Under the guidance and mentorship of seminar leaders, Leora Batnitzky and Allan Arkush, this year's seminar will cover three main themes, taught by a variety of outstanding and world-renowned guest faculty:
- Judaism and Modernity . What are the points of tension between Judaism and modernity and where do they come from? How is the Jewish tradition and its authority, past and present, to be best understood? What changes and what remains in a tradition that seeks to renew its relevance in each generation?
Featuring instruction by Christine Hayes (Yale), Moshe Halbertal (Hebrew U), Suzanne Stone (Cordozo), and program leaders Leora Batnitzky (Princeton) and Allan Arkush (SUNY).
- Judaism and Human Nature . What does Judaism have to say to about the question of who we are and what we live for? How can Jewish texts enter into dialogue on these perennial questions with the great ideas of the broader Western canon?
Featuring instruction by Leon Kass (Chicago) on parents and children, Alan Mittleman (JTS) on hope and progress, Jon Levenson (Harvard) on love of God, Michael Morgan (Indiana) on shame and honor, and Ruth Wisse (Harvard) and acclaimed novelist Dara Horn on the human condition as encountered in great works of Jewish literature.
- The Jewish Future . Judaism is more than an idea – it is a people living out its historical fate and facing challenges that are distinct to this moment in that history. The program will conclude with a three day symposium on the Future of Jews and Judaism led by leading figures from the Jewish world. Ruth Gavison (Hebrew U), Meir Soloveichik (The Straus Center at YU) and Shai Held (Mechon Hadar) will challenge participants - and one another – to think through how the abstract becomes concrete: given the rich intellectual tradition of Jewish thought, how do visionary leaders balance forces of preservation and change in order to improve the lot of the Jews.