These and Those

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

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Parshat Vayakhel: Diversity and Inclusion

Posted on March 8, 2016 by Melinda Jones

Every Friday is a rush in my family. Everyone runs backwards and forwards getting ready for Shabbat. In order to have a peaceful and relaxing Shabbat, it seems we need to have lots of stress and much too much shouting. So nothing makes the point of having a day of rest better than that moment when we light candles Continue Reading »

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Germany 2016: Learning and Growing

Posted on February 21, 2016 by Erin Rose Wallach

During my first day of Midrash class this semester, I sat nervously after being presented with a source sheet written entirely in Hebrew. I had reservations about joining such a high level class that provided no sources translated into English, especially considering my perceived lack of knowledge and skills with the subject matter. Our teacher Continue Reading »

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Searching for God Between Science and Faith

Posted on February 20, 2016 by Dan Pelberg

Over the past 18 months I have been living a more religiously Jewish life. At the same time, I have constantly confronted the question of whether or not I am going in the direction of a life that I believe to be true, and that will ultimately make me happy. There has yet to be Continue Reading »

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Reclaiming the Word “Religious”

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Becca Shrier

As a Pardes student, one of the first things that I learned about Jewish study (after havruta) was the term mahloket. The literal translation is “disagreement,” although this definition is often expanded to the concept of “argument for the sake of heaven.” Two Jewish schools of thought – Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai – famously Continue Reading »

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Yom Iyun shel Chesed 2016: The Power of Supporting Choice

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Ma'ayan Dyer

When I decided to volunteer at Hillel, a non-profit organization in Jerusalem that is dedicated to helping former ultra-orthodox Jews that have decided to leave the Haredi world and assimilate into secular society, I was not entirely sure what I was getting into. Inspired by a disturbing report in a 2014 article in The New Continue Reading »

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Yom Iyun shel Chesed 2016: Adopt a Savta

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Nathaniel Jhirad

For my volunteering project at Pardes, I participate in the Adopt-a-Savta program. This means, that for several hours a week, I visit my adopted Israeli Savta (grandmother). A few weeks ago, Savta celebrated her 90th birthday. To paraphrase Savta, it was really others who wanted to celebrate her birthday. The celebrations included a few small Continue Reading »

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Yom Iyun shel Chessed 2016: Jerusalem Garbage Pick-Up

Posted on January 31, 2016 by Yaakov Feinberg

Even when there isn’t an ongoing garbage strike in Jerusalem, it often seems like the streets are strewn with litter. Having identified this problem, several Pardes students took the initiative to reverse the blight. Our philosophy was that since trash on the ground often encourages further littering, we needed to nip the problem in the Continue Reading »

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Turkey 2016: Shabbat in Istanbul

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Elana Rothenberg

“A man walks into a bar. Ouch.” Silence. Then suddenly, five Turkish twenty-year-olds begin laughing hysterically at this classic joke. When was the last time someone actually laughed at this joke, I wonder? I marvel and give the joke teller, a fellow Pardes student, a look of amused awe. The twenty-year-olds, leaders of a Jewish Continue Reading »

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Germany 2016: What Can’t Be Destroyed

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Ma'ayan Dyer

When I decided to go to Germany with Pardes and other young Jewish North Americans this month, I did so for several reasons. For one, Germany has always been a country to cross off on my long bucket list for travel, having studied the language. For another, in all of my 30 years, even after Continue Reading »

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Turkey 2016: Learning to Teach

Posted on January 19, 2016 by Johanna Press

On Friday we visited Ulus Jewish School in Ortakoy, where we presented interactive educational programs about Tu B’Shevat for elementary- and high-school students. Since I am a Torah lishma student and not part of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, I felt a bit nervous about stepping outside of my comfort zone and teaching in Continue Reading »

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