These and Those

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

Archive: January 2020

The Winter Pardes Learning Seminar 'An odyssey that opened my mind and soul'

Posted on January 9, 2020 by Rhoda Weisman

This was written by Rhoda Weisman, alumna of the Winter 2019 Pardes Learning Seminar. I love the Oxford English dictionary’s definition of transformation: “a complete change in someone or something.” I am that someone who’s been transformed and the wonderful catalyst was this year’s Pardes Winter Learning Seminar. For those of you reading this post Continue Reading »

Pardes Seminars . . . ‘Illuminating. Challenging. Grounding. Provocative.’

Posted on January 8, 2020 by Rabbi Joshua Katzan

This blog was written by Rabbi Joshua Katzan of Los Angeles, alumnus of the Winter 2019 Pardes Learning Seminar and Pardes Year Programs ’90-’92. “Illuminating. Challenging. Grounding. Provocative. The essence of the Pardes Learning Seminar is to practice the art of seeing ideas and Jewish text from various points of view, and to feel more Continue Reading »

Choice = Bravery

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Tamy Jacobs

This post was originally written by Tami Jacobs on her personal blog: We thank her for sharing this piece. This is her reflection of the Pardes Negev Tiyul (South tour) that took place Dec. 3-5, 2019. There’s a saying do something that scares you every day. It’s funny I don’t consider myself a fearful person, Continue Reading »

Our Temporary Homes

Posted on December 1, 2019 by Alissa Platcow

This article is by current PEEP (’19-’20) student Alissa Platcow. This was originally written after the holidays, and serves as a Fall semester reflection. WUSHHH! The wind whistled through the trees outside as we perched peering out the window into the storm watching the sukkah my family had lovingly built up from the ground, the Continue Reading »

The Answer to a Question I Didn’t Ask

Posted on November 28, 2019 by Branden Charles Johnson

This post was written by Branden Johnson (PEEP ’18-’19. PEP ’19-’20). Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to travel the world and see new places. There are very few places at which I would balk; and even fewer that don’t inspire some amount of curiosity in me. For better or worse, Continue Reading »

Don’t Ruin a Good Story with Facts!

Posted on November 20, 2019 by Bruce Spierer

I often struggle with accepting Rabbinic interpretations and authority to define halacha and therefore how Judaism has been practiced for two thousand years. In the past, I’ve felt that if I can’t accept the Rabbinic narrative as an absolute, transcendent truth, then I cannot completely immerse myself in Judaism. For most of my life, doubting Continue Reading »

Seeing Hebron

Posted on November 20, 2019 by Isaac Brosilow

Our day began with a speaker from B’tselem, an Israeli organization that documents human rights abuses in the West Bank. Sweat stains gathered around the speaker’s armpits and across his stomach. He communicated information without emotion. I struggled to connect with facts that I have heard so many times before. I recalled the first time Continue Reading »

Questions with Question Marks

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Lara Rodin

Written by Lara Rodin, PEP ’18-’20. This was previously published on her blog VaYehi Torah. Dear Family and Friends, Our day began with a reminder: that questions have a question mark on the end of them. When taking a diverse group like Pardes to Chevron to hear from perhaps an even more diverse array of narratives, Continue Reading »

Pardes’s 2019-20 Shabbaton, a Student Refection

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Eitan Marcum

“We had a shabbaton, this weekend, and as part of that, we sat around a big table drinking, snacking, and sharing stories and zmirot (a certain type of Jewish song) after dinner on Friday until the wee hours of the morning (this tradition is called a Tisch, it’s german/yiddish for table). I shared this very Continue Reading »

Meet Pardes’s New Communications Fellow – Grant Besner

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Grant Besner

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three weeks since Orientation and the 2019-2020 year kicked off. Though the days are often long, starting every morning promptly at 8:30 with Chumash or Mishna and sometimes stretching until 9pm with Jewish Meditation, the weeks surely are short. Already, this passage of time is a reminder Continue Reading »