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Archive for the ‘Diaspora’ Category

Shalom Hartman Institute President Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, and SHI-North America President Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer recently taught at the launch of the third cohort of The Berrie Fellowship, a two-year intensive Jewish learning and leadership education program for a select cadre of leaders in Northern New Jersey.

The Hartman Institute is working closely to help develop the curriculum for this two-year program, which is funded by the Russell Berrie Foundation, and will include a week-long seminar in Jerusalem in July 2012 that will be taught by a faculty of SHI fellows.

To read more, click here.

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He will be at Temple Emanu-El in the evening. Here is the title of his talk: “The Art, Psychology and Politics of the Four Children.” Click here for details. The synagogue’s website says registration is full. But maybe, if you tell them you read about the event on the Hartman Institute blog they will squeeze you in.

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Noam Zion is in a “historic one-month scholar-in-residence program” at Congregation Shearith Israel, Dallas, Texas: “The Bernard “Beanie” Siegel Scholar-in-Residence Program – “GPS Judaism: Finding Your Place in the Jewish Tradition.” Click here to see the entire month-long program. More details here and here.

Alick Isaacs spoke on the subject, “The Meaning of Israel in Contemporary Jewish Life,” at University of California, Irvine, on January 27, 2010.

Menachem Lorberbaum spoke on the subject, “Religion and Politics in a Post-Secular Age,” on January 25, 2010, at Taube Center on Jewish Studies, and Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, Stanford University.

Moshe Halbertal is scheduled to speak at the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference, March 21-23, in Washington, DC, on a panel titled, “Israel Today – Ethical Defense: Israel’s Unparalleled Moral Battle Code.” For more information, click here.

Halbertal is also scheduled to speak at the University of Chicago, on the subject, “The Moral Challenges of Asymmetrical War: The Case of Israel,” on February 18, 2010. Click here for details.

Halbertal will also speak at the University of Chicago Divinity School as part of a three-lecture series titled, Political Theory. Legal Theory. Classical Jewish Texts: Three interdisciplinary presentations engaging the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic Literature.” His February 17, 2010, lecture is titled, “At the Threshold of Forgiveness: Law and Narrative in the Talmud.” Details here.

Halbertal led a discussion at Queens College in New York City on February 16, 2010, on the subject:  “’War Crimes’” and “’Just Peace’”: Ethical Battles in the Arab-Israeli Conflict” at the University’s Center for Ethnic, racial and Religious Understanding.

Bill Berk is scheduled to give a Passover teaching at Congregation Beit Shalom, Visalia, California, on the topics, “What Was the Real Pesach Miracle?,” and “How to Prepare for a Transformational Seder?” on March 28, 2010. Click here for details.

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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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Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman will speak at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Aventura, Florida, (305-935-0666) on Shabbat morning, January 9, 2009, as part of the synagogue’s Distinguished Guest Speaker Series.

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The Jewish Journal of LA has a cute story about the eclecticity (is that a word?) you are likely to find if you attend LimmudLA Jewish learning festival in February. Several Hartman Institute scholars, likely Rabbi Dr. Ariel Picard and Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed, two of our best, are set to be there.

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President Obama to appear at Jewish Communities General Assembly, Washington, DC, Nov. 9, 2009

President Obama to appear at Jewish Communities General Assembly, Washington, DC, Nov. 9, 2009

Shalom Hartman Institute will be at the United Jewish Communities (soon to be Jewish Federations of North America) annual General Assembly from November 8-10, 2009, in Washington, D.C. (Booth 311). First, and foremost, I invite you to stop by for a chat. I plan to have some goodies from Israel with me to entice people – if the marketing materials and flyers, and books, and magazines, and videos featuring Hartman Institute scholars aren’t enough!

As I said on Twitter (@alanabbey) I will give an extra piece of whatever I end up bringing if you tell me you heard about it on this blog or my Twitter page.

But seriously, I will be there to present the amazing programs of the Hartman Institute and to offer our new DVD Series of lectures on “Crisis and Leadership,” which is a special program now available for purchase by synagogues, community centers, adult education programs, Hillels, and private individuals tailored for adult education courses,  private study, leadership development and more.

By the way, Hartman Institute is not the ONLY draw at the GA. President Obama is scheduled to make his first speech to a Jewish group since becoming POTUS 44, as is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sensitive to the times, Netanyahu – who, unlike Obama, does not have his own airplane, is flying “economy” to the U.S. Obama will take the short drive from the White House to the conference hotel in NW Washington.

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A student who attended the Religion and the Challenge of Modernity conference at Grand Valley State University in Michigan earlier this month had this to say about Donniel Hartman’s presentation there:

Donniel Hartman, the first lecturer of the day at this conference, did a very good job not only presenting his thoughts, but introducing a theme that could be common in almost every religion. We all have our challenges with modernity, and it creates multiple identities. When we have these multiple identities, we tend to lose sight of who we really are. Years ago, if you referred to someone as Jewish, you knew everything you needed to know about them. Now-a-days this isn’t necessarily the case. People now have more complex identities. (more…)

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A high-powered panel of religious scholars and clerics, including Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President of Shalom Hartman Institute, will be speaking at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, October 15, 2009. The theme: “Religion and the Challenge of Modernity.”

Along with Donniel, the daylong conference and panel discussion will include Vincent Cornell, a professor of Islamic and Middle East studies at Emory University in Atlanta, and James Carroll, author of the best-selling book “Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews,” and a longtime advocate of efforts toward Jewish-Christian-Muslim reconciliation. Lutheran scholar and writer Martin E. Marty will moderate the discussion. Find more information here and registration information here.

Whether the Twins were three outs or eight outs from a win, the Yankees were never uncomfortable. Instead, the Twins were the club that seemed edgy.“You look up at the scoreboard, and every single player on that team has 175 at-bats in the postseason,” first baseman Michael Cuddyer said. “I think that’s one reason they don’t panic. They’re all 10-, 15-year veterans that know how to play the game. They believe in themselves and they’re good.”

If Nick Punto had not run past third base in the eighth inning of Game 3 and Carlos Gomez had not been caught off second base in the fourth inning of Game 2, probably costing the Twins at least a run each time, would the Yankees have still won both games? The Twins would love to say they had those games clinched, but they did not. Somehow, the Yankees stayed calm and prevailed.

So, even if Punto and Gomez had not made their gaffes, there was a feeling that the Yankees, who were better and more seasoned, would have won anyway. The division series sweep pushed the Yankees’ record to 10-0 against the Twins this season, including four games that they won on game-ending hits.

“Every time we put up a run or two or we scored, they don’t panic,” outfielder Denard Span said. “They seemed like they just took a deep breath. It’s almost like they relaxed even more and answered back. They always answer back.”

Span recalled how when he was 12, he watched in awe as a 22-year-old Derek Jeter helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series. Thirteen years later, Jeter helped doom Span’s team during another October dash.

“That’s why they’re the Yankees,” Span said. “You got to give them credit. They did what they were supposed to do.”

Great players often cite the importance of being able to slow the game down, even when the game is at its quickest and most stressful. From Alex Rodriguez to Jorge Posada to Jeter, the Yankees made the important plays in the most important situations, while the Twins stumbled through those spots.

Carl Pavano, who was a ghost of a Yankee for four injured seasons, said the Yankees were formidable because they had talented players. But Pavano said the Yankees’ success stretched beyond their talent to the belief that they were going to win. Rodriguez and Posada smashed home runs off Pavano in the seventh inning of Game 3 to erase a 1-0 deficit and propel the Yankees.

“It’s a cliché, but if you’ve done it once, you can do it again,” Pavano said. “And they’ve been doing it. A lot of those guys have been around a while and have done it from behind and from ahead. They keep the game pretty simple.”

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From our colleague Rabbi Jonah Layman:

So I just hung up and I must say that President Obama is quite impressive. He framed his presentation around the “unetaneh tokef” prayer quoting who shall live and who shall die, etc. and the shofar blast. This season he says prompts serious reflection and debate about matters of life and death and that’s what the health care issue is. Reforming health care is essential especially for the 46 million Americans without health insurance. Everyone knows the system is broken and we need to trust each other to fix the system. We need to take bold steps to do that.

Background: NY Times article that mentions the conference call. NY Times blog on the overall debate.

BETTER: NY Times blog on the call with rabbis.

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