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The Jewish Idea: Morality, Politics, and Theology

Tikvah Summer Fellowship for College Students       June 18, 2015—July 31, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions


Who Should Apply?

  • Applications for “The Jewish Idea” are closed, however current college students interested in Jewish, moral, social, political, or strategic thought are encouraged to apply to our “Jewish Thought, Jewish Literature, Jewish Politics” summer seminar.

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Who is the Program Dean?

Eric Cohen has been the Executive Director of the Tikvah Fund since 2007. He was the founder and remains editor-at-large of the New Atlantis, and he serves as the publisher of the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic. Mr. Cohen has published in numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Weekly StandardCommentaryThe New RepublicFirst Things, and numerous others. He is the author of In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology (2008) and co-editor of The Future is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics (2002). He was previously managing editor of The Public Interest and served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics. Mr. Cohen currently serves on the board of directors of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Witherspoon Institute, and National Affairs and on the Editorial Advisory Board of First Things.

 

What will the program’s content and format be?

Throughout the summer fellowship, students will examine and debate Jewish ideas of man and woman, family and children, war and peace, wealth and justice, and Zionism and freedom. Led by preeminent professors, rabbis, and intellectuals, “The Jewish Idea: Morality, Politics, and Theology” will probe the teachings of biblical and rabbinic Judaism, the lessons of Jewish history, the insights of modern Jewish thought, and the conversation between Jewish and Western ideas. Students will debate the most pressing challenges facing modern Jews, and learn from prominent Jewish and American leaders about their callings and careers in politics, academia, the rabbinate, journalism, and cultural life.  

 

What kind of programming will be offered on Shabbat?

Classes will end around lunch on Friday and the weekend will be free. For the first Shabbat, Tikvah will hold a retreat in order to facilitate deeper and more immersive conversation on the modern Jewish condition.

 

Who is eligible to apply?

The program is open to current college students interested in moral, social, political, or strategic thought. College-age Jews of all backgrounds and denominations are invited to apply.

 

What will the basic financial, room, and board arrangements be?

The program is fully subsidized by the Tikvah Fund and will most weekday meals, tuition, books, and a generous stipend. The stipend is designed to offset housing costs and other incidental expenses, and it will be the responsibility of the participants themselves to secure their own housing.

 

What will the basic religious arrangements be?

The program will be conducted in accord with halakhic standards of behavior, including Kosher meals to the highest standard.

 

What is the Tikvah Fund?

The Tikvah Fund is a private philanthropic foundation based in New York. Its mission is to promote serious Jewish thought about the enduring questions of human life and the pressing challenges that confront the Jewish people. Tikvah supports many programs, projects, and individuals, including books, publications, and seminars. Tikvah’s work is grounded in these fundamental convictions: that the great ideas, texts, and traditions of Judaism are a special inheritance, with much to teach everyone in search of wisdom about the human condition; and that the fate of the Jewish people greatly depends on the education of intellectual, religious, and political leaders, both within and outside Israel.

 

Does Tikvah have a particular worldview?

Yes. Tikvah is politically Zionist, economically free-market oriented, culturally traditional, and theologically open-minded. That said, we recognize that there is a time for reflection and a time for action. There is a time to ask big, open-ended questions and a time to hold fast to certain principles to confront a crisis or a dilemma. “The Jewish Idea” will dedicate much of its time to free and respectful seminars on the fundamental questions of human life, family, power, and economics, but there will also be time devoted to applying the most compelling ideas to present-day circumstances.