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Summer Workshop for Undergraduates and Recent Graduates

This summer undergraduates and recent graduates will gather at the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem to study the topic, “Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud and Midrash”. Workshop directors Yoram Hazony and Joshua Weinstein, together with other Institute scholars and invited speakers, will lead study of such questions as:

• The Bible as Philosophy?
• The Metaphysics of Hebrew Scripture
• Is the Biblical God Perfect Being?
• Human Nature as a Model for Understanding God?
• What Does it Mean for God to Speak?
• Natural Law and Human Flourishing in Hebrew Scripture
• Why Did God Want to be King Over Israel?

Workshop dates: July 27-August1, 2014.

The Workshop will be hosted by the Jewish Philosophical Theology Project at the Herzl Institute. For more information and in order to apply visit the Bible-Philos Jewish Philosophical Theology website.

Fern Baker and Yael Hazony Join Herzl Institute Leadership

We are pleased to welcome two additions to the leadership of the Herzl Institute: Yael Hazony as Vice President for Operations and Fern Baker as Vice President for Communications and Development. In addition, Herzl Institute co-founder Ofir Haivry has been appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs. Meirav Jones will take on the position of Director of Academic Programs.

During the past decade Yael Hazony was Editor-in-Chief of Shalem Press, a Jerusalem publishing house whose publications included periodicals such as Azure and Hebraic Political Studies and first-time translations into Hebrew of classics of Western philosophy including works by Hobbes, Hume, Machiavelli, Mill, Tocqueville, and Vico. She holds a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and held Fellowships in Talmud study at the Drisha Institute, Matan Institute, and the Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Learning for Women.

Fern Baker was previously Midwest Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). She holds a B.A with a dual major in Theater and Jewish Studies, as well as a post-graduate certification in Jewish Education from McGill University, and an M.A in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute.

Ofir Haivry’s “Israel in the eye of The Hurricane” is Mosaic Magazine’s Monthly Essay

Mosaic Magazine’s January 2014 selected “Israel in the eye of The Hurricane”, by Herzl institute Vice-President, Ofir Haivry, as its monthly essay. The essay makes the case that the radical reshaping of the middle east now underway, and the retrenchment of American policy calls for a fundamental rethinking of Israel’s regional strategy. Read the article here

Herzl Institute hosted Mr. David Goldman in honor of the Hebrew edition to his book ‘How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)’, published by Sela Meir and El Ha’prat

David Goldman is an economic analyst and columnist, best known for his influential column “Spengler” in the Asia Times. His book How Civilizations Die, which was first published in English in 2011, analyzes the profound contemporary crisis of European and Islamic countries, its origins, and its economic, demographic, and political implications.

The event took place at The Herzl Institute, located at 5 Deedes Street, German Colony, Jerusalem, on Tuesday, December 31st 2013, at 6pm.

Book by Herzl Institute post-doctoral fellow, Aryeh Tepper published by SUNY press

Progressive Minds, Conservative Politics: Leo Strauss’ Later Writings on Maimonides overturns the conventional view of Strauss’s interpretation of Maimonides, arguing that he identified, and identified himself with, an esoteric Maimonidean teaching on progress: progress within the Bible, beyond the Bible, and even beyond the rabbinic sages. Politically a conservative thinker, Strauss, like Maimonides, located man’s deepest satisfaction in progressing in the discernment of the truth.
Link to the publisher’s site: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-5744-progressive-minds-conservative-.aspx

Hazony’s ‘The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture’ Wins 2nd Place PROSE Award for Best Book in Theology and Religion

The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture has won second place (“Honorable Mention”) in the annual PROSE Awards competition of the Association of American Publishers for the best book in the Theology and Religion in 2012. PROSE is an award of the division for professional and scholarly books of the AAP. The first place award in Theology and Religion went to ‘Kantian Reason and Hegalian Spirit: The Idealistic Logic of Modern Theology’ by Gary Dorrien. The full list of winners can be found at www.proseawards.com/current-winners.html.

Hazony’s ‘Hebrew Scripture’ Reviewed in Review of Biblical Literature

Craig Bartholomew, professor of philosophy and of theology at Redeemer University College in Hamilton, Ontario, reviews Yoram Hazony’s Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture in the Review of Biblical Literature (RBL). Bartholomew writes that “This is an important book raising critical questions in a whole range of areas…. The case for taking the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament seriously philosophically is utterly compelling.” This is the second review posted by RBL about the book. RBL is an organ of the Society of Biblical Literature. You can read the review here.

Meirav Jones in Journal of the History of Ideas

The July issue of the prestigious Journal of the History of Ideas has published a new article by Herzl Institute Executive Director Meirav Jones entitled “Philo Judaeus and Hugo Grotius’s Modern Natural Law.” Grotius is considered one of the founders of the modern system of international law, and the article shows that his concept of natural law derived in large measure from his reading of the Jewish philosopher Philo. Read the article here.

Jerusalem Letter 26: “The Christian Alternative Resurrected”

A new essay by Herzl Institute President Yoram Hazony surveys the rapid re-introduction of constructive Christian theology into mainstream academic philosophy departments and asks why Jews can’t do that. Read it here.

First International Young Scholars’ Workshop on Biblical Philosophy

Sixteen doctoral students and recent docs attended the Herzl Institutes first international Bible and Philosophy Workshop from July 17-25. The Workshop included both Jewish and Christian students and was led by Yoram Hazony, Joshua Weinstein, Joshua Berman and Jaco Gericke. See the Workshop schedule here.