Posts Tagged ‘hartman institute’

The MetroWest New Jersey community is the site of a unique adult education opportunity. Three local rabbis, all of whom have participated in a Shalom Hartman Institute rabbinic leadership program have teamed up to bring Hartman ideas to their congregations in the form of an eight session course based on the first volume of the Hartman DVD Lecture Study Series. The big news is that in true Hartman spirit, this initiative was spearheaded by three rabbis representing different denominations in the MetroWest community–Rabbis Menashe East of the Mount Freedom Jewish Center (Modern Orthodox), David Nesson of the Morristown Jewish Center (Conservative), and Amy Small of Congregation Beth Hatikvah (Reconstructionist)–that decided to bring a powerful learning experience to the entire MetroWest community .  

Volume I of the Hartman DVD Lecture Series entitled: “Leadership and Crisis: Jewish Resources and Responses” draws upon centuries of Jewish scholarship—from biblical sources to Holocaust literature—to shape a uniquely Jewish response to the significant challenges posed by current geopolitical and economic realities. Lecturers in the series include Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi , Dr. Micah Goodman, and Dr. Melila Hellner-Eshed.

Rabbi Amy Small comments, “The MetroWest community learning program is based on the collaboration of three colleagues of different ideological perspectives. Our goal is to model pluralism for our entire community, while offering an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to learn from and with each other and with us.  We hope the initiative sets the stage for further opportunities of this nature.”

Rabbi Menashe East agrees that the course is an opportunity for a “community-wide Beit Midrash,” and adds that it is also a chance for bridge-building with Israel. “We so often focus on standing alongside Israel for its security and political stability, and don’t usually take enough time to speak about how brilliant and creative the learning and scholarship going on there is. For the American Jewish community, exposure to the incredible luminaries of Jewish thought at Hartman is a real gift.”

Click here for background information on the Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship lecture series.

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Get the latest SHI news on our Summer Programs for 2011, a new issue of Havruta: A Journal of Jewish Conversation, the Rabbinic Leadership Programs, and much more!

Read the Shalom Hartman Institute Hanukkah Update

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Every month, we open the doors of our campus to the world—at least online— via the Reflections newsletter and share with you some of the ideas that have been percolating in the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought think tank.

In Reflections #10 , SHI scholars bring into focus ideas, traditions, and texts that are centuries old, while highlighting their relevance to Judaism today.

  • What do adultery and Messianism have in common? SHI fellow Dr. Yair Eldan introduces a new way of interpreting the Mishnah in “The Larger Reading,” showing how seemingly unrelated Mishnahs in each tractate are connected by important overarching, themes. In Tractate Sotah, the adulterous woman is depicted in parallel with the metaphorical “adultery” of the Jewish people whose zealous pursuit of the Messianic idea leads them to forget about God.
  • A dragon, a warrior, a king, three thieves, and a simple cook are just some of the characters who populate the pages of “Self-Denial and Temptation” by Prof. Rella Kushelevsky, a collection of Hebrew stories from 13th century France. Now in print for the first time, these stories defy expectations of Jewish literature of the period, and show that medieval Jewish texts are not limited to rabbinic writings but also included fairy tales—with a uniquely Jewish twist. Check these out in the sneak peek that SHI fellow Avital Davidovich presents in her book review
  • From relaxing river jaunt to religious ritual, the unlikely entry of Tashlich into Jewish practice turns out to be much more about enjoyment than about sin. Dr. Eli Freiman reveals the surprising origins of the ritual of Tashlich in “Tashlich: A Leisure Pastime that Became a Mitzvah

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October fourth marked the beginning of orientation for the members of the sixth cohort of the Shalom Hartman Institute Melamdim program–designed to develop a new generation of outstanding North American Jewish studies high school teachers. Ten exceptional graduate students were chosen from a highly selective pool of applicants, to undergo intensive training in the philosophical foundations of Judaism and the pedagogical skills required to turn Jewish high school education into a transformative experience.

Attracting participants of diverse backgrounds and from all streams of Judaism, the rigorous two-year Melamdim program exposes these future teachers of all denominations to the highest levels of SHI learning, while simultaneously providing them with the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree in Judaic studies at the Tel Aviv University.

Orientation week kicked off with an introduction by Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman on the vision of the Hartman Institute and the Melamdim School of Teacher Education. This was followed with an introduction by Rabbi Phil Field, Melamdim program director, on the unique educational philosophy of the Hartman Institute.

A large part of the Melamdim curriculum consists of familiarizing participants with the richness and complexity of Israel’s cultural and political life. After having their first in-depth look at the Tel Aviv University, the cohort went on to explore the city of Tel Aviv, and to consider its role as a diverse microcosm of Israeli society. This theme was viewed through the lens of such significant issues as the development and history of Zionism and the current refugee crisis in south Tel Aviv.

A full day tour exploring a variety of educational models for different populations in Israel began with Yemin Orde, a residential village of 500 economically deprived new immigrants from countries throughout the world, and on to Michve Alon, an educational army base dedicated to training and improving the citizen skills of a broad array of new immigrants as an entry gate to Israeli society.

The tour concluded with an examination of high school education in the Arab Muslim community of Abu Gosh, presenting an opportunity to learn about alternative models of education within Israeli society. 

The full educational program of Melamdim is scheduled to begin on Sunday, October 17, in conjunction with Tel Aviv University.


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At a time when a disturbing number of Jewish nonprofit organizations are cutting back on programming or closing their doors altogether, why is the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI) dramatically expanding its reach?

 “Precisely at this moment, one of the most important and challenging times in Jewish life, the Jewish community Donniel Hartman, President, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israelcannot afford to put its educational needs on hold,” says Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute. “Our current obligation is to act in ways that meet the needs of the Jewish community to create a strong and vibrant future.”

 What Hartman’s father, David Hartman, set out to accomplish nearly 40 years ago in Israel was nothing less than deepening and spreading Jewish knowledge, commitment, passion and pluralism. Much more than a think tank, SHI has been called an “action tank,” a laboratory for the development of high-impact initiatives destined to shape the future of Jewish life in Israel and around the world. Through learning and dialogue the Institute has built strong new models of unity within diversity, based on mutual respect across the denominational spectrum.

 “The Hartman Institute creates a place where some of the finest minds in the world can come together to address the critical challenges facing the Jewish people,” says Hartman. “We then disseminate these ideas to the people best positioned to influence the future of their communities,” adds Hartman.

Now, the Institute is building on the work it has long done in its Jerusalem campus by expanding programming directly to North American shores. “The vitality and independence of the North American Jewish community requires us to have a North American base of operations to ensure that we sufficiently serve this community,” says Hartman. “North America has its own unique challenges. We need to make sure that we service the Jewish community there at the highest level, which is tough to do at a 6,000-mile distance.”

Yehuda Kurtzer, President, Shalom Hartman Institute, North AmericaYehuda Kurtzer, a rising star in the Jewish world, has been selected to spearhead the new Shalom Hartman Institute of North America (SHI-NA). Two years ago, the Harvard doctoral student was selected over 200 other applicants to capture the first Charles R. Bronfman Visiting Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation at Brandeis University. Kurtzer takes the Hartman mission seriously. “We are looking to become the Jewish community’s premier provider of serious learning applied to leaders and change-agents, and the central address for serious engagement with ideas,” he says. In order to accomplish this, SHI-NA will reach out to Jewish leaders, from congregational rabbis to start-up entrepreneurs. “We will continue to build on the Institute’s innovative work: engaging and empowering these change-agents with the kind of Torah wisdom they need to be stronger and more effective leaders. Our vision is to elevate the discourse of the North American Jewish community to deal with texts, ideas, and learning; rather than crisis-management.”


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On Tuesday, August 24, Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and Dr. Tal Becker of the Shalom Hartman Institute  “Engaging Israel” project team participated in a symposium entitled “The De-legitimization of Israel: Threats, Challenges and Responses”  at the IDC Herzliya.  Tony Blair was the symposium keynote speaker and participants included Members of Knesset Tzipi Livni and Nahman Shai.

Donniel Hartman focused on the necessity of changing the Zionist narrative for Jews worldwide. “Our challenge is to create a new Zionist narrative that is not built on the Holocaust or any other threat,” he said at the conference. “The new Zionist narrative has to be built on Jewish values that are relevant to Jews around the world.”

In the keynote speech, Tony Blair proposed 5 steps to combating the de-legitimization of Israel:


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חנה פנחסי

חשבתי שחודש אוגוסט יהיה שקט, מקומות עבודה שוממים, אמהות נסחבות בחום עם ילדים…והופתעתי: הרבה נשים פנו ל”חידר משלך”, בית מדרש חדש לנשים בנושא אשה ומשפחה  – זהות וקונפליקט, שיתחיל  במכון הרטמן אחרי החגים…כנראה שהרבה נשים חיפשו את המקום שייתן את הזמן לעצמנו כשיגמר הקיץ התובעני הזה, ונוכל שוב – אחרי החגים – לחזור ולהקשיב פנימה.

המשאלה שלי לקבוצה מגוונת התגשמה. פנו אלי נשים בכל הגילאים, דתיות וחילוניות, מירושלים ומחוץ לה, אמהות צעירות סבתות, וגם לא אמהות.  ד”ר למתמטיקה, עורכת דין , מנהלת בי”ס, פסיכולוגית ומורה שביניהן כאלה שברור להן ש”אני לא” פמיניסטית, אלה שמרימות דגלים וכאלה שבאמצע. יהיה מעניין.

יהיה מעניין כי הנושא נוגע בלב הדברים: אשה ומשפחה  – זהות וקונפליקט. המשפחה, זו שבאנו ממנה וזו שהקמנו, המקום שמעצב אותנו, שהוא הבית אבל גם מקור לקושי, לכאב לויתורים – דווקא בגלל שאנחנו נשים.

 הרבה דברים מעסיקים אותי עד לרגע שנתחיל, אחרי החגים: איך להבטיח שהמעגל הנשי הוא של לימוד אינטלקטואלי אבל גם בינאישי? איך להביא את האג’נדה שלי (לגייר את כולן לפמיניזם…) ולאפשר למידה  אבל גם להשאיר הרבה מקום לכל העמדות האחרות, איך לא לפספס את כל המקורות המדרשים שספרותיים התנ”כיים הנוגעים כל כך?

יהיה בסדר, אני יודעת.

ואתן – אם מתחשק לכן ומתאים, עכשיו זה רגע אחד לפני שיהיה מאוחר מידי. תציצו בתכנית, וצרו קשר.

שמחה בכל פניה, חנה


חנה פנחסי היא דוקטורנטית במחלקה למגדר באוניברסיטת בר-אילן, חוקרת במכון הרטמן וחברה בתוכנית ‘משכילות’ של המכון. היא מנחה את בית המדרש הפמיניסטי ‘אשה אל אחותה’ במרכז יעקב הרצוג.


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