Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Tikvah Fund?

The Tikvah Fund is a think tank and educational institution focused on the foundational ideas of Jewish civilization, the great challenges facing the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and the political, moral, and economic traditions of Western civilization and American democracy. Tikvah runs a wide range of initiatives in the United States, Israel, and around the world, including educational programs and fellowships, publications and websites, conferences, and policy research.

Our main interest is challenging exceptional people—from middle school to high school, from gap year to college, from graduate students to full-time professionals—to become Jewish leaders and Jewish citizens. We seek to expose them to the most important ideas—in Jewish thought, Zionist history, political philosophy, economics, and strategy—and to inculcate a sense of responsibility for Jewish, Western, and American civilization. We also offer extensive programming and content for the alumni of our various programs, and we encourage our participants to think about their time with us as the gateway to a larger Tikvah community.

What is the Truman Scholars Program?

Launched in 2021 by the Tikvah Fund, the Truman Scholars Program is a educational initiative and leadership program geared for exceptional 7th and 8th grade students in Orthodox Jewish day schools that is centered on the theme of America and Israel as two exceptional and covenantal nations.

Truman Scholars will study online with Tikvah’s master educators to explore the Hebraic influence on the American experiment, through the careful study of great speeches, stories, court decisions, and excerpted works of political philosophy. Truman Scholars will also explore the founding of modern Israel, traced from the biblical and rabbinic sources that sustained Zionist longing in exile, to the modern statesmen, poets, soldiers, and religious leaders who gave birth—and voice—to modern Israel.

More information about the Truman Scholars Program curriculum and schedule can be found here.

Who are the faculty of the Truman Scholars Program?

The Truman Scholars Program is hallmarked by a talented faculty of master teachers and guest speakers. The full list of previous Truman faculty can be found here.

Who can apply to the Truman Scholars Program?

Participation in the Truman Scholars Program is by invitation-only to leading Orthodox Jewish middle schools. Partner schools have the discretion—and responsibility—to identify a specific number of their exceptional students as candidates for the Truman Scholars Program. If you would like to contact Tikvah to learn more about this program, you can do so here.

Does this program have a cost to participate?

No.

What is the timeline for school selection and student enrollment?

Partner schools will nominate their students through November 17, 2022. Once nominated, students will interview with Truman staff over Zoom to discuss their interest in the program. A student’s nomination by their school does not guarantee their admission to the program; Tikvah will make all admissions decisions, which will be communicated in early January 2023. Orientation will take place in late January 2023.

When does the program begin and when do seminars take place?

The Truman Scholars Program is a two-year program. Students begin participation in February of their 7th grade year, and the program culminates in May of students’ 8th grade year.

During Phase 1 through Phase 4 of the program, the online seminars will take place weekly, on Sunday and weekday evenings. At the beginning of each of the four phases, students will be able to select the seminar dates and times that work best for their schedules.

Where will seminars be held?

All seminar sessions will be held on Zoom.

What is the time commitment to participate in the program?

During each of the four semesters, students should expect to dedicate approximately 2.5 hours per week to the program: 1:15 to read each seminar’s texts, and 1:15 for actual seminar. Only infrequently (1-2 times/year) are there short writing assignments. Additionally, there are periodic guest speaker sessions (3-4 per academic year) that students are expected to join.

My child attends summer camp. What options are available for their summer semester?

Scholars who will be unavailable during the summer will be offered alternative arrangements that fit with their schedules, including independent reading and writing an essay.

Are there further educational opportunities for Truman Scholars once they begin high school?

Yes! Scholars who graduate the two-year Truman Scholars Program will be offered preferential admission to our new Menachem Begin Scholars Program. The same will apply for our flagship summer program, the Tikvah Scholars Program.

Additional Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Rabbi Mendel Jacobson at mjacobson@tikvahfund.org or fill out the contact form here.

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