What are the ideas, texts, and stories that gave birth to the United States and the American spirit? The Declaration of Independence, the battles of Lexington and Concord, the exodus from the Old World and its tyrannies? In this course, we will explore a key aspect of the American story: the interplay between the Hebrew Bible and foundational values of American culture: community, liberty, and equality. Students will explore how Hebraic ideas influenced the American Founding, reading selections from the Hebrew Bible alongside Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Tocqueville, and Lincoln.
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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.
Matt Holbreich is a fellow at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, an associate attorney at Fenwick & West LLP, and an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University, where he has taught courses on philosophy, literature, film and American political thought, among others. He is the co-editor with Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Stuart Halpern, and Jonathan Silver of the sourcebook Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States. He received his PhD in political science from Notre Dame University, where he was a Lilly Presidential Scholar, and his JD from New York University.
Yishai Schwartz recently completed a clerkship with Judge Jose Cabranes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and he will spend the coming year as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States. Previously, he was associate editor at Lawfare and reporter-researcher for The New Republic. His writing on national security, law and culture has also appeared in National Affairs, Foreign Policy, Town and Country, and Comment as well as a variety of Jewish publications. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
Jeremy Rozansky currently serves as a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds an A.B. and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Before law school, he worked as an editor at National Affairs and the Tikvah Fund.