Jewish Unity vs. Sephardic Particularism: Rav Uziel’s Sephardic Vision for the Jewish People

Rav Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880–1953) was a visionary rabbinic leader, a strong promoter of Jewish unity, and the twentieth century’s most authentic embodiment of the classic Sephardic rabbinic tradition. His leadership was characterized, on the one hand, by a burning desire to abolish divisions between Jews, yet at the same time as promoting Sephardic Judaism.

Campus Fellows Report: Fall 2017

To our members and friends,


It is a exciting new chapter in my role as National Scholar of the Institute, as I now manage the University Network and Campus Fellowship as well. We currently have 23 Campus Fellows at 20 schools across the United States and Canada, and look forward to growing that number.


Campus Fellows run at least two programs per semester on their campuses, with the goal of promoting our Institute’s vision and enlisting participants in their programs in our University Network.


Nehemiah of our Times

Sir Herbert Samuel, later Lord Samuel of Mount Carmel and Toxteth, was the first Jewish governor of Palestine since the fall of the Bar Kokhba regime some 1800 years earlier. In many respects, however, it was Nehemiah, rather than Bar Kokhba, who was Samuel’s ancient precursor. Nehemiah, like Samuel, was a senior official in the administration of a major superpower, appointed by its ruler to govern the mixed population of one of its outlying possessions.

Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of Great Britain, issued the Balfour Declaration, announcing that the British Empire supported an end to the Jewish people's 1,800-year exile and its return as a free nation to its homeland - the Land of Israel. "His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object."

Lessons from a "Goses"--a Dying Person

Thirty-five years ago, as an attending physician in an intensive care unit, I pondered the ethical issues involved in the use—and misuse—of increasingly powerful medical technology. Twelve years before that, in 1968, during my internship, there were few end-of-life ethical conundrums: We treated every patient as aggressively as possible—always. Death was the enemy, and we employed every medical intervention to avoid the demise of our patients.

Broadening Our Vision: An Introduction to Seven Interesting Middle Eastern Rabbis

Great figures such as Rabbis Benzion Uziel, Ḥaim David Halevy, Ovadiah Yosef, and Yosef Mesas have received much attention and analysis by scholars. However, many other great scholars and halakhic decisors remain almost unknown to persons who are not in-depth devotees of the topic. In this article, I seek to briefly introduce the reader to seven such rabbis.

National Scholar September Report

To our members and friends,

Our New Year brings new opportunity for the National Scholar program, as our family has moved from New York City to Teaneck, New Jersey. I have been teaching classes in various communities in Bergen County and beyond, as we expand our horizons to the other side of the George Washington Bridge.

Over the summer, I gave several lecture series’ in Fort Lee, Teaneck, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey.