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David Hartman Center Fellows Program of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America 

June 25th, 2018

The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America cultivates the next generation of great thinkers who will grapple with and lead on the big questions impacting the Jewish future. Last year, the Institute launched a North American cohort of David Hartman Center Fellows, already an established fellowship in Israel, as an incubator of emerging talent that educates top academic scholars to apply their own research and scholarship to the big questions facing Jewish life today. These scholars are then encouraged to share that thinking with the broader Jewish community.

The inaugural cohort of seven top academic scholars from across the country represent diverse scholarly disciplines—rabbinic, modern Jewish thought, Biblical commentary, Judaism and Islam, legal theory, and philosophy—and diverse engagement in the Jewish community, including teaching in schools, adult education, and a Jewish printing house. Fellows are trained in a style of thought leadership enabling them to conceptualize and frame challenging issues of the day and equipping them to be change agents who will shape Jewish life.

Together with senior Hartman research fellows, the Fellows explore areas such as Talmud as Thought Leadership; American Jewish Spirituality; and the American-Jewish relationship to Israel.

What makes this program unique is both an uncompromising commitment to rigorous scholarship, and a commitment to use that scholarship to heal fractures in the Jewish community.
– Sara Labaton, David Hartman Center Fellow

As the first year of the program concludes, the Cohort has developed a network and ongoing relationships with each other as well as renowned scholars at Hartman. And, they will spend July at the Institute in Jerusalem, meeting with their counterparts in the David Hartman Center in Israel to better understand the transatlantic influence of thought leadership, and challenges and opportunities in the relationship between American Jews and Israeli Jews from a new perspective.  The second year of the program will include year-long collaborative research, culminating in a series of public lectures, writing, and projects.

As we think about the challenges facing Jewish life in North America, we know we need a stronger pipeline of leaders who will confront these challenges; and we need a stronger set of ideas that have been, and always will be, the currency with which the Jewish people travel through history. The David Hartman Center Fellows are a source of optimism and inspiration for thinking about the vitality, relevancy, and moral character of Judaism in the 21st century.
– Yehuda Kurtzer, President, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

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