Every summer is busy at Shalom Hartman Institute, but the amount of activity projected at the Institute this summer has reached a record high.
The summer starts off with the annual Board of Directors
retreat. After arriving on June 20, the board will spend an intense few days reviewing the Institute’s activities over the past year and planning for the coming year. After meeting with Institute leadership, program directors and other staff members, the board departs on June 25.
On that day, 65 North American lay and community leaders
will descend on the Institute for a 10-day retreat packed with learning and activity. This year the lay leaders will explore the theme, "Sacred Jewish Narratives & Collective Memory." They will hear lectures from the Institute’s top scholars, participate in excursions and enjoy a Shabbat at the Institute.
The busiest days of the summer are those few days in which the lay leader group will overlap with other groups. One of these is the Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar , which comprises 120 North American rabbis from various denominations. Their program, which runs from June 30 to July 10, is jam-packed with lectures, havruta learning sessions, electives and trips throughout Israel. The rabbis will join the lay leaders for a celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary, featuring musician Shlomo Gronich , on July 1.
On the day of this celebration another group will arrive at the Hartman institute for the first time. This new initiative – the Vision Forum Seminar
– brings together heads of North American Jewish schools and key members of their boards of directors to address significant questions facing world Jewry and Jewish education. This year’s program theme addresses the question of the boundaries of Judaism and comprises morning sessions learning in the Institute’s beit midrash, case studies in the afternoons, and programs in the evenings
focusing on critical challenges facing contemporary Israel.
This group leaves the Institute on July 8.
Yet another group studying at the Institute that week will be Tichon
, the Jewish day school teachers’ training program, July 3-10. This year the Tichon fellows, joined by a smaller group of graduates of the Melamdim
program, will examine, "The Challenges and Dilemmas of Tikkun Olam." This theme is important to these North American high school educators because tikkun olam (repairing the world) has important implications for high school students in America and the kind of Judaism they may choose as their orienting framework in the larger world they will enter after leaving their Jewish day school environments.
While 90 rabbis from the training seminar will leave on July 11, 27 Rabbinic Leadership Initiative
rabbis will remain for an additional two weeks of study. The Leadership Initiative rabbis, Reform Conservative and Orthodox, are beginning the second year of their three-year program. An important element of their summer program involves peer teaching, where many of the rabbis will have a chance to attain feedback from their peers on their teaching methods. Another exciting event this program offers includes a trip to Bethlehem with the option of sleeping in homes of Palestinians.
Finally, for the first time, the Christian Leadership Initiative
will arrive at the Institute on July 22 for a nine-day study program. These Christian leaders will be exposed to the Jewish religion in depth. Not only will they learn about important theological and ritual elements in Judaism, but they will also learn havruta (paired, self-directed) style. The participants will discuss contentious issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and will also address issues common to Christianity and Judaism, such as the response to evil. This group will be the final one to leave the Institute on July 31.
This impressive and challenging lineup is sure to contribute to the Institute’s most exciting summer yet. Click here
to see the daily schedule, updated automatically.