The events of Purim, famously chronicled in Megillat Esther with familiar heroes like Mordechai and Esther and villains like Haman (and, possibly, Achashverosh), tell two distinct but related tales: We encounter a story of the potential annihilation of the Jewish people and a redemptive turn of events; we are also given a powerful primer for political wisdom, intrigue, and statesmanship. This parent-child seminar will examine the political teachings of Megillat Esther, with an eye towards questions of Jewish survival in exile, the ideal form(s) of government, the arts of political leadership and statecraft, and the very significance of political effort and activity. By the time our seminar is complete, we hope to have developed a much deeper understanding of the relationship between the simple, surface reading of the Megillah and the underlying concepts and teachings of this earthy and human-focused holiday.
In this class, parents and their children will study together—exploring critical texts on Jewish thought, history, and traditions—and create a shared language that allows for a rich learning experience.
Student applicants for this class will be asked to identify their adult learning partner during the application process. Students may elect to learn with a parent, grandparent, mentor or another important person in their lives.
Generously supported by Diane Troderman
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Mark Gottlieb is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and founding Dean of the Tikvah Institute for High School Students at Yale University. Prior to joining Tikvah, Rabbi Gottlieb served as Head of School at Yeshiva University High School for Boys and Principal of the Maimonides School in Brookline, MA, and has taught at The Frisch School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy, Hebrew Theological College, Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Chicago. He received his BA from Yeshiva College, rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where his doctoral studies focused on the moral and political thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. Rabbi Gottlieb is a member of the Orthodox Forum Steering Committee and serves on the Editorial Committee of Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. He lives in Teaneck, NJ, with his wife and five children.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.