Roger Scruton, the influential British philosopher, music and architecture critic, and essayist, died last month at the age of seventy-five. Mark Gottlieb reminisces about coming to know Scruton, whom he hired five years ago to teach a seminar to a group of Orthodox yeshiva students. By and large, the students did not possess advanced university degrees but did possess advanced training in Jewish law:
When Roger Scruton Taught Yeshiva Students
At America’s Best Universities, Biblical Religion Is a Curiosity, if Not a Menace
At the time of Columbia University’s founding in 1784, notes Meir Soloviechik, the leader of the local synagogue, Gershom Mendes Seixas, was made a member of its board of regents. A Jewish student even gave a commencement address, composed by Seixas, in Hebrew. In the 20th century, Columbia attracted numerous Jews with the relaxation of quotas, and was the first secular university to create a chair in Jewish history. Barnard College, Columbia’s all-women’s school, was itself founded by a Jewish woman, and today has a large number of Orthodox Jewish students.