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Posts Tagged ‘North America’

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.”

(more…)

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The Marker, Israel’s leading Business newspaper, profiled the Shalom Hartman Institute in an article about a recent survey (Summer 2009) of North American rabbis at the Institute for the Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar and the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative programs about the economic crisis, and how the financial scandals of Jewish financier Bernie Madoff may help American Jews re-find their moral and spiritual centers. The article did not run online (huh?), and so we reproduce it here for you to read, courtesy of Scribd.

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