National Scholar January Report

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To our members and friends

Our fall semester highlighted a communal symposium on October 21 on Conversion to Judaism, featuring our Founder and Director, Rabbi Marc Angel, Rabbi Yona Reiss (Head of the Chicago Beth Din and the Director of the Rabbinical Council of America’s conversion courts), and myself. The event was exceptional, and you can watch the presentations on YouTube at As of this writing, we have had nearly 1000 views! Please watch the video and send the link to your friends so that we can reach an ever-growing audience.


We also held a teacher training through our Sephardic Initiative on November 4. Twenty educators participated, and we look forward to posting their reports on how they are implementing our materials and methodology in their classrooms.


Our next major symposium will be on Sunday, February 10, from 10:00am-12:30pm. We will discuss the need for our schools and communities to do more to promote ethical behavior as a basic Torah teaching. Our program will feature Rabbi David Jaffe, a National Jewish Book Award Winner for his book, Changing the World from the Inside Out; Dr. Shira Weiss, author of several books on ethics and Director of Admissions at the Frisch School; Rabbi Daniel Feldman, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University who has authored several books on ethics in halakhah; and myself. The symposium will be held at Lincoln Square Synagogue, 180 Amsterdam Avenue (@68th Street) in Manhattan.


On Shabbat, February 22-23, I will be the scholar-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania. This is part of our initiative to spread our core vision to university students across the country. For our latest reports from our Campus Fellows of our University Network, please see


On Mondays, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, and April 15, 1:00-2:15pm I will teach a six-part series on the Book of Psalms, integrating classical commentary and contemporary scholarship as we learn more about prayer and religious experience. It will be held at Lamdeinu Teaneck, at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck. To register, go to


On Shabbat March 22-23, I will be the scholar-in-residence at the Boca Raton Synagogue. Our impact on communities across the country has been remarkable, and we have built up a beautiful network of participants in our work as a result.


As always, thank you for all of your support, and we will continue to spread our vision to educators, university students, and the broader Jewish community.

Rabbi Hayyim Angel

National Scholar

Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals