June 4, 2013
To our members and friends of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals: I am delighted to have begun working for the Institute as of June 1.
It is an honor and privilege to build a shared vision with my father, the Institute’s founder and director, Rabbi Marc D. Angel, and with all of you. After seventeen years of serving in the rabbinate, I am delighted to transition to a career of full-time Jewish education, which will include the robust position of National Scholar of the Institute, as well as a full-time appointment teaching Bible at Yeshiva University. My goals as National Scholar include a broad menu of educational programs and writings, with the goal of bringing our shared vision of an open, vibrant, inclusive Orthodoxy to the broader community through classes, publications and electronic media. I will be developing and teaching adult education classes, giving lectures for the Institute’s University Network, creating online classes, teaching teachers in Jewish Day Schools, working on publications, serving as scholar in residence in various communities... and more.
As we launch the position of National Scholar of the Institute, here are some of my first activities.
• Served as Scholar-in-residence in the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, Queens, NY, on Shabbat May 31-June 1.
• Serving as Scholar-in-residence in the Young Israel of Stamford, Connecticut, June 21-22.
• Produced audio for several lectures on Bible that will be converted into online videos through the Aleph Beta Academy (alephbeta.org). This creative online institution develops educational videos for High School students, College students, and interested adults. My videos will survey much of the Bible. The Joshua classes are now available online, and over the next couple of months we will produce at least thirteen more courses.
• Conducting a teacher training program at the Ida Crown Academy (Chicago) on June 10. I have been working together with their Tanakh faculty to develop their curriculum, incorporate a sound learning methodology, and prepare students better for their collegiate years ahead when they take academic Bible courses.
• Participating in the Experiential Education program run by Yeshiva University on June 26, developed for Day School educators across the country.
• Preparing a Synagogue Companion with commentary on the Torah, Haftarot, and the Shabbat morning prayer service. This volume will contain short pieces—generally 300-500 words each, to deliver meaningful content to people of all backgrounds. Bibliographies are included for those who wish to explore any of the topics more thoroughly. The Institute is aiming to publish this volume in January 2014.
• Working to arrange parlor meetings to spread our Institute’s vision of an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism. We hope these parlor meetings will generate new support for the Institute as we dramatically increase our work. If you would like to host a parlor meeting, please contact me. I welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] I look forward to helping build our shared vision together with you. Thank you for your support and dedication.