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About Us

The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals offers a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is intellectually sound, spiritually compelling, and emotionally satisfying. Based on an unwavering commitment to the Torah tradition and to the Jewish people, it fosters an appreciation of legitimate diversity within Orthodoxy. It encourages responsible discussion of issues in Jewish law, philosophy, religious worldview, and communal policy. It sees Judaism as a world religion with a profound message for Jews, and for non-Jews as well. It seeks to apply the ancient wisdom of Judaism to the challenges of contemporary society.

Do you sense that Orthodox Jewish life is

  • narrowing its intellectual horizons?
  • adopting ever more extreme halakhic positions?
  • encouraging undue conformity in dress, behavior and thought?
  • fostering an authoritarian system that restricts creative and independent thinking?
  • growing more insulated from non-Orthodox Jews and from society in general?

Do you think that Orthodox Jewish life should be

  • intellectually alive, creative, inclusive?
  • open to responsible discussion and diverse opinions?
  • active in the general Jewish community, and in society as a whole?
  • engaged in serious and sophisticated Jewish education for children and adults?
  • committed to addressing the halakhic and philosophic problems of our times, drawing on the wisdom and experience of diverse Jewish communities throughout history?

If you agree that Orthodoxy can and should create a better intellectual and spiritual climate, please join THE INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH IDEAS AND IDEALS. The Institute works for an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodoxy.

Together we can reclaim the grand religious worldview of Torah Judaism at its best.

About the Institute

The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals was founded in October 2007 by Rabbi Dr. Marc D. Angel. Since 1969, Rabbi Angel has served Congregation Shearith Israel, the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City, founded in 1654. He is now devoting himself full time to the work of the Institute, serving as its Director.

Rabbi Angel has a long career of service to his congregation and community. He has served as President of the Rabbinical Council of America, the Rabbinic Alumni of RIETS, Sephardic House, and various other organizations. He has served as an officer and board member of UJA-Federation of New York, the HealthCare Chaplaincy, American Sephardi Federation, Cancer Care and other agencies. He has won national rabbinic awards from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and the United Jewish Communities, and the Finkle Award of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Author and editor of 28 books and hundreds of articles, he has won a National Jewish Book Award in the category of Jewish Thought for his book, "The Orphaned Adult", published by Human Sciences Press; and a National Jewish Book Finalist Award in the field of Sephardic Studies for his book "Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire"; and another National Jewish Book Finalist Award for Jewish Scholarship for his book "Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism." The latter two books were published by Jewish Lights Publishers.

The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals will serve the community through its active and informative website; public lectures and symposia; publication and distribution of books and educational materials; workshops for rabbis, educators and laity; cooperation with like-minded individuals and organizations to advance the ideals of the Institute.

About our website

Welcome to the Website of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. The Website provides information about the Institute, as well as an online store where you may order books of interest. The section Min haMuvhar includes selections from the writings of Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Founder and Director of the Institute. This section is open to all visitors of the Website.

The Website also includes articles, responsa and a forum for discussion, available to members of the Institute. We hope you will join us in advancing the important goals of the Institute. Through your membership, you not only promote the Institute’s ideas and ideals; but you also benefit by having access to articles, responsa, and discussion group; and discounts on your purchases through the online store.

Thanks very much for your interest and support.