These and Those

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

Tag Archives: holidays

Purim Rap – Never Gets Old!

Posted on March 20, 2011 by David Bogomolny

This never gets old: Pardes Alumnus Matt Bar‘s Purim Rap with a R. Zvi Hirschfield cameo 🙂

[PEP Student] The Commanded and the Volunteer

Posted on March 19, 2011 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Hard as it is to believe, yesterday marked the end of my first week of student-teaching in New York. The high school I’m interning at is really an unbelievable place and I’m learning a lot– not only about teaching and learning, but what kinds of things I can buy in Columbus Circle and Continue Reading »

[Take 5] Malika Classic-Geyser: From There to Here

Posted on March 8, 2011 by Joel D.

My Tu B’Shvat Panel

Posted on March 2, 2011 by Coretta

Hi, Guys! I worked on Panel 3 of the Pardes Tu B’Shvat Mural, and I wrote up the following description: This panel was created with the “Universal Ecosystem” aspect of Tu B’Shvat in mind.  I attempted to convey the earliest moments before distinctions first appear even before liquid and solid (top of panel) and then, Continue Reading »

Mural is Complete!

Posted on March 2, 2011 by The Director of Digital Media

Check out THIS POST to read the artists’ descriptions of the AMAZING new mural at Pardes! Remember the new mural at Pardes? Well, now it’s done – “props” go to Cheryl Stone & the Pardes Educators Program! You can click on the pictures below for larger versions: The 4 panels of the mural represent the 4 historic incarnations of Continue Reading »

New Mural at Pardes

Posted on February 20, 2011 by David Bogomolny

Shivonne Quintero (’09-’10, Fellows ’10-’11) working on the Pardes ‘Tu B’Shvat’ Mural Much kavod (respect) goes to Cheryl Stone (’09-’10, Educators ’10-’12) for organizing this beautiful art project! Stay tuned for a pic of the final result 🙂

[PEP Student] “Root Down and Rise Up”

Posted on January 9, 2011 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, As I sit to write a dvar Torah this week, I find myself overwhelmed with ideas to share. Thank God, I had the privilege of preparing and learning a lot of Torah from my peers this past week, as we (in the Pardes Educators Program) planned a day of text-study and hands-on learning Continue Reading »

[PEP Student] Parshat Va’era

Posted on January 2, 2011 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Much of the Book of Exodus, including last week’s Parshat Va’era, is about linking the beginnings of the world, and particularly the history of one family (i.e. Abraham and Sarah’s), their struggles and triumphs, to the development and history of a specific nation, soon to be known as Bnei Yisrael–the Jewish People. I Continue Reading »

Christmas in Israel

Posted on December 27, 2010 by Shibley

I along with what I imagine must be many Americans, Jewish and non, have at some point contemplated what Christmas in Israel looks like. Having just experienced it, I can tell you that for the most part it looks like any other day. Since Shabbat and Christmas coincided this year, I can really only say Continue Reading »

[New Voices] Hityavnut (Hellenization)

Posted on December 13, 2010 by Barer


I’d like to focus on something I mentioned very briefly in my overview of Chanukkah which has been coming up in my mind as I consider life back home: namely, Hityavnut or Hellenization, or what would today be called assimilation.

The word gives varied messages manifested in different languages. Hityavnut is an example of a word that I find to have a different and deeper feel to it in Hebrew than its counterpart in English. “Greekify” hardly implies assimilation, and yet that is what Hityavnut would mean, on an extremely literal level. But that is not the most noteworthy part of this Hebrew word. Rather the fact that, as far as I could tell being around Israelis discussing issues of modern assimilation, Hityavnut is a word that means not only Hellenization (only meaningful in the context of discussing the Chanukkah story) but its modern meaning is also assimilation. I guess this could just be me falling for the allure of a language whose words encapsulate the history I learned growing up in Jewish day school, but which had no connection to the language I was speaking. I find it fascinating that I can understand the meaning of Hityavnut without understanding what the denotation of the word ‘assimilation’ as long as I know the Chanukkah story; English has nothing like it.

Returning to the content of this appealing Hebrew term, I have what amounts to a simple concern about living in a Jewish and a secular world simultaneously. Can one live in both worlds without being swayed ‘too much’ by either? What is ‘too much’? Can one have purely secular, non-Jewish interactions as well as purely religious, Jewish interactions and still keep all the varying world-views and lenses together in one’s head? While such questions have undoubtedly been asked endlessly by anyone who is not content to live in exclusively Jewish surroundings their entire lives, each time, and for each individual, it is slightly different based on each individual’s circumstances.

What should one’s goals be in living simultaneously in both worlds? The discussion with Israeli teenagers mentioned the Westernization of Israel in ways exemplified by the prevalence of Gap stores and other Americanized companies, and the fact that they are in English for the most part. No doubt language is more than the sum of its parts, and losing a language means so much more than losing the words, as the example of Hityavnut shows. But if recent news is any indication, we need more people that are deeply aware of more than one culture’s needs and concerns.