National Scholar April 2018 Report

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April, 2018

To our members and friends,

We continue to reach thousands of people annually through our National Scholar program, combining classes, teacher trainings, conferences, and publications to promote the core values of our Institute.

            There are several upcoming classes and programs:

On Mondays, April 23, 30, and May 7, from 1:00-2:15 pm: I will give a three-part series at Lamdeinu Teaneck on the Book of Ruth: “Ruth: A Woman of Valor in a Sea of Ambiguity.” Classes are held at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck New Jersey. To register, go to


On Shavuot (May 18-21), I will give six classes at Yeshiva University’s Shavuot program at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. For more information and registration, go to


On June 24-25 (Sunday-Monday), I will give five classes at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s annual study days on Bible and Jewish Thought. More information in my next report.


            University Network

We are winding down another very successful year with our University Network. I had the privilege of coordinating the University Network and the Campus Fellowship this year. You can read the latest about our campus fellows and their contributions on our website,


            Important Review of my work in Tanakh

Rabbi Yaakov Beasley, a prominent Bible Educator who coordinates Tanakh at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah, wrote a review of my work that explores the key values of the integration of tradition and contemporary academic Bible study; the literary-theological approach to Tanakh; and other critical issues at the heart of modern Tanakh education. See his review at


            Looking Ahead

We reach many thousands of people each year with our many classes and programs, teacher trainings, Conversations, our website, and our University Network. Looking forward, we will be expanding and streamlining our focus more into teacher trainings through our Sephardic Initiative—where we will work with Jewish Studies teachers to teach a more holistic picture of the Jewish People and their ideas.

We also are developing larger symposia and conferences where we can promote greater conversation and dialogue within our community as we build bridges between people who hold very different religious viewpoints.

Our view is that we always must keep conversations alive, rather than allowing those who dogmatically espouse one or the other side of a debate to shut down dissent or alternative viewpoints from within tradition.

I am personally very excited about these developments and believe we will greatly increase our impact in the Jewish community through these new focused efforts. Stay tuned for upcoming reports!


As always, I am grateful to all our members and supporters, who generously make our work possible and who give so much hope for a better Jewish community of tomorrow.


Rabbi Hayyim Angel

National Scholar

Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals