Tikvah Campus Fellowship
Fellowship Dates: November 15, 2015—May 8, 2016
Application Deadline: October 30, 2015
The Tikvah Campus Fellowship seeks to identify and cultivate Jewish conservative thought leaders on American college campuses by providing structured opportunities for intellectual growth and guidance throughout the academic year. Through a combination of in-person workshops at the Tikvah Center in New York City, live-stream events, and an intercollegiate virtual forum, fellows will study and debate the most pressing issues confronting today’s Jewish undergraduates.
Tikvah Campus Fellows will gather November 15, 2015 at the Tikvah Center in New York City for a kick-off event featuring Ruth Wisse, William Kristol, and Rabbi Meir Soloveichik. This all-day event will serve both as orientation and substantive day of study, framing our year-long work together. Seminars will address the future of the humanities in the modern secular university, literature and the Jewish Conservative spirit, and intellectual entrepreneurship and conservatism on campus. The program will conclude with an intimate conversation between faculty and participants.
Every six-to-eight weeks during academic term, a live-stream event featuring a prominent author or thinker from the community of Jewish Conservatism will be broadcast. In between these live-stream events, brief reading selections and short writing prompts (no more than 750 words) will be circulated to the cohort for conversation and debate. Student responses will be posted on a private forum for moderated discussion. Selected readings and authors will include: “At Last, Zion” by Charles Krauthammer, “Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy” by Michael Doran, “The Spiritual Roots of Capitalism” by Irving Kristol, “Why I Am Not A Conservative” by Friedrich Hayek, “Four Heads and One Heart” by James Caesar, “Religion and the State: The Case for Interaction” by Aharon Lichtenstein, “Church and State: How High A Wall?” by Milton Himmelfarb, “What is Marriage?” by Robert George, Ryan Anderson, and Sherif Girgis, “Educating Father Abraham” by Leon Kass, and “The Gifts of a Teacher” by Bret Stephens. Whenever possible, the authors of our assigned readings will join us via live-stream.
The two intersession seminars will explore the theme of “Jews and Power” from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, highlighting both the great opportunity and the awesome challenge political and material power poses for Jewish civilization. The first seminar, led by veteran foreign affairs analyst and former deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams, will focus on the intersection of politics, strategy and statesmanship, and Judaism, both in America and the Middle East. The second seminar, led by former Harvard University Professor and Tikvah Senior Fellow, Ruth Wisse, will examine the relationship between literature and politics in modern Yiddish, Hebrew and American settings. Fellows will choose one seminar to attend from the following dates:
• Jews and Power I: Politics and Statesmanship — December 20, 2015 — December 22, 2015
• Jews and Power II: Literature and Politics — January 10, 2016 — January 12, 2016
Fellows will return to the Tikvah Center in May 2016 (date TBD) for a concluding conversation and planning session exploring possibilities for a conservative intellectual and political renewal on individual campuses with Tikvah Executive Director Eric Cohen and Senior Director Rabbi Mark Gottlieb.
One aim of the Tikvah Campus Fellowship is to begin a conversation about what constitutes an exemplary Jewish liberal arts education, both a deep exploration of the most fundamental human and Jewish questions and the articulation of an authentically Jewish worldview on issues of contemporary import. The most capable and interested students in the fellowship are invited to consider continuing their studies with us in New York City during June and July as part of our six-week Summer Fellowship. To encourage you to think seriously about this unique opportunity, Tikvah Campus Fellows will be offered preferred standing in the application process for the summer fellowship.
Jewish Conservatism: Core Topics in the Conversation
More a political and theological persuasion than a rigid set of specific policy recommendations, Jewish conservatism starts from the premise that Judaism has something important to teach the world—about family, about peoplehood, about wealth and poverty, about the good life, for both individuals and nations. Jewish conservatism likewise believes that our people and way of life has much to gain from the careful study of the western tradition, especially in matters of strategy, statecraft and the balance of morality and wealth production in the modern marketplace. With the instruction of some of Tikvah’s finest faculty, Fellows will explore the following core topics:
• Religion, Power and Jewish Sovereignty
• Love, Sex, Gender, and the Family
• Jewish Perspectives on Capitalism, Socialism, and the Good Life
with an eye towards Jewish excellence(s)—moral, theological, intellectual, and political—and a robust sense of Jewish mission and purpose. For a more comprehensive presentation of our animating spirit, see the recent essay by Tikvah Fund Executive Director Eric Cohen here.
All events will be conducted with respect for Jewish observance; kosher meals of the highest standard will be served at all events and, whenever possible, prayer services will be held. Participants will be fully reimbursed for travel and lodging, and a stipend of $500 will be awarded to participants who successfully complete the year-long fellowship.
Applications are due Friday, October 30. Acceptances to the fellowship will be sent out on a rolling basis. This program is offered to current undergraduates in any class. Interested students will be asked to submit to a CV/resume and two short responses to the following questions:
• Why do you want to participate in this fellowship? (500 words)
• Who is the most impressive religious, political, or intellectual figure working today, and why? (150 words)