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.

Fall Programs at the Herzl Institute

Yoram Hazony will lead the Tikvah Advanced Institute on “Judaism and Freedom,” which will take place in New York City, September 12-16, 2016. See program details here.

Conference on “A Jewish-Christian Alliance to Rebuild the West,” Glen Cove, New York, December 18-22, 2016.
Conference announcement.

Colloquium in “Jewish Philosophical Theology,” of the Herzl Institute Templeton Fellows will be held in Jerusalem, December 27-29, 2016. More information to follow soon.

Britains Lawyers and Judges Vote Leave on Brexit, John Seldon, and the Jewish Exemplar

In the July/Aug issue of Standpoint, Ofir Haivry explains why out of all of Britain’s intellectuals, it was the legal establishment that supported Brexit.

Applications Open for a Herzl Institute Conference in December 2016 on “A Jewish-Christian Alliance to Rebuild the West”

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

The conference will focus on issues such as:

  • The Bible and the modern Western political order
  • Is Western democracy in decline?
  • Obstacles to Christian-Jewish collaboration
  • The standing of the Bible in public life
  • The place of Israel in the Mideast and in our world
  • What would Western renaissance look like?
  • Toward a new Jewish-Christian agenda

Speakers will include:

Jeff Ballabon, Iron Dome Alliance
Fr. Barry Bercier, Assumption College
David Brog, Maccabee Task Force
Patrick Deneen, University of Notre Dame
David Goldman, Asia Times
Yoram Hazony, The Herzl Institute
Yechiel Leiter, 3H Global
Gerald McDermott, Beeson Divinity School
Tricia Miller, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting
Robert Nicholson, Philos Project
Russell Reno, First Things
R. Mitchell Rocklin, Tikvah Fund
Greg Thornbury, The King’s College
Kenneth Weinstein, Hudson Institute

Who should apply?

The conference invites applications from early-career Christian and Jewish academics, clergy, activists and journalists who are serious about their own faith traditions, love their country, and are willing to work together to build an alternative trajectory for our world.

The conference will take place December 18-22 in the New York City area.

A limited budget is available to assist with flights and other reasonable transportation costs to the conference location.
Additionally, accommodations and meals will be complimentary to accepted participants.

Conference announcement.

For more information, please write to Gavriel Lakser:

Applications Open for Summer Workshop in Theology and Philosophy of the Tanach

The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem is pleased to announce an intensive summer Workshop in Theology and Philosophy of the Tanach for rabbis and Jewish educators to be held in Jerusalem, August 1-4, 2016.

Online application here.

Instructors: Dr. Yoram Hazony, Dr. Joshua Weinstein
Convener: Rabbi Rafi Eis

Lectures and discussions will focus on topics such as:

  • “What Does Torah Teach Us About How Humans Should Understand God?”
  • “Can We Teach Theology So It Speaks to Students and is Authentic to the Text?”
  • “Why Did Our Forefathers Argue With God and Did They Change His Mind?”
  • “Reason and Revelation”
  • “Law, Narrative and How They Work Together to Make Torah”
  • “Looking at Genesis-Kings as a Unified Story”
  • “Human Creativity, Responsibility, and Leadership in Light of God’s Will”
  • “What Does ‘Torah From Heaven’ Mean?”

Who Should Apply?

The Herzl Institute Tanach Education Workshop is for rabbis and educators teaching Tanach in adult education, campus or high school settings. The workshop will be conducted in English. Hebrew proficiency is required.

Stipend: Accepted participants will receive a $1000 stipend, support for reasonable transportation costs to Jerusalem, and accommodations.

Application Deadline:
May 16, 2016

For more information, please write to Rabbi Rafi Eis:

This workshop has been made possible by the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation.

The Jerusalem Post Reports on the Question of God’s Perfection Conference at the Herzl Institute

“If, according to biblical prophecy, the nations of the world will ascend to Jerusalem to learn the word of God, then an apocalyptic event of small proportions occurred during the week leading up to Christmas…” Read the article on the Jerusalem Post website here (for subscribers) or read a pdf here.

Invitation to a Colloquium of our Templeton Fellows

The Herzl Institute invites you to attend a Colloquium of our Templeton Fellows that will take place on December 28-30, 2015 at the Mt. Zion Hotel in Jerusalem.

Advance registration required. For a detailed schedule, visit the Bible-Philos website.

Templeton Fellows at the Herzl Institute:

Joshua Amaru (Yeshivat Eretz Hazvi), “Halachic Virtue and Wisdom”
James Arcadi (University of Bristol), “Belonging to the Lord: Consecration, Divine Presence, and the Metaphysics of Holiness in the Hebrew Scriptures”
Craig Bartholomew (Redeemer University College), “The God Who Acts in History”
James Diamond (University of Waterloo), “Constructing a Jewish Philosophical Theology: A Prolegomenon”
Melis Erdur (Tel-Aviv University), “Torah From (but not in) Heaven”
Lenn Goodman (Vanderbilt University), “The Holy One of Israel”
Yoram Hazony (Herzl Institute), “What does ‘Torah from Heaven’ Mean?”
Berel Dov Lerner (Western Galilee College), “Could Moses’ Hands Make War? Divine and Human Agency in the Hebrew Scriptures”
Alan Mittleman (Jewish Theological Seminary), “Holiness and Violence in Judaism”
Alex Sztuden (Independent Scholar), “Beyond the Euthyphro Dilemma: God’s Will, Nature and the Moral Law”
Shmuel Trigano (Nanterre University), “The Angel’s Descent”
Shira Weiss (Yeshiva University), “Reevaluating Theological Concepts in the Bible”
Jacob Wright (Emory University), “The Knowledge of God as a Central Teaching of Hebrew Scriptures”