Membership in the Tikvah-Beren Collegiate Forum includes access to all Great Speeches seminars, listed below. Members are required to participate in two Great Speeches seminars throughout the year as a condition of their acceptance — you may register for more, space permitting.

Oratory is an integral part of the Western canon and tradition, but frequently overlooked. Oratory seems like a lost art, its golden age behind us. In a cynical and attention-deprived age, it would seem there is no place for the speech which stirs hearts and minds. But a deeper understanding of the great speeches of the past can help us to understand our current moment, and they can inspire us to action, centuries after they were written. These works of art are not just beautiful and inspiring; they impart real political and moral lessons to students who treat these works with the care they deserve. In this series, we will explore the speeches of the greatest president in American history, Abraham Lincoln, as he grappled with the circumstances which fate had thrust upon him. We will also look at speeches by a man who gave voice to both the most trenchant criticism of Lincoln and the most memorable praise, Frederick Douglass. And we will explore the greatest speeches of Zionist history, from Max Nordau at the First Zionist Congress, to the Declaration of Independence, to Gideon Hausner’s opening statement at the Trial of Adolph Eichmann.

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