Posts Tagged ‘jewish education’

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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In September 2009 the Shalom Hartman Institute  released the pilot volume of its DVD lecture series — “Leadership and Crisis: Jewish Resources and Responses.” Developed based on the invaluable experience gained from the highly successful Hartman Global Beit Midrash, the DVD series brings the excellence of Hartman Torah to lay leaders in synagogues and organizations, rabbinic students, teachers and principals in Jewish community day schools, Hillel leadership on university campuses, and private study groups.

Partnering with world-renowned Hartman Institute faculty, these local scholars and educators together with the study groups that they lead, enjoy an intensive study experience geared at enhancing their knowledge and equipping them with the resources required to confidently address and respond to key questions facing the Jewish people and contemporary society.

Response from participants and rabbinic leaders was very clear: “WE WANT MORE” – so our team got to work.

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

Introducing the recently released volume II, entitled “The ‘Other’ in Jewish Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities,” Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, VP of the SHI North America Israel Department and director of the DVD lecture series volumes, shared a few comments with us.

Q: What makes the “Other” an especially relevant theme in North America today?

Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi: “One of the most important challenges facing the Jewish people today is the challenge of identity in a contemporary context.
“Two major phenomena highlight the relevance and urgency of the themes studied in this volume necessitating a better understanding of the role of the ‘Other’ in the Jewish world. These are increased fundamentalism in the religious world on the one hand, and often diluted religious identity in the postmodern world on the other.


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Summer at the Shalom Hartman Institute is always a new adventure: suddenly the peaceful campus in the heart of Jerusalem is flooded with hundreds of visitors from overseas. Rabbis, lay leaders, Christian leaders, and scholars from around the world join some of the finest minds in the Jewish world for a few weeks of intensive study. This summer our guests learned with David Hartman, Donniel Hartman, Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Micah Goodman, Melila Helner-Eshed, Moshe Halbertal, Israel Knohl, and the list goes on.

The theme around which this summer’s programming revolved was “Engaging Israel.” This new project at the Shalom Hartman Institute is designed to re-conceptualize the enduring significance of Israel for contemporary Jewry around the world. “Engaging Israel” aims to equip Jews with an internal, quintessentially Jewish values vocabulary to define and articulate why Israel and Zionism can be fundamental to their Judaism.

The summer kicked off with the International Philosophy Conference in late June, which draws world-renowned philosophers to the Institute each summer. The lecture of internationally acclaimed social scientist Michael Walzer, entitled “The State of Israel: What it Means to Be Sovereign” was open to the public and ended the conference with a bang.

One of the high points of the summer was the July 6th graduation of the third Rabbinic Leadership Initiative (RLI) cohort. A three-year program for North American community rabbis of all denominations, RLI provides participants with the opportunity to immerse themselves  in the richness and depth of Jewish learning, while honing the skills required to enrich their communities with what they have discovered. Through the leadership of its graduates, RLI has impacted an estimated half-million Jews in North America so far. The graduation keynote address was delivered by Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency.

The barrage of Hartman programming continued throughout July:


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