The summer residencies of one group of rabbis at Shalom Hartman Institute has ended, but the second half of the month being enjoyed here in Jerusalem by participants in the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative is just getting going.
This elite group of 27 rabbis, in their second summer (of four) at the Hartman Institute, will spend these remaining two weeks focusing mainly on the topics of messianism and images of God.
The first of these sessions will be taught by Institute Co-Director David Hartman
, and the second by Hartman Institute scholar Melila Hellner-Eshed
. In addition, peer teaching will be included almost every day. Peer teaching provides an opportunity for the rabbis to present a topic and receive peer feedback on their pedagogical methods.
A current RLI participant summed up the impact that RLI has had and continues to have on her rabbinical leadership:
"It has expanded my Hebrew vocabulary, fluency and exposure to Jewish texts in a Jewish world that asks its leaders to be comfortable in all settings – traditional, liberal and secular," she said. "The bridge between my synagogue and Israel is strengthened by my participation and I am determined to use this experience to enhance every aspect of my rabbinate."
The participating rabbi said the welfare, education and spirituality of her congregation is always in her mind, and the Institute’s program creates an experience that helps to grow all those areas.
"I am deliberate and clear about my participation, teaching in all ways and in all settings the lessons and approaches that the Hartman Institute is teaching me," she said.
Other highlights of the rabbinic program include an excursion focusing on an encounter with the Dead Sea Scrolls, a movie night and a lesson about Reb. Aryeh Levin, a true spiritual master of Jerusalem.