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Great Debates in Politics and Policy
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JMW Curriculum and Schedule


The curriculum revolves around major debates in contemporary social and moral thought and the implications they have for public policy dilemmas. The program is a unique opportunity to become exposed to influential writers and examine how Jews should respond to the debates currently dividing Western society.


Jews and the New World (Dis)Order

Globalization and multiculturalism have deeply changed the way that countries and cultures interact with each other. What are the new political ideologies that may emerge in this era and how will this impact Israel and Jews around the world? How will European civilization look in 25 years with its porous borders and fractured European Union? What role should the United States play in the world order? And most importantly, how do Jews protect their interests in this changing world while staying true to their values? We’ll explore proposed answers to these questions and debate what is the best course to take in these tumultuous times.

Religious Values in an Evolving Moral Culture

American society is divided over many core values that are tearing apart its social fabric. How many immigrants should be welcomed through the country’s borders and how integrated must they become into the “melting pot”? Should college campuses promote a free exchange of ideas or must we endorse certain positions as moral axioms for a good society? Can societies committed to individual choice preserve central social structures like families and formative traditions? These are just a few of the deep moral quandaries whose answers shape the future of America and the West. As Jews, we must understand these public policy debates as we seek to contribute our own voice to the political discourse.

Schedule and Format

Regular sessions will begin in the beginning of November and take place eight times over the course of the year. Each session will meet in central Jerusalem, with the women’s track meeting on Monday nights and the men’s program meeting on Saturday nights. Dinner will be served at each meeting. When necessary, transportation for students is provided to and/or from the events.

The seminars will be led by Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Brody and occasional guest lecturers. Before every session, participants will be expected to carefully prepare the assigned readings. Students must commit to regular attendance and to actively engage in group discussion.

The program is fully sponsored by the Tikvah Fund and is free of charge.

Who Should Apply?

  • Gap-year participants looking to get more out of their time living in Israel.


  • High school graduates looking to develop into informed and passionate leaders on the college campus.


  • Yeshiva and seminary students who want to explore how Jewish wisdom can contribute to the challenges facing modern society.



Avital Gold

Student and Operations Coordinator