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ScholarStream: Modern Zionism

Past Sessions
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 1 Sivan 5781 - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 23 Iyyar 5781 - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 16 Iyyar 5781 - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 9 Iyyar 5781 - 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

What should Zionism look like in an era of a confident and strong Jewish state? Can the various flavors of Judaism’s enduring focus on the Land of Israel translate into a new Zionist ethos? 

Join JTS, the RA, the Schechter Institutes and Ziegler for a collaborative ScholarStream series, in which teachers representing each institution will explore these and other questions re-examining some of Zionism’s key ideas, moments, and challenges, from its earliest origins and into the 21st century. 

Special CBI Follow-up Discussion
After each of these lectures, join Rabbi Tilman for a special follow-up discussion to react to each presentation and talk about what we found interesting or challenging. Discussions will begin when the main presentation ends and will take place on Zoom.

Please register with the Rabbinical Assembly online here.
When you register, use coupon code: 

Please also register below to receive the Zoom link for post-discussions with Rabbi Tilman.

All 4 classes will take place on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 PM ET.


April 21: Zionist Thought: Classical Theories and Current Dilemmas (JTS)
Dr. Arnold M. Eisen, Professor of Jewish Thought and Chancellor Emeritus, JTS 
The classical theories of Zionism and the responses to them, in all their political, religious, and cultural varieties, continue to play out in the State of Israel today. As Israel reckons with the outcome of its most recent elections, Professor Eisen will consider what has changed since the days of Herzl and Ahad Ha'am and what has not.

April 28: Everywhere I Go! Affirming our Rootedness in Zion and the Earth (Ziegler)
Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson, Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
As Jews, we have a special connection to the Land of Israel. As humans, we have a bond to the entire planet. Let’s look at Jewish sources that ground us in our particularity (Israel) and our universalism (Earth) and enjoy the prism of light made possible by both focuses. Download the Sourcesheet

May 5: Religion and State in Israel: A Zionist Dilemma (Schechter)
Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President, Schechter Institutes, Inc.
It is no secret that both Israelis and Diaspora Jews spend a lot of time fighting about Religion and State issues in the State of Israel, from Shabbat to Kashrut to conversion to women serving in the army. In this lecture, we will survey some of the different models that have been proposed, from the theocracy championed by Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog to Prof. Yishayahu Leibowitz’s separation of religion and state. I shall then present my own solution to untying this Gordian Knot.

May 12: Peoplehood, Pluralism, and the Meanings of Zionism for Diaspora Jews Today (RA)
Rabbi Lauren Berkun, Vice President, Rabbinic Initiatives, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
This session will explore the complexity of Jewish peoplehood today and the challenge of competing values as Diaspora Jews wrestle with their relationship to Israel. 

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Mon, May 17 2021 6 Sivan 5781