A New Kind of Jewish High School Seeks to Bring Together the Best of Both Jerusalem and Athens

Aug. 26 2019

At the Heichal HaTorah school of New Jersey, faculty have begun a unique experiment in secular studies. Elliot Kaufman explains. (Registration required.)

At some Orthodox schools, subjects such as English, history, and math take a back seat to the analysis of Jewish texts. Others, especially in Modern Orthodox communities, dial back the Judaic studies somewhat to provide rigorous all-around education. They usually do that, however, by aping top secular schools, adopting progressive curricula that can be hostile to traditional values.

Heichal HaTorah is evidence that there’s a better way. . . . Heichal’s honors students display impressive range in the classroom. Back in June, ninth-graders were reading Meister Eckhart, a German medieval theologian, and discussing the West’s evolving understanding of God and man. A question arose and a student shouted a relevant line from the Torah, quoting it in Hebrew. While I struggled to connect the dots, another student compared Eckhart’s view with an older one from myths about Hercules. A third cited Cicero. . . .

Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin [is] the principal instructor of the honors track at Heichal HaTorah, and he’s on a mission . . . to show Jews “what their religion has to do with their culture, and what their culture has to do with their religion.” . . . [I]f traditional schools are going to teach secular subjects, it makes sense to teach them traditionally. Rabbi Rocklin’s students deserve to learn the best the West has thought and said. It’s their patrimony, too.

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Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: Education, Jewish education, Judaism, Western civilization

As World Leaders Gather to Remember the Holocaust, They Should Ask How Anti-Semitism Differs from Ordinary Hatreds

Jan. 22 2020

Today, an international conference titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Anti-Semitism” opens in Jerusalem, attended by representatives from some 40 governments, including the presidents of France, Russia, and Italy and the vice-president of the United States. While ample attention will no doubt be paid to the anti-Semitism of the extreme right, Fiamma Nirenstein fears that less will be paid to that of the left, and still less to the Islamic variety. She also fears that those in attendance will give in to a related, and dangerous, temptation to subsume anti-Semitism into an amorphous “hatred”:

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Intersectionality, Radical Islam