June 23, 2024
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RKYHS Senior Seminars Expose Students to World Renowned Experts

Throughout the year, RKYHS students are exposed to multiple perspectives on a wide range of topics from accomplished and broad thinking professionals. They are introduced to different views on issues and topics, while in the safe confines of their school, allowing them to discuss and question freely as they form their own views. In line with this approach, the RKYHS seniors are currently taking part in senior seminars to focus on topics not always discussed in classroom learning. The current remote nature has allowed access to learn from world renowned experts on important topics in Judaism beyond the classroom experts.

Seniors selected two topics of interest for sessions. For each session, students meet daily with their expert speaker over the course of a week and half, then they shift to the second topic for the second week and a half session.

The speakers and topics include—Responses to Biblical Criticism with Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman, professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University, whose recent work,”Ani Maamin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Truth, and the Thirteen Principles of Faith,” has been met with great acclaim. Students received his book, read excerpts in guided study to understand the complicated issues of biblical criticism and heard Rabbi Dr. Berman’s perspective on understanding cultural context in the Chumash. Issues in medical ethics with Dr. Deena Zimmerman is another topic for the senior seminars. Dr. Zimmerman is a renowned pediatrician, author and Yoetzet Halacha. She is teaching her group about the history of medical ethics and the background of Halacha’s view on medicine and healing.

Other topics for the senior seminars include Chassidus and the World of Tanya with Rabbi Asher Herson, noted Chabad leader and scholar. This session takes an in-depth look at the teachings of the Tanya, the backbone of Chabad thought. The Tanya discusses the chassidic outlook towards man’s role in this world and place in nature. Students also had the option of selecting Israel Virtual Tours with Shulie Mishkin, popular Israel tour guide. Mishkin introduced students to sites and stories from all over the land of Israel. Using her vast knowledge and her passion for Israel, she gives a new perspective on places and people, referencing culture, archaeology, Torah, history and more. The last topic that students were able to select from was Different Voices of Orthodoxy with leading Torah scholars, led by a number of different scholars representing an array of segments of the Orthodox community. It explores the ideas of the thinkers who represent Chovevei Torah, Modern Orthodoxy, Religious Zionism, Yeshivish Orthodoxy, Lubavitch Chassidus and Skver Chassidus, so students can walk away with a great appreciation for many of the different views in Torah Judaism.

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