April 24, 2024
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A Look at Jewish Studies In Three Disciplines At Yeshivat Frisch

Yeshivat Frisch students recently completed units connecting limudei kodesh with other disciplines. After finishing a unit on free will, Rachel Besser’s “Big Questions” machshava class was treated to a fascinating talk about free will and psychology with Rabbi Dr. John Krug straight from Jerusalem. Rabbi Krug, a psychologist and longtime Frisch administrator and educator, elucidated the topic with various court cases that reflect on the topic as well as personal anecdotes from his own practice. The students had a chance to engage Rabbi Krug in conversation and present him with their own questions.

Meanwhile, seniors in Yaelle Frohlich’s “History of the Jewish Family” elective concluded their literary excursion into the dazzling memoirs of Glikl bas Leyb, a Jewish jewel merchant who lived in 17th-century Hamburg. Glikl’s memoir, made up of “seven little books,” is a one-of-a-kind primary source within the field of early modern Jewish history. It includes descriptions of her business dealings, anecdotes about the Jewish community where she lived, Yiddish folktales, Torah interpretations and, very prominently, her experiences as a wife and mother. The class discussed everything from family dynamics in Glikl’s memoir (she was married at age 14, had 14 children, and was an equal partner with her husband in the family business) to contemporary attitudes to plague and quarantine to how Glikl’s work has been approached by historians.

And, in Rabbi Yair Shahak’s senior honors Hebrew classes, students completed a travel project. First, the map of Israel was divided into distinct geographical portions and assigned to different groups. Each group researched their assigned geographical portion and put together a real week-long travel itinerary including tiyulim, fun and meaningful tourist activities, meals, transportation and accommodations. Bonus points were awarded for staying within a realistic student budget.

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