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Summer Program Broadens Perspective

Contributed by Shalom Meisels '24

From June 27-July 7, I learned at the Tikvah Scholars Program. This program is a branch of the Tikvah Fund (or "Keren Tikvah," as it is called in Hebrew), which is an organization that focuses on "...supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people..." It accomplishes this goal through its educational programs online, in person, in America, or abroad. This year, the Scholars Program took place in Mount Holyoke College, the year before that at Princeton, and before Covid, it was taking place at Yale.

This year, I took four courses: Hebrew and Greek Thought Revisited: Law and Holiness, Virtue and the Good Life, High Culture and the Jew, Rivalries and Revolutions: Key Moments in Zionist History, and A Brief Introduction to Yiddish Literature. Though the material I learned was interesting, it was eclipsed by the people I was learning with. The student population was a diverse mix of high school-aged Jewish teens. There were differences in political and religious beliefs. There were American students, as well as some from Brazil, Australia, and even Oman. One thing (among many others) that unified us was a shared appreciation for the views of others and a steadfast belief that every opinion has its place in a conversation.