At the Institute, we are proud to present a wide diversity of voices in our journal, Conversations; our website; and all of our programs and writings. These teachings educate and inspire Jews of all backgrounds to find avenues of entry to tradition that resonate most with them. Thank you for promoting and supporting this noble endeavor.
At 3 a.m., the train to Washington D.C. stopped in Stamford. I boarded with many congregants. I marched in the front row with Martin Luther King, Jr., and then watched him as he delivered his “I have a Dream” speech. It was an important moment not only in Black and U.S. history, but also in Jewish history. The next year, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Jews were beneficiaries of newfound rights, along with African Americans.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals welcomes university students to two zoom classes presented by Rabbi Hayyim Angel, National Scholar of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals:
On February 6, 2022 from 1-2 EST:
Ideal and Evolutionary Morality in the Torah: Traditional Commentary in an Age of Humanism
On March 13, 2022 from 1-2 EST:
The Bible stories we learned as children have powerful and unexpected meaning when we study them as adults. Please join Rabbi Marc Angel for a 4-part series (on Zoom), on Wednesday mornings, February 2, 9, 16 and 23--from 8:45-9:15 a.m. (EST).
1. Adam and Eve: the beginnings of humanity—and a special thanks to Eve
2. Cain and Abel: dealing with unfairness, jealousy, rage
3. Noah: will humanity ever learn?
4. Abraham: the Akedah…a surprising lesson
Zina Schiff, a concert violinist, has performed and recorded on five continents. Her first recording was the solo violin score for MGM's The Fixer, and a major focus of her 16 CDs is classical Jewish music. This article appears in issue 28 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. It was reprinted in issue 35 of Conversations.
The novelist, Naomi Ragen, discusses her path to Orthodox Judaism. She reflects on ideals, ideas, frustrations, disillusionments...and hopes.
The life and works of R. Joseph Messas remain of great importance. He showed that traditional Judaism can encompass a great diversity of thought, and that even in matters of halakha, often thought to be the most "closed" of all Jewish disciplines, there is a myriad of interpretive possibilities to which we can avail ourselves.
Jewish tradition has two roads to God: the natural world, which reveals God as Creator; and the Torah, which records the words of God to the people of Israel. But the Torah itself leads us back to the first road, the road of experiencing God as Creator. The Torah and nature are bound together.
The Song of the Sea is the biblical paradigm for the praise of God and provides a literary model for the organization of Pesukei de-Zimra. Like Shirat ha-Yam, Pesukei de-Zimra begins with an appreciation of God’s greatness and concludes with the contemplation of His holiness.
Genuine modesty avoids the extremes of prudery or promiscuity. It fosters self-respect and respect for others. In a real sense, tseniut is not “old fashioned;” it is the avant garde of those who wish to live as dignified human beings.