National Scholar November 2018 Report

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To our members and friends

We are off to an extremely productive year of learning and programming at the Institute.

On Sunday, October 21, we held a communal symposium in New York on Conversion to Judaism. The panel featured 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 This panel discussion is part of our broader effort at conducting genuine conversations in the community on topics of vital importance.

On Sunday, November 4, I ran a teacher training through our Sephardic Initiative for Elementary and Middle School teachers to provide guidance and materials to Jewish Studies teachers to bring the best of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic world into the Jewish classroom. The event was held at Ben Porat Yosef Yeshiva Day School in Paramus, New Jersey, and featured Rabbi Saul Zucker, Rabbi Ilan Acoca, Rabbi Ariel Cohen, as well as myself. Twenty educators participated, and two others from outside the New York-New Jersey area have entered our orbit for the conference. Our teacher trainings promote our core values by bringing them into schools.

On Mondays, November 5, 12, 19, 26, 1:00-2:15 pm, I will teach a four-part series on the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah at Lamdeinu Teaneck. We will take an in-depth look at the Bible’s last two leaders. We will consider the primary texts in Ezra-Nehemiah, and see how Ezra and Nehemiah each helped shape the future of Judaism after prophecy stopped. Classes are held at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck, NJ. For registration, go to


On Shabbat, November 30-December 1, I will be the scholar-in-residence at the Young Israel of Teaneck. The synagogue is located at 868 Perry Lane, Teaneck, NJ. For more information, see the synagogue website,

In October, I taught a new four-part mini series on the religious significance of the Land of Israel in the Bible. These lectures, done in partnership with the Sephardic Community Alliance, are now available on our website

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