Congratulations to Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin!

On May 23rd Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President of The Schechter Institutes, received an honorary doctorate at The Jewish Theological Seminary’s 125th commencement exercises. The honor recognized his work championing “Conservative Judaism in North America and Israel, making invaluable contributions to the understanding and development of Jewish law.” Read Rabbi Prof. Golinkin’s speech and see photos from the ceremony.

Thoughts on Yom Haatzmaut

As Israel celebrates its 71st birthday, some of Schechter’s faculty share what “Israeliness” means to them. May Israel go from strength to strength!

Professor Yossi Turner, Jewish Thought:

Professor Yossi Turner, Jewish Thought

For me, being Israeli means to live in a situation where one’s actions, in every moment of life, impact the future of the Jewish people and the Jewish people’s contribution to the future of humanity – for good and for bad. To the extent that we consider our “Israeliness” in a manner that expands our humanity and our culture; to the extent that we direct our lives to the ideals of justice and truth, to that extent we will broaden our Jewishness and our humanity. But the opposite is also true: To the extent that we understand our Israeliness in narrow and fanatical terms, to that extent we will destroy our Judaism and our humanity.


Dr. Noa Yuval-Hacham, Judaism and the Arts

Dr. Noa Yuval-Hacham, Judaism and the Arts

Israeliness is best expressed in its contrasts:

On the good side- solidarity, brotherhood, a willingness to help and so much love of country.  And on the less good side-  lack of patience (particularly on the roads) roughness, and a way of speaking that is not the most dignified.  But at the end of the day, we have no other country! And it is always possible to improve, even at age 71.


Dr. Einat Ramon, Jewish Thought, Women’s Studies

Dr. Einat Ramon, Jewish Thought, Women’s Studies

Being Israeli is friendship and willingness to open you home and heart to people who you don’t even know.  Some examples: attending funerals and weddings of people who don’t have relatives in Israel to offer comfort or to celebrate; visiting a grave of a fallen soldier on Memorial Day who doesn’t have relatives; the dancing in the streets of Israel, all the different dances even after 70 years of Statehood; nights of singing; Shabbat and holidays all over the country, even in Tel Aviv there is a quietness that suddenly descends.

A Lesson We Can Learn from the Rabin Assassination

An awful crime was committed. That is a fact. It does not matter where you stand politically. It matters only where you stand morally. Violence was used to silence a voice that offended some people. That is not acceptable, and it is fitting and proper to dedicate a day in which we make that statement clearly to ourselves and to each other.

Why do some have to resort to violence as part of an argument? What can be done about that?

Is There a Jewish Perspective on Modern Biblical Criticism? In Memoriam: Professor Moshe Greenberg and Professor Jacob Milgrom

Can the critical study of the Bible in the academic world be seen to have a clear Jewish aspect which distinguishes it from the work of Catholic and Protestant colleagues? While the issue has been pursued from a number of perspectives,[note]A fuller discussion of the issue can be found in S.D. Sperling,Students of the Covenant, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), pp. 1-13, and in the references cited there. Moshe Greenberg expressed himself briefly on the subject in the prologue to his collected essays Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought(Philadelphia: JPS, 1995) pp. 3-8.[/note] there is no clear consensus which is based primarily on the content and method of that scholarship. But there is no doubt whatsoever that Professors Moshe Greenberg and Jacob Milgrom, both of whom passed away during the past month, represented some of the best examples of Jewish critical biblical scholarship.