These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Modern Israel Seminar

Posted on February 24, 2019 by Alana Dakin

120 years after Theodore Herzl stepped foot in Eretz Israel for the first time, a group of yeshiva students makes its way slowly through the countryside just outside of Zikhron Ya’akov, one of the first Zionist settlements established in the land of Israel. Our boots are heavy with mud formed after an early spring rain Continue Reading »

From the 2-State Solution to Yaakov’s Dream

Posted on March 4, 2019 by Yonatan Rahmani

The Oslo Accords presented an opportunity for the Jewish State that was never fully actualized. The generation of Israeli teens that witnessed the country split among deep rifts in 1993 and 1994 was also the generation that shed tears in 1995. This generation, I learned, is known as the Candle Generation. They witnessed the First Continue Reading »

Success, Failure and Modern Israel

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Shoshana Raun

It’s unusual to have your bags checked by a guard before going into an Israeli garden. And the bag check was before a second guard swept a handheld metal detector around my person. I was a little surprised. I was with fellow Pardes students at the gates of the lovely Bahai Gardens in Haifa. The Continue Reading »

Modern Israel Seminar Student Reflection

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Danielle Plung

I love living in Jerusalem, surrounded by my fellow Pardesnikim, all of whom—in addition to being generally lovely people—share my deep commitment to spending our days in the Beit Midrash, translating texts and debating over the latest tractate of Mishna or Talmud, who love to discuss the weekly Torah portion even as they munch on Continue Reading »

Walking Around Jerusalem

Posted on February 3, 2019 by Shoshana Raun

Walking around Jerusalem, I always look for small details. I love the wide views of the city walls, seeing the Old City from the tayelet, and sunsets over the western hills from the Pardes Beit Midrash. Yet I focus on many small details. A red flower popping out from a white picket fence on General Continue Reading »

There’s Something About Istanbul…Pardes Turkey Trip 2019

Posted on January 22, 2019 by Branden Charles

There’s something about Istanbul – a city that literally spans different continents – that speaks to my identity as an American Jew living in Israel. One side is “Western,” familiar. The other side is “Eastern/Asian,” unfamiliar, exotic, and beguiling. This was most evident during our Shabbat spent with the community of Congregation Etz Chayyim on Continue Reading »

Germany Up Close – Pardes Germany Trip 2019

Posted on January 22, 2019 by Barry Rosekind

The week long Pardes/Germany Close Up trip was full to the brim to say the least. The first couple days were filled with so much life, living Judaism and confronting the Holocaust and its memory. Our program began with a conversation with our trip organizers including Dr. Dagmar Pruin, who is an incredible woman, and Continue Reading »

New Year’s Intentions: Tefilah and Focus

Posted on January 17, 2019 by Amy Gold

This was originally distributed to the families of Epstein Hillel School, January 2, 2019. Amy Gold participated in the Pardes Tefilah Education Initiative Retreat in the Boston area. To register for our June 2019 conference visit our Tefilah Education Conference for Day School Administrators homepage. January first brings New Year’s resolutions. Commercials on the radio, social Continue Reading »

The State of Millennial Judaism

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Valerie Brown

This reflection piece was written by Valerie Brown, a participant of Power, Privilege and Responsibility: A Pardes Winter Learning Intensive I’ve heard a lot that we should be panicked about the state of Jews in their 20s and 30s. We aren’t engaged in Jewish life the way we should be: We aren’t joining synagogues! We’re marrying Continue Reading »

Who Holds the Key to Unlocking Your Potential?

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Hayim Herring

This post was originally published in the Times of Israel on January 2, 2019. Beginnings often provoke questions about where we find ourselves in life. Even if you attach no spiritual significance to a new secular calendar year, you may still feel a tremor of time shifting as you cross over from the past year, say Continue Reading »

The Israel Speed Train is Finally Here; A Student’s Adventure on the New Electric Rail

Posted on December 27, 2018 by Branden Charles

Before moving to Israel in June 2017, I had never set foot in the Holy Land. I finished my conversion to Judaism in October 2015, when I was already too old to participate in a Taglit/Birthright trip. After I was accepted to the 2017 summer intensive program at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, I knew Continue Reading »

Many Voices, One Community – A Student’s Reflection from the Beit Midrash

Posted on December 3, 2018 by Julia Ullman

אֵיזֶהוּ חָכָם, הַלּוֹמֵד מִכָּל אָדָם Eizeh hu hacham, ha’lomed mi’kol adam Who is wise? One who learns from all people. (Pirkei Avot 4:1) What makes Pardes special to me? The students’ willingness and interest to learn from one another, and genuine curiosity regarding each other’s diverse Jewish identities makes it a special place. Each unique Continue Reading »

Materialism is Passé – Parshat VaYishlach in Review

Posted on November 23, 2018 by Jason Gusdorf

Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph’s enslavement. Reading the stories of Bereshit often makes me wonder what the Torah is trying to tell me about my older brother. Three paradigmatic stories in their own right, all emphasizing the volatile and jealous nature of the brotherly relationship. Cain murders Abel, all because a jealous God Continue Reading »