform each other? How do they complement each other—and how are they in tension?  This summer, the Maimonides Scholars Program is bringing 60 high school students from diverse Jewish backgrounds to join us at Yale University for a two-week summer institute. Through the serious study of the great texts of the Jewish and Western traditions, we will contemplate this question together.

As we prepare for our program’s inaugural class, we are inviting Jewish high school students (rising seniors and graduating seniors) from public and non-Jewish private high schools to send us their essays on this subject. We will be awarding thousands of dollars in scholarship prizes.

Read more about the Maimonides Scholars Program here, and start your application for the essay contest below. The application deadline is Sunday, March 5, 2018.

—1st Place (1 available) – $5,000 and a scholarship to the Maimonides Scholars Program.

—Runners Up (3 available) – $1000 and a scholarship to the Maimonides Scholars Program.

—Honorable Mentions – A scholarship to the Maimonides Scholars Program, plus travel stipend.



Contest is open to Jewish high school students (juniors and seniors) who do not attend a Jewish high school.

Your essay must be:

  • 750 words or less.
  • Only one essay per student may be submitted.
  • All essays should:
    • be double spaced
    • have 1 inch margins
    • include an essay title
    • be typed in 12 point font
    • be in Microsoft Word or a compatible format.

Submissions must be submitted via the website by February 16, 2018, by 4:00 pm.


Kate Havard

Associate Director for Educational Programs