How can I describe the Hartman Institution, and this program, without sounding like I have, to use what I have always found a puzzling phrase, “drunk the Kool-Aide?” What made this so special, I believe, was the content, the context and the colleagues.
The content. What we learned was simply the highest quality educational experience of my career — on the most urgent and pressing questions of our time. … Discussions and panels and peer study on questions such as the meaning of Judaism after the Jewish state. Or questioning who defines “the good.” Or asking what is an ethical approach to the use of power based on Jewish sources? Or dealing with the complex and existentially central question of the meaning of peoplehood in a world of individuality, autonomy and choice.
But the most valuable piece… the teachers… and my fellow learners. The colleagues who are travelling this path with me. To study together with colleagues from all streams of Judaism… that alone gives a wider vision of Jewish life and possiblity than I had before coming, or have had in quite some time.
The complete post, with greater detail about this year’s curriculum and the experience, is at Rabbi Feshbach’s blog.