A Reset for US Middle East Policy

Former Education Minister Gidon Saar and Herzl Institute Vice President Ofir Haivry outline a proposal for a reset of stagnant US Middle East policy in the Jerusalem Post. Read the article here.

R. Gil Student: “Is the Bible the Future of Politics?”

On December 18-22, Yoram Hazony, David Brog and Mark Tooley hosted a conference for Christians and Jews to discuss the future of conservatism in the wake of the Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump’s election in the US. The conference was co-sponsored by the Institute for Religion and Democracy and the Herzl Institute and held in Glen Cove, New York. On Friday, Rabbi Gil Student published his reflections on the conference in the Jewish Press in an essay entitled “Is the Bible the Future of Politics?”

You can read R. Student’s essay here:

Accepting Applications for Summer Workshop in Bible and Philosophy

The Jewish Philosophical Theology project at the Herzl Institute invites applications from graduate students and recent PhDs for a Bible and Philosophy Workshop in Jerusalem on June 12-22, 2017. Workshop directors Yoram Hazony and Joshua Weinstein, together with other Institute scholars and invited speakers, will lead a study of such questions as:

  • The Bible as Philosophy?
  • The Metaphysics of Hebrew Scripture
  • Is the Biblical God Perfect Being?
  • What Does it Mean for God to Speak?
  • Bible as a Tradition of Inquiry
  • Approaching God Through Metaphor
  • God’s Plans, Failures and Alliances
  • Should God Be Our King?
  • Discovering a Name of God
  • Who Makes Things Happen in the Bible?

Participants will also take part in the sixth international conference in the “Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Talmud and Midrash.” The conference topic for this year is “The Revelation at Sinai: What Does ‘Torah from Heaven’ Mean?” Click here for more information about the Conference.

Workshop dates: June 12-22, 2017.
Click here for more information about the Workshop.

Accepting Paper Proposals for a Conference on the topic “The Revelation at Sinai: What Does ‘Torah from Heaven’ Mean?”

The Jewish Philosophical Theology Project at the Herzl Institute, with the support of the John Templeton Foundation, will hold its sixth annual conference in Philosophy of the Bible, Talmud and Midrash in Jerusalem on June 18-22, 2017. The conference will address the topic The Revelation at Sinai: What Does ‘Torah from Heaven’ Mean?

Conference Directors:

Yoram Hazony (The Herzl Institute)
Dru Johnson (The King’s College)
Joshua Weinstein (The Herzl Institute)

Invited speakers include:

William J. Abraham (Southern Methodist University)
R. Joshua Amaru (Yeshivat Eretz Hazvi)
Shawn Zelig Aster (Bar-Ilan University)
Jonathan Burnside (University of Bristol)
R. Shalom Carmy (Yeshiva University)
James Diamond (University of Waterloo)
Lenn E. Goodman (Vanderbilt University)
Steven Kepnes (Colgate University)
R. Gil Student (Independent Scholar)

The conference invites papers and active participation by Jews, Christians, and individuals of other backgrounds.

For more information, see the conference announcement.

Jewish-Christian Alliance: Reclaiming and Rebuilding Conservatism

The Herzl Institute and the Institute on Religion and Democracy are pleased to announce a weeklong conference on the topic: “Jewish-Christian Alliance: Reclaiming and Rebuilding Conservatism” which will take place on December 18 – 22, 2016 in Glen Cove, New York.

This conference aims to lay the groundwork for an alliance of Christians and Jews working together to restore the conservative movement and through it the civilization of the West by means of a revitalized encounter with our founding traditions, texts and ideas.

Speakers will include:

Jeff Ballabon, Iron Dome Alliance
Fr. Barry Bercier, Assumption College
David Brog, Maccabee Task Force
Patrick Deneen, University of Notre Dame
Michael Doran, The Hudson Institute
David Goldman, Asia Times
Yoram Hazony, The Herzl Institute
Alyza Lewin, Lewin and Lewin, LLP
Gerald McDermott, Beeson Divinity School
Tricia Miller, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting
Joshua Mitchell, Georgetown University
Robert Nicholson, Philos Project
Russell Reno, First Things
R. Mitchell Rocklin, Tikvah Fund
R. Gil Student, Torah Musings
Greg Thornbury, The King’s College
Mark Tooley, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Kenneth Weinstein, Hudson Institute

More information

Conference announcement

Council for Higher Education Approves Liberal Arts Degrees in Israel

The Israel Council for Higher Education (CHE) has announced new guidelines permitting Israeli universities and colleges to grant Liberal Arts degrees for the first time. Among other innovations, the decision will allow institutions of higher learning in Israel to offer B.A. programs based on the “Great Books” as in colleges abroad. The decision follows recommendations submitted by a committee of experts including Herzl Institute President Yoram Hazony.

Rabbis, Jewish Educators Study Theology at Herzl Summer Institutes

Thirty-six American and Israeli rabbis and Jewish educators gathered at the Herzl Institute this summer for two intensive summer institutes on the subject “Teaching the Bible as Philosophy and Theology,” one in English and one in Hebrew. The English-language program was directed by Rabbi Rafi Eis; the Israeli program was directed by Avital Hazony and Shira Kahn. According to Institute participant Rabbi Joseph Beyda, Principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School, “It provided insight and perspective in the major changes my school will make in the way we teach Tanakh.” Raizi Chechik, Principal at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett, NY says, “this Institute pushed us to think deeply, to learn deeply, and to engage with Torah in a transformative way. I am awed by the intellectual rigor and spiritual dynamic that characterized our discussions.”

Haivry on the Implosion of the Arab World

In June, Herzl Institute Vice President Ofir Haivry published a comprehensive survey and analysis of the Middle East called “The Great Arab Implosion and Its Consequences” in the online magazine Mosaic. The landmark essay emphasizes that a century of post-Ottoman dominance of the region by Arab powers has effectively come to an end, and looks at options for what could come next. Response essays by David Pryce-Jones, Martin Kramer and Maj.-Gen. (res) Amos Yadlin.

Hazony Talks With Morgan Freeman About God

Herzl Institute President Yoram Hazony appeared together with Morgan Freeman in two episodes of his new miniseries The Story of God, which aired in six parts on National Geographic this Spring. Freeman and Hazony discussed the nature of the Jewish God, the Jewish messiah, and more. See a clip from their conversation here.
Buy episodes from the series here.

JPS to Publish Unterman Book on the Bible’s Revolutionary Ethics

The Jewish Publication Society will publish Herzl Institute Senior Fellow Jeremiah Unterman’s book Justice for All: How the Bible Revolutionized Ethics. The book documents moral advances of biblical law and teaching with respect to the ancient Near East. Dennis Prager writes: “Take notice. Jeremiah Unterman has written a major book that expertly documents the supremacy of the ethical in the Hebrew Bible. It will affect not only how you understand the Bible, but how you live your life.” The book will be published March 2017. Pre-order the book here.