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Community Leadership Program FAQ’s
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about our summer Community Leadership Program

We have compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions about the summer Community Leadership Program (CLP) at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Click on any of the questions below to see the answers.

For more information, please contact Jordanna Amsel. We look forward to seeing you this coming summer in Jerusalem.

What is the Summer Community Leadership Program?
Who attends?
Do I need a background in Jewish study?
Can I see a sample schedule?
Do I need to know Hebrew?
Where do participants stay in Jerusalem?
What is the CLP registration fee?
What is included in the registration fee?
Will I have free time to see friends and family?
What is a typical program day like?
What happens on Shabbat?
What is the situation with meals during the program?
Who are the faculty?
Will I have Internet access?
What is the cancellation policy?

What is the Summer Community Leadership Program?

Each summer, a diverse group of lay leaders from across North America join senior Shalom Hartman Institute scholars in Jerusalem to explore foundational Jewish ideas and central dilemmas of contemporary Jewish life. This intensive week-long study seminar features leading scholars in Bible, Talmud, Jewish philosophy and theology, history, and mysticism, who share texts and ideas from the Jewish tradition on the summer’s unique theme. ^

Who attends?

The study seminar attracts a wide range of adult learners – synagogue board members, Federation lay leaders, and activists in Jewish organizations – interested in a week of pluralistic, open-minded, intellectually rigorous Jewish study. ^

Do I need a background in Jewish study?

No. Study seminar participants come from a range of religious backgrounds and possess different levels of Jewish knowledge. Hartman scholars teach at a high level, intellectually and philosophically, but do not assume any particular level of Jewish literacy. Every seminar track provides a meaningful and enriching learning experience in which students of all backgrounds and knowledge can learn together. A more advanced track exists for those with a strong background in Jewish text study. ^

Do I need to know Hebrew?

No. Every text is studied in translation, and Hartman scholars do not assume any Hebrew knowledge when they are teaching. If they use a Hebrew phrase, or quote a Hebrew text, they will also translate it into English while they are teaching. ^

Where do participants stay in Jerusalem?

Community Leadership Program (CLP) participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements. There are many hotels and apartment rental opportunities in Jerusalem. Each summer, the Hartman Institute reserves discounted rate rooms for program participants at several Jerusalem hotels. All are within walking distance of the Hartman Institute campus. A list of accommodations and special bargains for program participants will be provided. ^

What is the CLP registration fee?

The early-bird rate in 2020 was $1,900. In March the fee rose to $2,100. The group rate was $1,800. Board members and donors of $10,000 or more pay no fee to attend to CLP. ^

What is included in the registration fee?

Your registration fee includes all educational materials, seminar programming, weekly morning snacks, lunches and most dinners, Shabbat meals, evening lectures, cultural activities, and a full-day excursion in Israel. ^

Will I have free time to see friends and family?

The CLP Summer Program is an intensive seminar. We want to make sure that you are able to take advantage of every moment of Hartman learning and interaction with Hartman scholars and seminar participants. While we make every attempt to give participants several hours of free time each day, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements for extended visits with family and friends before or after the full week seminar.

Other than a few hours of free time in the afternoon, Shabbat is also fully programmed with lectures and activities, culminating in a special Saturday evening cultural event. If you would like to invite family members or friends to join you at Shabbat meals during the seminar, the Hartman Institute is happy to welcome them for an additional fee per meal. ^

What is a typical program day like?

A typical day of the CLP Summer Program begins at 9:00 AM, with a 1 1/2-2 hour lecture with a senior Hartman scholar. The morning lecture sets the overall theme for the day, followed by several smaller study sessions addressing that same theme. The study sessions, also led by senior Hartman faculty, give you an opportunity for intimate interaction with faculty and students in a 20-30 person classroom. In addition to the study sessions, there are daily small-group discussion forums in which participants discuss the implications and application of their study in their Jewish lives and communities.

When we are not in lectures or study sessions, we are enjoying a beautifully catered lunch or dinner. Refreshments are served between sessions. There is generally a 2-3 hour afternoon break.

After dinner, there is usually an evening lecture or panel discussion with leading figures in Israeli society (politicians, philosophers, rabbis, artists, etc.).

One day during the conference, we leave the Hartman Institute campus in several smaller groups for a full-day excursion in the land of Israel. Participants select from an exciting array of trip options in which senior educators and guides bring the conference theme to life within Israeli society. ^

What happens on Shabbat?

You are welcome to attend services at any of the local synagogues. A list of options will be provided upon arrival and information on local synagogues will be available at the courtesy desk. Please note that regular daily prayer services are not held at the Institute. ^

What is the situation with meals during the program?

Participants are welcome to bring guests to any meal as long they are ordered and paid for 24 hours in advance. Guest fees for each meal are listed in the guide to the Institute that you receive at registration and at the courtesy desk.

While providing you with lunch and dinner on most days, we do try to provide time for you to take advantage of the restaurants and shopping in the vicinity of the institute. We usually serve dairy lunches and meat dinners. There is always a vegetarian option. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or have any other specific dietary requirements, please help us to plan by notifying us in advance. ^

Who are the faculty?

Faculty are Shalom Hartman Institute scholars from Israel and North America who are PhD scholars, rabbis, and/or senior experienced and charismatic educators with expertise in thought leadership, and the intersection between Jewish ideas and the life experience of modern Jews.

Every year, we invite a few prominent intellectuals and religious leaders from outside of the Institute who are experts in the particular summer seminar theme. In addition, the Institute always invites important speakers and thinkers with insight into the Israel-Diaspora relationship to give guest lectures on contemporary issues in Israeli society and/or the North American Jewish community. ^

Will I have Internet access?

There are public computers located in the Library, located on the lower level in the faculty building. There is wireless internet access available onsite in the majority of the seminar rooms and in the beit midrash. ^

What is the cancellation policy?

Up to one week before the program start day, you may cancel and receive a full refund. Please note that we will deduct an administrative fee of 5 percent for all full refunds. If you cancel within a week of the program start date, we will refund 50 percent of the program cost. ^