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Nationalism and Religion in Israel and Around the World
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Alumni Testimonials



I cannot emphasize enough the extent to which TOS positively impacted my formative year in Israel. As I opened myself up to new religious texts and ideas in the Beit Midrash, Tikvah allowed me to sharpen my opinions on foundational issues through interactive seminars and lectures from leading thinkers.  In Tikvah, I was thinking deeply about how our values as Zionists shape the thriving future of Judaism. Undoubtedly, the highlight were shabbatonim spent with new friends from across the Yeshiva/midrasha spectrum where our discussions on these issues came alive.  I would certainly recommend Tikvah to any shana ba-aretz student looking to deepen their understanding of the political and moral dilemmas confronting Jews around the world.

Hannah Vorchheimer

SAR High School / Migdal Oz / Barnard College


The Tikvah Overseas program was one of the highlights of my year in Israel. Hearing about a wide range of topics from all sorts of knowledgable speakers allowed me to expand my knowledge of public policy debates in a compelling and personal manner. The shabbaton was an amazing, immersive experience where I was able to discuss an important topic with a riveting and intelligent speaker.  The program as a whole provided an opportunity to converse with a range of students in yeshivas, seminaries, and programs from all over the map.  Highly recommended!

Ezra Troy, Berman Hebrew Academy / Orayta / University of Pennsylvania



Discussing modern-day issues with a strong religious backdrop helped me gain a true appreciation for my personal and communal identity. Guided by Rabbi Brody, TOS allowed me to synthesize my learning in yeshiva with the perspectives of countless world-renowned writers and thinkers. Tikvah provided me the opportunity to work within a Torah framework to develop my own thoughts on current debates in a professional, informative, and fun environment.

Noah Hyman

YULA / Yeshivat Hakotel (Shana Bet) / University of Pennsylvania


The program was the perfect complement to my seminary experience. While spending most of my time in the Beit Midrash, Tikvah gave me an opportunity to zoom out and contemplate vital issues pertaining to the world as a whole. The individual sessions were both edifying and thought provoking. But perhaps equally as important, the program was really fun. I had the opportunity to become friends with students from other yeshivot and midrashot, with the highlight being the three shabbatonim we spent together in a hotel. It is incredible how frequently I already make reference to many of the texts and ideas we read and discussed in the program. Tikvah was not only the most productive way I could have spent my Fridays—it truly enhanced my year as a whole.

-Tehilla Berger
Torah Academy for Girls / MMY / Stern College


The Tikvah Overseas Students Seminars greatly supplemented my learning experience, allowing me to maintain my interests in cultural and political topics while still dedicating a year to studying Torah. The slew of prominent speakers—from rabbis to political analysts to professors—did not disappoint. In addition to relaying their knowledge on key topics facing our generation, they were able to stimulate memorable, foundational discussions among the program’s participants. The Shabbatonim truly brought the students from across the Yeshiva-Midrasha spectrum together, fleshing out the debates in a cordial and learning-conducive weekend. By the program’s conclusion, I had come away with a deeper understanding of the issues affecting our world, hungry to learn more about them.

-Ariel Amsellem
YULA / Har Etzion / University of Chicago


The Tikvah Israel program played a big role in my year in Israel. The lectures about Israeli society greatly enhanced my experience of living in Israel because I was able to better understand the country around me. The presenters, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields, are specialists in their respective fields, and gave us a unique opportunity to learn from a real expert on their topic. Overall, my Tikvah experience in Israel greatly enhanced my learning and my understanding of Israel and the world. I would highly recommend it to students going to Israel for the year!

-Avital Fried
Maimonides / Migdal Oz / Princeton



Looking back on my year in Israel, it’s hard to over-emphasize the role the Tikvah Overseas Student Seminars played in it. We had the exceptional opportunity to interact with contemporary academic heavyweights as well as exposure to the great timeless debates of Western civilization. In this way, the program itself was not only a refreshing change of pace from yeshiva learning, but also a great supplement. It paralleled my Talmud study, and intertwined the two into one grand conversation. The program also served as great preparation for college, from discussion of topics such as moral relativism to struggling through difficult philosophical texts. Yet ultimately, the highlight of the program was the passionate seminar debate and the friendships formed in the pursuit of truth.

-Alexander Haberman
SAR / Eretz Hatzvi / University of Chicago


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Avital Gold

Student and Operations Coordinator