/ articles for review

Campus Fellows Meet for Invigorating Mid-Year Seminar

Learning and conversation focused on topics from the iEngage curriculum

From January 7-9, 2013, the participants in the Hartman Institute’s Fellowship for Campus Professionals  initiative gathered at the Schusterman Hillel International Center in Washington, DC for three days of learning and conversation about the challenges of Israel as a topic on North American college campuses. The 14 rabbis and directors who make up this first cohort come from some of the most prestigious, active and successful Hillels in the US and Canada and have developed an extraordinary community that, over the course of 13 months has been and will continue to explore the innovative Engaging Israel curriculum and work on methodologies to change the paradigm of thought leadership on Israel on their respective campuses. The program began with a week-long seminar at the Hartman Institute’s campus in Jerusalem in July 2012 and will conclude with a final week in Jerusalem in July 2013.

The learning and conversation at the mid-year seminar were led by Hartman Institute faculty Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer and Dr. Bernie Steinberg, as well as by guest lecturers Jeffrey Goldberg, noted author and national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, Dr. Erica Brown, Scholar-in-Residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and Abi Dauber Sterne, Vice President for Global Jewish Experience at Hillel. The sessions focused on topics from within the core of the iEngage curriculum, Power and Powerlessness and the challenges of Israel as an empowered Jewish state. 
As the fellows convened half-way through this program, they were asked to assess how this opportunity has impacted or will impact their roles as campus leaders and as educators for Jewish students in the most formative years of their young-adult lives. Fellows commented that they were “…re-energized by this short retreat and this work, and re-invigorated to address the challenge of how to translate this back to the campus.” The conversation focused throughout on the challenges of using education (rather than socialization) as a tool for on-campus engagement, and the fellows commented that they were learning as much from this informal part of the process as they were from the text study.
Already, this program has begun paying dividends on campus for the participants. Several have begun pilot programs in which students are selected to participate in advanced study on the iEngage curriculum; the University of Pennsylvania will be selecting an undergraduate fellow to pursue a course of engagement with fellow undergraduates; and in general, several commented on their goals to use the Hartman Institute, and this program in particular, as an intellectual partner in thought and ideas that can be brought to almost any program Hillel brings to campus, whether the topic is as charged and complicated as Israel or as benign as Shabbat.

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

Join our email list for more Hartman ideas

Join our email list


The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics