david hartman center fellows
Training the next generation of Jewish thought leaders to inspire a meaningful, values-based Judaism
In a world where ideas shape reality, David Hartman Center Fellows are the promise for a better Jewish future. The David Hartman Center for Intellectual Excellence is an incubator for emerging intellectual talent in Israel and North America, supporting young researchers as they become applied thinkers who will address the critical questions facing the Jewish people.
In 2018-19, the David Hartman Center trained and supported a variety of emerging scholars in various cohorts:
Maskilot Fellow; Academic Director, Center for Jewish and Democratic Law, Bar-Ilan University
Becoming a Public Intellectual: For me, the Hartman Institute is a center of social and personal transformation. This is the first time that I have not only received legitimacy but have been asked to work with the sources and to make my voice heard. At the Institute I was required to use knowledge and research in order to promote Tikkun Olam. To put it another way: at Tel Aviv University I learned to be a scholar, at the Hartman Institute I learned to be a public intellectual.
Applying Research to Reality: As a Maskilot Fellow, I received substantial support for my research. The program fellows learn together and collaborate in a supportive intellectual environment on the way to completing their doctorate. At the same time, I was privileged to be part of the Institute's research and public work. Through joint study, scholarly discourse, and personal research, we are creating a body of knowledge that will find its way into educational programs and have broader social influence. I love the Hartman Institute because it is the farthest thing from an ivory tower. It is a place connected to reality that acts on it.
David Hartman Center Fellow, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, Jewish Theological Seminary
My Scholarship: My dissertation was about narrativity and scholasticism in the Babylonian Talmud. That is, in Sassanian Persia, rabbinic communities set up huge academies with structured communities of study. As textual studies became the heart of the Jewish life, even legal texts in the Talmud started to have more narrative aspects. My next project is about emotions and how the Talmud uses them to draw legal lines. The best two examples I have right now are suffering and despair. Ye’ush or “despair” in the Talmud can technically define an object that is properly lost. So, if you find a New York Times sitting on a bench at Grand Central you can assume that the owner has ye’ush for that and you can take it with no qualms.
The Hartman Perspective: When I was doing the Kevah Teaching Fellowship in Berkeley, I had a shabbat meal with Josh Ladon [West Coast Director of Education], and he encouraged me to join the Created Equal student seminar, so I came to New York to do that. Once I was here, I loved how Hartman looked at things, and they invited me to be a David Hartman Center Fellow.
The David Hartman Center is supported by the Edward Fein Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and other generous donors.