Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought
Producing innovative ideas on Judaism and modernity that address the central challenges facing the Jewish people today
The bicontinental Kogod Center is home to internationally renowned scholars who are committed to applying their scholarship to enrich contemporary Jewish life. The ideas developed in the Kogod Center reach hundreds of thousands of people in Israel and North America through educators, rabbis, lay leaders, the Israeli educational system, Israeli leaders, academic-intellectual discourse, and the public sphere.
The Kogod Research Center stands at the heart of the conceptual and educational framework through which all programming of the Shalom Hartman Institute operates. Over the course of this year, our researchers published more than twenty academic and popular books and hundreds of academic and popular articles, op-eds, and other media formats.
Kogod Israel: Influencing the Public – In 2018-19, the Kogod Center in Israel focused on ensuring that the ideas generated by its world-renowned scholars reached the Israeli public. Kogod scholars increased their involvement in curriculum development, worked more closely with program faculty, and expanded their public reach through the Al Daat Hakahal blog and collaborations with publishing houses to produce new books by Hartman scholars.
Kogod North America: Becoming a Research Center - In 2018, the Kogod Center in North America expanded to become the intellectual home to a diverse range of faculty from both North America and Israel that represents the best of both traditional Jewish study and academic learning. Through their scholarship and teaching, our North American-based faculty bring to life the values and big ideas of Jewish tradition. Esteemed faculty members include published authors, respected researchers, university professors, and members of Israeli government.
Kogod Research Fellow, former postdoctoral fellow at Yale University
Added Depth: My research deals with the field of political thought, focusing on critical and new thinking about the ideas of sovereignty and Jewish sovereignty, which I claim have been intertwined since the establishment of the idea of modern sovereignty in the 17th century. My work has implications for the vibrant discourse around the topic of sovereignty today, and my work on sovereignty through Jewish and Western sources specifically here at the Hartman Institute takes on a new depth and direction, thanks to the unique opportunity to work within the community created here.
A Community of Scholars: The Kogod Center scholars have become a community. While at the university every scholar is engaged in their own research, at Hartman we also study together. This combination creates fascinating hallway encounters. My ability to think outside the box and propose new ideas is enriched by the environment and the opportunity that is created every day that I’m here.
Creating a More Open Future: At the Kogod Center, scholars from different fields and with different perspectives are interested in conducting a wider discourse. Here we look for places where we can speak from our own perspective, with those who hold different outlooks. There is a willingness to leave our comfort zones and experience real discourse. We share a common interest in creating a better and more open future for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Rabbi Gordon Tucker
Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought, Jewish Theological Seminary; Senior Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Israel Center, White Plains, NY
My Scholarship: My deepest interest, the idea that “won’t go away,” is the relationship between law and narrative in Jewish thought; between prophetic truth and validity (rabbinic Judaism). My publications include Heavenly Torah, a translation and commentary on Heschel’s work, and a new commentary on Pirkei Avot.
Strength from Diversity: Hartman gives me the opportunity to talk about the issues that interest me deeply with incredibly smart colleagues, and to teach these topics to rabbis, lay leaders, Hillel professionals and our David Hartman Center Fellows. While they learn from me, I’m learning from them. I gain strength from the diversity that Hartman scholars bring to the deep questions we discuss.
Heartening and Sharpening: Hartman’s impact can be summarized in two words: heartening and sharpening. Heartening because scholars of this caliber want to study and learn here and sharpening because being at Hartman sharpens my own thinking.
Scholarship that Matters: The rabbi in me says that scholarship must matter in the world, and Hartman is a place that honors this idea.
In 2018-19, our research teams focused on three main areas:
The Kogod Center programs, scholars, and research groups are funded by Canadian Friends of Shalom Hartman Institute, Ellen & Sidney Friedman, J.J. Greenberg Institute for the Advancement of Jewish Thought and Values, Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, The Sequoia Foundation for Achievements in Arts and Education, The Zeff Kesher Foundations, and other generous supporters