These and Those

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

Poland Trip Day 1: 900 Years of Vibrant Jewish Life

Posted on January 15, 2018 by Danielle Plung

Yiddish writer Israel Joshua Singer (older brother of noble laurate Isaac Bashevis Singer), entitled his 1946 memoir—published posthumously after his death in 1944 and detailing his life in Poland before emigrating to America—Of a World that is No More. Obviously, this title evokes melancholy, and draws attention to the tremendous loss that took place during Continue Reading »

Learning to love my sons’ radical disobedience

Posted on December 24, 2017 by Rabbi Aryeh Ben David

This article was originally published in The Times of Israel. Click here for the link. We, religious Jews, are caught in a searing conundrum. On the one hand, we want to raise strong independent kids who make their own decisions; on the other hand, we are crushed when their choices are different from the ones Continue Reading »

#MeToo: Power, Agency, Voice and Consent in the Book of Genesis

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Jamie Bornstein

In light of the #MeToo campaign and the ongoing soul searching that we are doing as a country about sexual harassment, I have shared some thoughts below on Parashat Vayera, the fourth Torah portion of Sefer Bereishit, the Book of Genesis. In this Torah portion there is a very jarring string of sexually charged scenarios, Continue Reading »

Don’t let the light go out: Growing up Jewish in northern Vermont

Posted on December 10, 2017 by Saskia Swenson Moss

This post was originally published on The Times of Israel. Click here for the post. What makes Jewish identity stick? In Johnson, the small Vermont town that I grew up in, there were hardly any Jews. None of our neighbors was Jewish. There was no synagogue, no Jewish community center, no Jewish summer camp. Even Continue Reading »

In Memory of Karen A. Shapira

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Stephen Donshik

The Day of Learning on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 is in memory of Karen A. Shapira z”l on her birthday. The day is sponsored by Barbara and Danny Shapira. Pardes Dean David Bernstein had the opportunity to recall a fond memory of Karen z”l, “a woman who deeply cared for the Jewish people,all humanity and brought menschlchkeit to all she did.” The below words were shared by Continue Reading »

Charlottesville and Beyond: A Chassidic Response

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Mira Niculescu

Charlottesville was much more than Charlottesville. And what we can get out of it is much more than tears. A couple of weeks ago, I saw with consternation these men –  these women too, blond and bold, walking martially, torches in hand, closed jaws, empty eyes, shouting the chants that too often in history have Continue Reading »

From Mourning to Memory

Posted on July 2, 2017 by Chanan Kessler

During the year of mourning for my mother, Hilda Kessler, Hinda bat Chaya v’Yosef, may her memory be blessed and continue to live on, I traced the process of mourning in my blog, mykaddishyear.blogspot.com. I tried to record my experiences, as a form of self-therapy, as well as to give voice to others coping with Continue Reading »

To Be A Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem

Posted on June 25, 2017 by Eliana Phansapurkar

To be a Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem, for an Indian woman in her 20s felt like a dream as women are not obliged to do so in my traditional Bene Israeli Community. I always wanted to read from the Torah and have a Bat Mitzvah ceremony. For nine months at Pardes I prepared to chant Continue Reading »

“Water Wears Away Stone”: The (Soft) Power of Torah  — Reflections after a year of learning at Pardes

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Mira Niculescu

At Pardes, we have a great tradition. It’s called “Take Five”: A few months into the program, right before community lunch on Thursday, we all gather in the Beit Midrash to hear a student share five minutes of Torah. I love this practice. For the listeners, it’s a beautiful way to gain insight into other Continue Reading »

Tikun Leil at Pardes: Torah Re-Given

Posted on June 7, 2017 by Adam Gillman

The streets are packed, people of all ages are walking in all directions. I make way from Dean Bernstein’s home to Pardes awestruck at the energy and uplifting vibes of this Jerusalem night. On my stroll towards Pardes, I am told that Shavuot is one of the three nights of the year when children are Continue Reading »