Public Lectures and Study
Throughout the year, the Institute regularly convenes the community at its Jerusalem campus, New York headquarters, and across North America for public educational events.
The annual Hartman Conference in memory of SHI founder Rabbi Prof. David Hartman is one of the highlights of SHI’s public programming. Exploring key issues facing contemporary Israel from a Jewish-values perspective, the conference provides an opportunity for the Israeli public to join Hartman Institute scholars and an array of public leaders in conversation on contemporary events and the development of a Jewish, democratic civil society.
The 2019 conference, “Jewish Nationalism: From Megilat Ha'atzmaut to the Nation-State Law,” brought together hundreds of Israelis to explore the long-term tension between democracy and nationalism in Israel, as evidenced in the recent Nation-State Law and other legislative and political proposals.
2018-19 Public Events
Our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot drew hundreds of Jerusalemites who studied with over a dozen Kogod Center and David Hartman Center Fellows in English and Hebrew over the course of three days on topics including: foundations for modern religious life; religion, state, and society; leaders and leadership; the relationship between derech eretz and Torah; and moral purity vs. moral compromise.
This year, Hartman had a major presence at the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, whose theme this year was "Israel and the Diaspora, We Need to Talk.” The GA invited Hartman to run a session on this theme. Alumni of our Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis and other Hartman scholars led an inspiring roundtable and hevruta-style study discussion for 300 GA participants - Israelis and North Americans of various ages and streams – that dealt with the concepts of home and homeland in the context of Israel-North American relations. The Institute also had an interactive booth exhibit at the GA, "Project Picture It," in which participants were invited to imagine their vision of the Israel-Diaspora relationship.
For the fifth year, SHI North America partnered with AIPAC to provide an educational pre-conference weekend of interactive study seminars. 1600 diverse AIPAC registrants attended the AIPAC Policy Conference Study Shabbaton in Washington, DC, and enjoyed a Shabbat filled with compelling lectures and seminars focused on the topic Together and Apart: The Relationship Between Israel and World Jewry. Yehuda Kurtzer and Donniel Hartman both spoke on panels at the Policy Conference, which drew 18,000, including 4,000 college students.
The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto invited an unprecedented five Hartman faculty to speak at the 4th annual Zionism 3.0 conference, reflecting the significant contributions of Hartman scholarship and voices to the Bay Area community. The December 2018 conference, Making Miracles Here & There: Uniting a Divided People, was dedicated to open dialogue and ongoing civil discussion about the relationship between Israel and Jews worldwide and drew a crowd of nearly 1,000 participants. Hartman scholars and faculty participated in the opening panel and closing plenary and led several breakout sessions discussing tough but essential questions about the relationship between Israel and Jews worldwide.