Eis in Jewish Action: Are We Praying to the Wrong God?

Herzl Institute Educational Director R. Rafi Eis has published a moving essay on the problem of teaching young Jews about God in the Fall 2017 issue of Jewish Action. In “Praying to the Wrong God? An Old-New Approach to Tefillah Education,” Eis argues that medieval concepts may be holding religious youth back from approach God. This essay is a response to the Herzl Institute’s workshop on “Teaching Tanach as a Source of Theology and Philosophy,” which took place on August 1-4, 2016, and which Eis organized as convener. The workshop was conducted with the support of the John Templeton Foundation. Read R. Eis’ essay in Jewish Actiohere.

Hazony Gives Tribute to 2017 Templeton Laurette Alvin Plantinga

In honor of Philosopher Alvin Plantinga being awarded the Sir John Templeton Prize in 2017, Herzl Institute President Yoram Hazony addressed the convocation with a speech entitled “A Great Captain in the Armies of God.” The tribute can be read here:

Hazony CUFI Address Marks Jerusalem Unification 50th Anniversary

This summer was the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Herzl Institute President Yoram Hazony appeared on a platform together with Pastor John Hagee in honor of this occasion in front of an audience of five thousand at the annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington, D.C. You can see them both here: Hagee and Hazony 50th anniversary video. (Dr. Hazony’s speech begins at 49:00. Introduction by David Brog about their college days together at Princeton begins at 44:45.)

Herzl Conference Explores: What Was ‘The Revelation at Sinai’?

The concept of torah from heaven plays a central role in Jewish theology. But what precisely does it mean to say that the Jewish torah or teaching is from heaven? From June 18-22, 2017, ninety scholars and advanced students gathered at the Herzl Institute’s conference to discuss “The Revelation at Sinai: What Does ‘Torah From Heaven’ Mean?” Speakers included: R. Shalom Carmy (Yeshiva University), James Diamond (University of Waterloo), Lenn E. Goodman (Vanderbilt University), R. Gil Student (Independent Scholar), Shira Weiss (The Frisch School), William J. Abraham (Southern Methodist University), and Jonathan Burnside (University of Bristol).

For two weeks around the conference, Jewish and Christian students and young PhD’s came from as far as Brazil, Korea, and China to attend the Herzl Institute’s Young Scholars Workshop, and hear lectures from senior scholars at the conference. A book based on papers from the conference is in preparation.

The conference and workshop are part of the Jewish Philosophical Theology project at the Herzl Institute, which is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. More details on the conference are available here: Revelation at Sinai conference website.

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.