Update from Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals has been co-sponsoring a ten-part series of weekly classes with Lincoln Square Synagogue in the First Book of Samuel (68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan). Wednesdays from 7:15-8:15 pm from January 29-April 2. With this series winding down, we are discussing the possibility of future classes. Stay tuned for further announcements.

As a bonus to all participants in the series at Lincoln Square Synagogue, we distributed copies of my new book published through the Institute, A Synagogue Companion. By now, all Institute members should have received copies of A Synagogue Companion. If you are interested in ordering multiple copies to distribute at your school or synagogue at a significantly reduced rate, please contact Rabbi Marc Angel, at [email protected].

The regular Conversations schedule is on track, with the next issue scheduled for publication in May. You may acquire copies (paperback or kindle) of my recently republished collection of essays on Tanakh, Through an Opaque Lens, at amazon.com. My next publication project through the Institute is a Holiday Companion that will contain insights and explanations of the readings, prayers, and rituals of the holidays. It should be available some time next fall. I'm also working on a new collection of essays on Tanakh, with a focus on learning methodology. We will be publishing that through Kodesh Press.

Some other teaching highlights from February-March include: Shabbat Feb 7-8: I was the scholar-in-residence at Yeshiva University. We explored the interrelationship between traditional and academic methods of Tanakh study.

Shabbat Feb 15: I taught the Shabbat morning class at Congregation Ohav Shalom in New York: Hur and Pharaoh's daughter.

Sunday Feb 23: I gave a class on Megillat Esther at the Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn.

Shabbat Feb 28-March 1: I was the scholar-in-residence at Cornell University.

Monday March 3: I taught a class on the nature of Midrash to 12th graders at the Heschel High School in New York.

In March, I gave a four-part series to rabbinical students at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, NY on the Book of Jeremiah and underlying learning methodology.

Thursday March 6: I conducted a teacher training session on the Book of Jeremiah for the Tanakh faculty at the Ramaz Upper School in New York.

Shabbat March 7-8: I was the scholar-in-residence at Congregation Shaarei Orah in Teaneck, New Jersey. This Shabbat featured several talks on Sephardic and Ashkenazic liturgy and philosophy and how a study of both deepens our appreciation of tradition.

Thursday March 20: The Institute for Jewish Ideas sponsored a book reception for my two most recent books: Vision from the Prophet and Counsel from the Elders (OU Press, 2013), and A Synagogue Companion (Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, 2014). It was at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan. Speakers included Rabbi Marc Angel, Rabbi Saul Berman (Yeshiva University), Rachel Friedman (Drisha Institute), and Rabbi Shaul Robinson (Lincoln Square Synagogue).

I welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected].