June 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Bruriah Program Fuses Tanach and History

As part of Bruriah’s ongoing initiative for interdisciplinary learning, Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern spoke to students on Monday morning about George Washington’s use of Tanach in establishing America. Rabbi Dr. Halpern, a noted author and lecturer, is the senior adviser to the provost of Yeshiva University and the deputy director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. Through a series of sources, Rabbi Halpern highlighted the profound influence that the Torah played in founding religious freedom, recognizing the need for moral code when determining self governance.

After a delicious snack of American apple pie, the students broke up into groups led by an English, History or Tanach teacher to review primary sources that pertain to the different aspects of being Jewish in America. The students saw excerpts from John Adams’s letter regarding the Jews’ moral clarity, a letter to Abraham Lincoln advocating for Shabbos observance in the army and an essay from Rav Soloveitchik that argued for Jewish civic engagement as of spiritual duty. The students debated the role we play as citizens in America and how to best navigate the potential conflicts of being religious in a diverse community. Junior Ariella Dantowitz shared, “It was really fascinating to learn about the integration of Jewish beliefs and values in the founding of our country. Learning about how our country’s founding fathers looked into the Torah to create values for America inspires us to hold onto those same values because they form our identity as American Jews.”

Margueya Poupko, director of Academic Enrichment reflected, “The tension of where we fit in the modern world is at the center of our spiritual journey. Delving into these texts opened up a conversation that hopefully inspires students to consider their Jewish identity pridefully and be mindful of how they can contribute to the broader world while maintaining their values.” Added Dr. Bethany Strulowitz, Bruriah principal, “Engaging the hearts and minds of all of our students through enriching programs like this at Bruriah nurtures a sense of growth in all areas academic, spiritual and personal, and we couldn’t be more proud of our incredible students and faculty for putting this program together!”

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles