January 2014 Report from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar

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To our members and friends

All of our educational programs and projects continue apace. I sent out my six-month summary last month, and here are some upcoming programs and projects for January:

The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals is proud to co-sponsor a new ten-part series of weekly classes with Lincoln Square Synagogue in the First Book of Samuel (68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan). The classes are taught at a high level and accessible to people of all learning backgrounds. Ten Wednesdays from 7:15-8:15 pm from January 29-April 2. Registration for the entire course costs $150, or it costs $20 per class if you register in advance/$25 at the door per class. You can register at lss.org/RabbiAngel. If you have any registration questions, please contact Ms. Elana Stein Hain, mesh@lss.org.

Shabbat Jan 3-4: Shabbat scholar-in-residence at Keter Torah (Roemer) in Bergenfield, New Jersey. This Shabbat will have a strong biblical focus.

Monday Jan 13, 3:40-4:20 seder, 4:20-5:10 shiur, “Megillat Esther: What They Didn’t Teach Us in Day School.” At Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale (3700 Henry Hudson Parkway). Students and alumni free, adults $50, students $36 for day. You can register at yctorah.org. This class is part of a Bible study-day conducted by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.

This month, my newest book, A Synagogue Companion, will be published and distributed to members of the Institute and to interested synagogues and others. It is published by the Institute, in lieu of Conversations issue 18. If you are interested in ordering multiple copies for your school or synagogue at a very reduced rate, please contact Rabbi Marc Angel, mdangel@jewishideas.org.

The regular Conversations schedule is on track, with the next regular issue scheduled for publication in May.

I have recorded my classes on the Book of Samuel, and will be recording my classes on the Book of Esther for the Aleph Beta Academy. Their video editors will then create the educational videos that will be put on their website. Check out alephbeta.org to see my courses on Joshua, Judges, and Lamentations, as well as many other classes by other educators in this engaging format.

I will be continuing my teacher-training sessions at the Ramaz High School in New York on January 2. We are working with their Bible faculty in reviewing aspects of their curriculum. This session is open to the Ramaz faculty only.

I am beginning four new undergraduate courses at Yeshiva University: Samuel, Haggai-Zechariah-Malachi (an Honors course), and two sections of Jeremiah. These course are open to students at Yeshiva University.

In addition to classes to adults and college students, teacher training, and publications, part of my role as the Institute’s National Scholar is to be a resource, and I regularly correspond with many people on important issues in Jewish thought and education.

I recently received a note from a student who lives in Israel. This is a very lightly edited and abridged version of what he wrote: “I am currently in my fourth year in a hesder program. I recently finished my mandatory service in the army and during my service your online classes on Tanach and your books kept Torah alive for me. During a time in my life when Torah learning was not as accessible as one would want, your teachings made it accessible for me…Again I wanted to let you know just how much I enjoy listening to your classes and reading your books, they have really helped me learn Tanach in an entirely new fashion, and I owe my passion for Tanach study to you.” Needless to say, I was deeply moved by this note. This heroic young man who serves our nation took whatever free moments he had to learn Torah. I thanked him for sharing his thoughts and referred him to our Online Learning section on our Institute’s website so that he may access a growing number of our lectures online and perhaps find other materials and articles of interest.

My father, Rabbi Marc Angel, often receives far-away inquiries and comments through our Institute from every corner of the globe. Thank you for your support and encouragement in making all of this a reality, and we look forward to expanding our scope and reach in the coming years.

Thank you for your support and encouragement, and I look forward to building this vision with you and the broader community in the coming year and beyond. I welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at hangel@jewishideas.org.

Rabbi Hayyim

Angel National Scholar