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Meet Our 2013-14 University Fellows


ANGEL PARA SHABAT ~ Reflexiones Sobre las Porciones Semanales de la Torá

A partir del año 2008, el Instituto de Ideas e Ideales Judíos ha venido publicando una columna semanal “Angel for Shabbat” escrita por el Rabino Marc D. Angel. Muchos miles de lectores han disfrutado de estas columnas en el sitio web del Instituto (jewishideas.org) y a través de su distribución por correo electrónico.
Este volumen recopila en forma impresa una colección de estas reflexiones sobre la porción de la Torá de la semana.

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

Thoughts for Thanksgiving
by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

President George Washington proclaimed Thursday November 26, 1789 as a
day of national thanksgiving to God "for His kind care and protection
of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for
the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of
His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the
great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since
enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been
enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and
happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for
the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the

Empowering Local Rabbis: Revisiting the Conversion Issue

The Israeli government recently moved to decentralize the conversion system by allowing local courts to convert individuals on their own.

Ironically, as Israel moves away from centralization, here in America the Rabbinical Council of America is enthusiastically embracing it. The modern Orthodox rabbinical organization recently reaffirmed its commitment to its centralized conversion system, which it calls GPS (Geirus Policies and Standards). Under the system, the RCA accredits only those conversions conducted under RCA’s batei din, or rabbinical courts, using the GPS process.

Since its inception in 2008, we have opposed this centralized approach. We still do today. Here’s why.

November 2014 Report from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of our Institute

November, 2014

To our members and friends,

With the Holiday season behind us, we have begun our robust schedule
of educational programs.

Here are some upcoming highlights:

Kehilath Jeshurun (114 East 85th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan):

The next two Shabbatot as part of a monthly Shabbat Rabbinic Scholar
program will be the morning of November 22 at the Sephardic minyan,
and then December 20: morning with the Sephardic minyan, and then
afternoon classes in the broader Kehilat Jeshurun community. That
afternoon, I will teach a class at 3:30 p.m. on the topic of “Cut the
Baby in Half: King Solomon’s Wisdom” and present at Seudah Shlishit
(following Minhah at 4:05 p.m.) on “The Books of the Maccabees and

Civil Rights Martyrs--and Their Lesson for Us Today

This week, we are commemorating the horrific murder 50 years ago of three civil rights workers, two Jewish and one African American, in Mississippi.

When I began reading up about the freedom riders, groups of mainly white young men and women from the north who spent the summer of 1964 in Mississippi working for civil rights, voting registration etc., and especially Andrew Goodman and Michael Shwerner, two amongst many Jews who were part of this summer, I had a hope.

Of Walls and Bridges: Teaching and Studying

I can trace the seeds of my abiding interest in the intersection of Jewish/Israeli and Arab culture to two specific events that occurred while I was a high school student on a kibbutz in the eastern Galilee. The first took place when the group of American high school juniors of which I was a part travelled to the nearby Arab town of Daburiyya, at the foot of Mt. Tabor. We met Arab Israeli youth of our age in their classroom, where we bashfully introduced ourselves to each other. From there, our hosts took us to their homes where we were graciously hosted. I also recall our playing soccer on a field of dirt and stones as our Arab peers patiently indulged our feeble footballing skills.

New York Orthodoxy Between the Wars

Introduction [1]

Report from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, September 2014

September, 2014

To our members and friends,

As we approach the New Year, we look forward to another robust season
of educational programming. Here are some of the major highlights thus
far in place, and more will continue to develop throughout the year.

I will be the Rabbinic Scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in
New York City (85th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue) for the
coming year. This will involve eight Shabbatot in the KJ community, as
well as High Holy Day sermons to their Sephardic minyan on Rosh
HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

This coming Shabbat, September 20, I will speak on Sephardic and
Ashkenazic Liturgy. That will take place around 11:00 am after
services at the Sephardic minyan. All are welcome.

KJ Shabbat dates:

October 18

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