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Archive for the ‘ירושלים’ Category

The Jerusalem Post editorializes today (10 May 2010) about the sorry state of Jewish education in Israeli schools:

Our founding fathers understood the centrality of the Bible to the Jewish people’s connection to the land. In 1937, for instance, David Ben-Gurion told the British Peel Commission, saddled with the job of ending conflict the between Jews and Arabs, that the Bible was “the Jewish people’s mandate” for the land of Israel.

Israel policy makers, educators and IDF commanders have come to appreciate the strong correlation between a solid Jewish education and patriotism. Religious convictions aside, without a strong Jewish identity, Israeli citizens cannot be expected to make the necessary sacrifices demanded of them in a Jewish state surrounded by enemies. Nor can they hope to create an original Jewish culture.

But despite the appreciation for Jewish learning and Jewish identity, the reality today is far from ideal. Just two hours a week of Bible studies are required by the Education Ministry. According to minutes from a Knesset Education Committee meeting in March, many secular state schools teach even less, sometimes as little as one semester during all of the last three years of high school.

Then the Post goes on to praise private-government initiatives in Israel, including the Hartman Institute’s Be’eri program (although, sadly, it doesn’t mention Be’eri by name):

…privately funded initiatives such as TALI, a Hebrew acronym for Tigbur Limudei Yahadut (enhanced Jewish studies), and the Hartman Institute are filling the vacuum, proving once again that private initiative always beats state-funded projects.

TALI, with an annual budget of just under $2 million, funded principally by North American Jews, works in cooperation with 40,000 families and hundreds of teachers to introduce a pluralistic, liberal version of Judaism and prayer into the secular state school system on the preschool and elementary school level, while Hartman works with 50 junior high and high schools.

That final reference to Hartman, is, of course, to the Be’eri program. Be’eri does have government backing and the educational curricula are endorsed by the Education Ministry, but the program does have significant private backing, as well.

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Has there ever been a more contentious time in Jerusalem than now? Or is that a joke? It has always been the most contentious time in Jerusalem: invaders, occupants, takeovers, fences, walls, barbed wire, combat, fire, and more are in the earthly history of Jerusalem.

Yet now, while we hope and pray there is never again a shooting war in Jerusalem, is a particularly contentious time where the future of Jerusalem as an earthly and spiritual city, as well as the capital(s?) of state(s?) is under heated discussion. It seems that every apartment built, every synagogue reopened, every road/street repair causes someone to get agitated, from the President of the United States to the lowliest local resident. I do not mean to equate all of these concerns; some are clearly more serious on a global, political, and spiritual basis than others. But it does make for lively discussion when the city’s Mayor is snubbed by the White House and the Interior Minister is invited.

Herein, then, in advance of this year’s Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day – May 12, 2010)  are several articles and essays by Hartman Institute scholars on this city of many faiths, many constituents, and residents:

One Mount, Two Religions, Three Proposals

A set of surprising suggestions and recommendations for how to address perhaps the most argued over spot on Earth: the Temple Mount/Har Habayit/Haram Ash-Sharif/Mount Moriah/Noble Sanctuary from Hartman Institute’s Menachem Fisch, Israel Knohl, and Elhanan Reiner.

Professor Israel Knohl relates to the partial fulfillment of Yeshayahu’s vision; Professor Elhanan Reiner explains the idea behind aliyah le’regel; and Professor Menachem Fisch explains that the holiness of place is not connected to ownership.

Donniel Hartman: Divide Jerusalem to unite it

Jerusalem must be a divided city – divided among all aspects and ideologies of Israeli society, for only as a divided city can it be united as the capital of all Israelis. Jerusalem must be a safe city – safe for all expressions of Jewishness.

Jerusalem will achieve this only when we recognize that the city is no one’s unless it is all of ours, and when there is a new spirit in which we all actively pursue public policies that give room and respect for us all, not only our personal agendas.

Donniel Hartman: This summer in Jerusalem – heat and holiness

Jerusalem is not just the place where we convene; it is the place that enables the convention. It is in this capacity that I experienced the holiness of Jerusalem, a holiness which fosters respect, loyalty, and mutual consideration. May this be the Jerusalem we all get to experience, for this is when Jerusalem is truly a city of gold.

Rani Yaeger: Heavenly Jerusalem, Earthly Jerusalem

Forty one years after the reunification of the city’s east and west, it is time to unify heavenly Jerusalem and earthly Jerusalem. We must temper our veneration with criticism, and our criticism with veneration, neither glorifying the city so much we cannot see her flaws, nor deploring her so much we have no desire to correct them. Only once we stop loving Jerusalem from afar, once we eradicate the barriers of idealized images and disappointed dreams, will the 2,000-year exile from the city really come to an end. Only then will Jerusalem become our home.

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Holy Living in Human Bodies: 2010 Edward Bronfman Family Foundation Annual Lecture at Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel. Part of the 2010 International Theology Conference, January 2010. Speakers were Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed, Shalom Hartman Institute, Prof. Rusmir Mahmutehaji, University of Sarajevo, President, International Forum Bosnia, and Rev. David M. Neuhaus, SJ, Vicar for the Hebrew and Russian-speaking Catholic communities in Israel, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Opening remarks were made by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman. The moderator was Dr. Hami Verbin, Shalom Hartman Institute.

The Hartman Institute gratefully acknowledges the Bronfman family for supporting this annual initiative.

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Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians from across the globe will be addressing the topic, “Holy Living in Human Bodies” in seminars and study sessions in which they will use classic and contemporary texts from all three faiths.

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The Shalom Hartman Institute is pleased to invite the public to attend The Edward Bronfman Family Foundation Annual Lecture on Religious Pluralism, “Holy Living in Human Bodies,” Tuesday, February 16, 2010, at 20:00 (8 PM).

Speakers are Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed, Shalom Hartman Institute, Prof. Rusmir Mahmutćehajić, University of Sarajevo, President, International Forum Bosnia, and Rev. David M. Neuhaus, SJ, Vicar for the Hebrew and Russian-speaking Catholic communities in Israel, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Opening remarks will be made by Rabbi Prof. David Hartman. The moderator is Dr. Hami Verbin, Shalom Hartman Institute. For more information, contact Brenda Yagod, +972-2-567-5320.

The lecture is affiliated with the Institute’s annual International Theology Conference, which is being held, February 14-18, 2010. Click here for more information on the 2010 conference.

The invitation-only conference will address questions such as: What does it mean to be made “in God’s image” in these mortal bodies? What moral implications arise from a serious engagement with the animal nature in which our rational self-awareness dwells?

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Hartman Institute Rabbinic Fellows have concluded their Winter 2010 retreat at the Institute. They are nearing the end of their three-year program. Some of their comments from recent blog posts give you a sense of how highly they have valued the program:

Rabbi Jonah Layman: “Another week of study at the Shalom Hartman Institute has concluded and I am still amazed at how wonderful the program is. No matter the topic of study for the week – this week it was individual and community – the classes are first rate and engaging. The teaching is engaging and provocative and there is always something that I can bring home to shul to teach.” Rabbi Layman posted a nice gallery of photos on Picasa. Click here to view them.

Rabbi Steve Moskowitz: “Rabbi David Hartman created the Shalom Hartman Institute where I am now studying. He is a remarkable rabbi.  It is an honor and privilege to study with him….He is unafraid of questions.  He is unafraid of struggle, and therefore no stranger to controversy.  What is most remarkable is that I have found him to be loving and caring when addressing people and especially us, his students, yet tenacious and unforgiving when struggling with our texts.”

Rabbi Moskowitz also posted several videos on YouTube. Here’s one he titled, “Jerusalem Montage”

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Donniel Hartman speaks to teachers from the Be’eri program of Judaic enrichment for secular Israeli high schools at an open house at Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, 2 July 2009

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Hebrew News Channel Shalom Hartman Institute Website - חדשות בעברית - מכון שלום הרטמן
חדשות בעברית – מכון שלום הרטמן

Shalom Hartman Institute announces the launch of its Hebrew website. The website both echoes the successful English website launched two years ago, and includes specific and specialized information for the domestic Israeli, Hebrew-speaking community.

Special subsections of the website feature programs in operation in Israel for schools, including the Be’eri program, and the IDF, Lev Aharon.

Original articles and essays from Hartman Institute scholars will be featured on the Hebrew website, as well. These items will appear in their original Hebrew format.

The Hebrew website will continue to grow in coming weeks and months, with additional functionalities and features for the Hebrew-speaking community in Israel and worldwide.

The new Hebrew site will be accessed through prominent links on the Institute’s website, hartman.org.il. The Institute’s Hebrew and English websites will be fully integrated.

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