Testimoninals from pilot program in 5779:
My experience in the JMW seminar gave me an incredible opportunity to connect my political interests with a meaningful Jewish perspective. I’ve always had an interest in current events but felt a gap in how it connected to my religious life. Tikvah taught us how Jewish beliefs and values can shape a healthy society. We read great, thought-provoking literature that really opened my mind to current secular and religious philosophies. The open group discussions with my peers showed how every person has a unique way of looking at things and to respect those viewpoints. The Tikvah seminar really helped me take the spiritual growth I have acquired throughout the year and harness it into fundamental beliefs that will help shape my future.
– Reuben Hartman
WITS / Yeshivat Shalavim
The Tikvah Overseas Students reading seminar provides an excellent opportunity for yeshiva students to deepen their grasp on societal trends impacting the Jewish community and broader society. The reading materials are fascinating and informative. Discussions, led by an experienced and engaging teacher, allow participants to express opinions, exchange ideas, and develop a sensitivity for the subtleties of the great debates in social thought. This intellectual stimulation combined with a reasonable sprinkling of friendly banter made Tikvah one of the highlights of my year in Israel.
– Moshe Gordon
Israel Henry Beren High School (Ner Yisrael) / KBY / YU
The Tikvah Israel program definitely enhanced my year of learning Torah and personal growth. The sessions with Rabbi Brody were always insightful and thought-provoking. These discussions allowed me to apply the ideas gained in yeshiva to issues facing the modern world. Tikvah has really strengthened my ability to see society through the lens of Torah and its eternal values.
– Coby Melkin
Berman Hebrew Academy / Yeshivat Hakotel (Shana Bet)
Testimonials from similar programs in previous years:
The Tikvah Overseas Program was the perfect complement to my Shana Ba’aretz experience. After immersing myself in an Israeli Beit Midrash during the week, I valued the opportunity to engage with complex topics, such as Jewish Nationalism, on both a practical and philosophical level. Tikvah provided a forum to connect with and learn from a diverse group of teens. Through our sessions, shabbatonim, and thought provoking discussions, I developed a better understanding of the nuanced debates surrounding current events both in Israel and abroad.
– Ariel Greenwald
SAR / Migdal Oz / Stern
I found the Tikvah Overseas program to be a greatly worthwhile experience to occur alongside my seminary experience. In seminary classes, we learned the intricacies of the Jewish religion and tradition; in Tikvah seminars, we learned about why this tradition (and tradition in general) is so valuable, how to integrate it with Western values, and what all of this means in regard to the state of Israel. After participating in this program I feel I have not only gained much knowledge, but also many friendships with likeminded, high quality people. Overall, the content, speakers and students are interesting, engaging, and make for an enriching experience.
– Lalya Frischman
Ulpanat Orot Girls School / Lindenbaum / U of Toronto
The Tikvah Overseas Student program was a critical part of my year in Israel. It provided an intellectual forum, outside of midrasha, to explore questions of morality, arguments for the liberal arts, and dilemmas related to social gaps. I consider these topics critical to discuss before entering college, where I will surely encounter them in both conversation and practice. Tikvah was a remarkable opportunity to supplement my midrasha studies and prepare me for my future educational experiences.
– Arianna Kigner
Frisch / Nishmat / University of Maryland
The Tikvah Overseas Seminar was an integral part of my gap year in Israel. While my foremost dedication was studying Torah in the Beit Midrash, Tikvah enabled me to study secular topics as they affect the Jewish condition, adding significantly to my Torah learning. The incredible lecturers presented their topics with expertise and facilitated heated debates that engaged all the participants and their many differing opinions. Yet along with a deeper understanding of the topics and an interest to learn more, the participants formed deep friendships with one another founded on intellectual query and search for truth. The dedicated staff and participants, informative speakers, and gripping debates provided an experience that perfectly complemented my Torah learning and profoundly.
Maayanot / TVA / IDF