Posted on April 11, 2012 by Barer
[cross-posted from my blog] Celebrating Pesach in Israel, for only the second time in my life, has definitely been a unique and enjoyable experience. From the relative lack of restrictions on access to delicious food — since so many of the restaurants in the city stay open with completely kosher-for-Pesach menus — to enjoying a Continue Reading »
Posted on March 14, 2012 by The Director of Digital Media
We were browsing through the MASA Israel Blog, and found… At the end of last year (2010-11), alum Carla Farson wrote this: In the spring of 2010 I received a Masa grant to study in the Year Program at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. By the grace of Masa, I was given the Continue Reading »
Posted on February 19, 2012 by Derek Kwait
(Mostly X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) * For Tuesday’s group lecture, Robby Berman, head of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society came to give a riveting, inspiring, infuriating talk. I’ll sum it up in brief: There is no valid Jewish (or non-Jewish) reason to not save lives by being an organ donor. If Continue Reading »
Posted on July 10, 2011 by Mary Brett Koplen
Mary Brett Koplen, Pardes Summer learner, shares her Rosh Chodesh experience with Women of the Wall. For more of Mary Brett’s writing or to see her original post, visit her website: Where the Gnome Goes (A Traveling Blog). At 6:15am, I am showered and partially coffeed. I stand on a Jerusalem street corner with my Continue Reading »
Posted on June 21, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
in this week’s parsha, there is a fair amount of death. entire families are swallowed up by the earth. a raging fire consumes two hundred and fifty men. an infectious plague spreads wildly and kills fourteen thousand and seven hundred people. this is the price for challenging authority. these deaths are all in retaliation for Continue Reading »
Posted on June 5, 2011 by Tamara Frankel
Dear Friends, This week I read Torah for the first time with an egalitarian Orthodox minyan at Pardes. While enjoying a festive breakfast later that morning, my friends turned to me and asked, “So, how did it feel? What was that like? What’s next?” Truth be told, there’s something almost anti-climatic about the experience because Continue Reading »
Posted on December 31, 2010 by Barer
n some ways it feels like yesterday that I walked into this apartment for the first time, toured Pardes for the first time, and met the people that turned out to be a fantastic and interesting community of friends, but nearly four months have passed. A few weeks ago, as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ of my leaving Israel was just beginning to glimmer, I had a conversation with a Pardesnik in which I was asked a question that I immediately knew was one that needed further thought as my time to leave drew near. The question was: what am I going to take home with me from my time at Pardes, in what ways is my life going to change as a result of my time here?
I see my time here as being defined mainly by the friends I made and the community I had the privilege of being a part of, as well as the ongoing struggle to define for myself what it means to be Jewish – i.e. coming to terms with my Jewish identity. Therefore, if the changes I want to incorporate into my life as I re-enter the familiar life I have in Vancouver in two short days are going to truly reflect my time here, I must focus on these two broad aspects of the past four months.
First, maintaining connections with the new community I have made while here. This is no easy task, as after four months I am just getting truly comfortable in my life here, and can only conclude that there is so much more to explore and learn from the people that I have gotten to know. I truly believe that I have had the privilege of studying alongside many future Jewish leaders, whether they end up in the US, Israel, or elsewhere, and those are the exact people with whom I want to continue to develop lasting relationships. On the flip side, I have experienced for the first time what it is like to forget about the community of friends and family that I have always lived amongst back home. A reality I didn’t believe was possible has unfolded, and there is no question that the exact connections that I seek to maintain to fellow Pardesniks will be just as hard, if not harder, to maintain than those that I only did a so-so job of maintaining with friends and family back home. I expect that I will live in this ‘fragmented’ world from now on, always having connections that I hold dear in multiple places, yet only really being able to engage with those who are physically close to me at any given time.
On to what I was personally striving towards within the Pardes community. If I had been asked, in a moment of clarity, why I was coming to Pardes back in the summer, I may have been able to articulate that continuing to struggle with my Jewish identity was on the forefront of my mind. That is indeed how I would define my overall ‘project’ here, and why I am considering coming back for another year in September (no, not for the Educator’s Program, Sam). As for answering the question, not physically being at Pardes is no excuse to stop working on how I see Judaism and my place in it. Because ritual is so central to so many forms of Judaism, my own ritual observance, and all the changes and developments it will surely undergo in the near (and not-so-near) future must be a chief component of my bringing Pardes home with me.
As an idealistic young person, I have grand hopes and designs for what the Jewish world could and should look like. However, given that, in reality, change happens glacially, the best I can do is work hard and hope that I can inspire and influence others to do the same. Towards that end, taking more of a leadership role in improving a community like Pardes is an amazing opportunity, but one that I need to have clear goals for before I start. Those are the tasks that I set before myself as I start this next chapter of my life, coming home from a meaningful semester spent thinking and building a community in Jerusalem.
Posted on December 26, 2010 by Tamara Frankel
Dear Friends, It’s hard to believe how the winter months are passing and in particular, that the ‘holiday season’ is upon us. In Israel, you don’t really feel that it’s almost Christmas — there are no colourfully decorated trees in front yards, no “Jingle Bells” playing in the mall. Being in a dominantly Jewish society Continue Reading »
Posted on October 20, 2010 by David Bogomolny
Many of you may be familiar with Rav Meir Schweiger – he has taught at Pardes nearly since its founding. Rav Meir Schweiger happens to be the faculty advisor for the 2010-11 Pardes Fellows, which is really a wonderful privilege for those of us who have chosen to return here for a 2nd year of Torah study. Generally, each class Continue Reading »
Posted on May 13, 2010 by Mosheh
Hebrew has traditionally been written without vowels, allowing us freedom to make connection between different words with the same constantans but different pronunciations. Rabbi Elazar said in the name of Rabbi Hanina: “Scholars increase peace throughout the world” (and what is the scriptural proof of this?) for it is said in Isaiah: “All your children Continue Reading »