Human life is marked by mystery, uncertainty, and the search for answers. What are we supposed to spend our lives doing? How do we decide? And does God help us along the way? In this course, we will read excerpts from two of the most challenging biblical books—Job and Jonah—alongside one of the greatest spiritual adventure stories in human history: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
Earn a Tikvah Certificate
For students who want to take at least 3 courses this summer, you can become eligible for special additional opportunities—including essay prizes/scholarships, special sessions w/ Jewish leaders, and a Tikvah online certificate.Learn More
Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education. His current research focuses on the history and practical implementation of classical education in a Jewish setting, and he is both writing a book on the subject and implementing a pilot program for the first integrated classical curriculum in a Jewish school in decades, which was recently featured by The Wall Street Journal. He is also writing a book on Judaism and the history of economic freedom. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Dr. Rocklin was a Resident Research Fellow at the Tikvah Fund and a synagogue rabbi in Connecticut. He is also a Chaplain in the Army National Guard with the rank of Major, as well as the President of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty. He holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Yeshiva University, rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University’s affiliated theological seminary, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His writings have appeared in a number of publications, including The Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, The Forward, and Mosaic.
Dovid Schwartz teaches a Great Books course at Heichal Hatorah Yeshiva High School in New Jersey. He is a recent graduate of Yeshiva College, where he studied Talmud and Philosophy. Dovid hopes to continue teaching for a few more years before pursuing a career in law.
Shlomo Zuckier is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at McGill University. He recently completed a PhD in Religious Studies at Yale University as well as studies in Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon. Shlomo is a Founder of The Lehrhaus, and was formerly Director of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Yale University. An alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva University (BA, MA, Semicha), Shlomo has lectured widely across North America, and is excited to share Torah and Jewish scholarship on a broad range of issues. He has taught at Yale Divinity School, Yeshiva University, the Drisha Institute, and Tikvah programs, and has held the Wexner and Tikvah Fellowships. Shlomo serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition, is co-editor of Torah and Western Thought: Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity, and is editing the forthcoming Contemporary Uses and Forms of Hasidut.