Registration Open for Tikvah Fund Seminar for Gap-Year Students in Israel


Source: Tikvah Israel Seminars


The Tikvah Fund is pleased to announce that they are now accepting applications for the 4th cycle of the Tikvah Israel Seminars for Post-High School Students. The program intends to supplement Israel program curriculums by providing a forum for interdisciplinary study, dialogue, and camaraderie amongst a select group of students. By exposing participants to a range of perspectives from public intellectuals and thinkers, they hope to help develop the next generation of thoughtful and learned Jewish leaders.


The first seminar will begin after Yom Kippur with subsequent meetings held twice-a-month until the beginning of June. The format of each seminar varies, including debates, panel discussions, and lectures. Regular sessions take place on Friday mornings at Beit Avi Chai in central Jerusalem between 9 AM – 1:30 PM to avoid conflicting with program schedules. Three weekend retreats will take place over the course of the year. When necessary, transportation is provided to prevent conflicts with program schedules. A delicious brunch will be served at each meeting. Students must commit to constant attendance, prepare one or two readings before each seminar.


The curriculum includes lectures and readings based around central themes, with a balance between sessions that focus on theoretical questions and other meetings that discuss real-world dilemmas. The 2013-2014 (5774) curriculum will center on two major themes and explore the following questions:


Zionism & the Nation-State: Jewish Values & Contemporary Dilemmas in the State of Israel

  • Democracy and Judaism: Can religious and democratic values coexist in the State of Israel?
  • Zionist Thought, New & Old: Are the historical Zionist visions of Herzl, Rav Kook, Ahad Ha-Am, Jabotinsky, and Rav Reines still relevant today?
  • Zionism and Jewish Identity: What is the relationship between Zionism and Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora?
  • Halakha and Israeli Law: What role does halakha play in the Supreme Court, Knesset, and the public sphere?
  • Jewish Values in State Institutions: How do contemporary values and Jewish law get implemented within the IDF and Chief Rabbinate?

Biblical Philosophy & Contemporary Values

  • Philosophy in the Bible: In what ways was/is the Bible a source for ancient and contemporary Jewish and Western philosophy?
  • The Bible, the Ancient Near East, and Contemporary Society: What was the impact of Tanakh in antiquity? How does that impact our view of the role of Biblical values in contemporary society?
  • Law & Morality: Do the Noahide laws compel us to try to instill moral values into Western legal systems?
  • God & Ethics: Can human reason alone build a comprehensive ethical system?
  • Politics & Polemics: How did the Bible impact medieval Jewish-Christian polemics and what role does it play in current Middle East politics?
  • Government and Economics: What does the Bible have to say about economics and government? Can and should those values impact contemporary policy decisions?

For more information and registration see the Tikvah Israel Seminars website

Updated: Jul. 28, 2013