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The Call to Create Torah for a Democratic State Tears Me in Two
01.05.2018, by Sarah Mulhern
Call & Responsa 7: Like any good rabbi, I have better questions than answers. But I have deep faith in the resourcefulness of Am Yisrael and the endlessly relevant power of the wellspring of Torah as we begin to write this new Talmud together read more>
Israeli and Diaspora Jews are Siblings Living in Different Homes
26.04.2018, by Avital Hochstein
Being the majority and having Jewish sovereignty are new experiences for Jews, even after 70 years of having a state. read more>
Torah Corrects Slavery’s Suppressions By Putting Color Back on our Palette
24.04.2018, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Call & Responsa 7: The ultimate tragedy would be if, after finally being seen for all our multi-colored beauty, we settled in the land and chose to enslave ourselves by requiring uniformity of identity and practice under the black and white banner of one chieftain read more>
Toward a Torah for a Democratic Israel
24.04.2018, by Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Call & Responsa 7: It is imperative to restore issues of respect for religious diversity to a common public agenda for the long-term benefit of the growing diversity of Israeli society read more>
Religious Freedom in a Jewish and Democratic State
24.04.2018, by Shraga Bar-On
Call & Responsa 7: Israel is a collective project of all the Jewish people. The legal system is not just secular but also Jewish and cannot be privatized. The IDF is a Jewish army which belongs to all Israelis and cannot be privatized. The Western Wall belongs to all Jews and cannot be privatized read more>
Three Ways We Change: What Works and What Doesn’t
06.03.2017, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 3, No. 1, Elana Stein Hain, The Call
The pluses and minuses of three methods of change: three models of change: radical, social conditioning, and adaptive
read more>
Does Outrage Change Others or Solidify our Position?
05.03.2017, by Steven Moskowitz
Vol. 3, No. 1, Steve Moskowitz, The Response
‘From the perspective of justice, small, tedious, and layered changes appear incidental.’
read more>
Sometimes Competing Strategies are Symbiotic
05.03.2017, by Shalom Hartman Institute
Vol. 3, No. 1, David Wolkenfeld, The Response
‘Deeply personal and ingrained components of our identity lead us to one change strategy or another.’
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America 2017: We Have Entered a Time of Great Change
05.03.2017, by Judith HaLevy
Vol. 3, No. 1, Judith HaLevy, The Response
‘A moral imperative for change brings clarity, but also incites immediate polarization.’
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Capitulations are not Viewed Kindly by History
05.03.2017, by Mari Chernow
Vol. 3, No. 1, Mari Chernow, The Response
‘Lasting change often comes because of the passionate work of people inside and outside of the system.’
read more>
Vol. 2. No. 1: What Is A Jew?
14.06.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Donniel Hartman says the Jewish world must combine ‘mitzvah’ consciousness with ‘ethnic consciousness.’ Three rabbis offer commentaries on his assertion read more>
The Question, ‘What is a Jew?’ Asks What Meaning Does Judaism Have for Me?
21.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
The question “What is a Jew” suggests a deeper question: “What meaning does my Judaism have in my life?” read more>
‘Add Human Consciousness to Reengage in Substantive Dialogue’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Adina Lewittes would add ‘human consciousness’ to ensure the breadth and depth of that which binds Jews to one another read more>
‘What Happens When People are Cedars, not Reeds?’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: Joanna Samuels says she feels less hopeful than Donniel Hartman and that a Jewish philosophical enterprise must engage the reality in which it finds itself read more>
‘We are Called Upon to be a People with a Purpose’
11.04.2016, by Call & Responsa
Vol. 2. No. 1: David Steinhardt says that unlike other defined tribes, we are rooted in a value system. And unlike other religions, it’s not just about faith, values, and behavioral requirements, it’s also about mutual responsibility read more>
Vol. 1, No. 4: Should Israel Speak for the Jewish People?
21.06.2015, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 4
Featuring Yehuda Kurtzer and responses by rabbis Janet Marder and Marion Lev Cohen, and Jeremy Burton of Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council
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Build Power ‘With,’ not Over, to Speak for Jews
21.06.2015, by Call & Responsa
Jeremy Burton, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, discusses the questions raised in Call & Responsa 4: Should Israel Speak for the Jewish People? read more>
Exercise the Right to Speak With Extreme Care
21.06.2015, by Call & Responsa
It might not even be desirable for the Jewish people to speak with one voice, because Jewish tradition values debate over consensus and uniformity read more>
Priestly or Prophetic Voice? Jewish World’s Leaders Must Choose
21.06.2015, by Call & Responsa
Given the divisive state of the Jewish community, this delicate task is exceedingly difficult to achieve, yet is required of any Jewish leader – Israeli or otherwise, who lays claim to speaking on behalf of the Jewish people read more>
Your Responses to the Question of Whether Israel Should Speak for the Jewish People
21.06.2015, by Call & Responsa
We posed a provocative question: Should Israel Speak for the Jewish People? Your responses have been fascinating read more>
All Are Welcome But Some Are Not
03.03.2015, by Call & Responsa
David-Seth Kirshner: Judaism seems to be creating a similar metaphor today with every stream and stripe focusing on inclusion and making the “other” feel welcome, yet internally many are using language that shuts out people who are not in sync with their views and beliefs read more>
‘Anti-Israel’ Sentiment May Express Something Deeply Jewish
03.03.2015, by Call & Responsa
Batsheva Meiri: Extreme polarization around issues facing Israel is one of the most difficult challenges our Jewish communities in North America face read more>
Medinat Yisrael and the Contemporary Jewish Identity
03.03.2015, by Call & Responsa
Denise Eger: I think there is room in the American Jewish community, just as there is within Israel, to oppose the policies of any particular prime minister and his or her cabinet read more>
What Core Issues Define Membership in the Jewish People?
01.03.2015, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 3
Featuring Prof. Suzanne Stone and responses by rabbis Batsheva Meiri, David-Seth Kirshner, and Denise Eger
read more>
Rabbinic Commentaries on Intermarriage
14.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
These essays were written by rabbis in response to Call & Responsa 2: Should a Rabbi Perform an Intermarriage? read more>
Public Commentaries on Intermarriage
14.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
More than 6,000 people have read or viewed Call & Responsa 2: Should a Rabbi Perform an Intermarriage? More than 200 have responded to the commentary of via emails, votes in an online poll or comments on our website. Some comments cite Jewish law and tradition. Others relate personal stories read more>
Rabbinic Debates and the Necessity of Religious Pluralism
01.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
This capacity to hold multiple and conflicting opinions in our hearts is the kind of pluralism of rabbinic opinion that allows the Jewish people to continue to live and thrive read more>
Shared Destiny, More Than History, Holds Us Together
01.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
Not only should we rejoice when someone chooses to link their destiny to ours through an act such as marriage, but we as rabbis should do everything within our power to strengthen their ties to the Jewish people read more>
We Must Promote Jews Marrying Other Jews
01.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
Conversionary marriage has a higher incidence of Jewish identity for the couple and their children than non-conversionary marriage read more>
Should a Rabbi Perform an Intermarriage?
01.12.2014, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 2
Our second episode features Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl of New York’s Central Synagogue in dialogue with Shalom Hartman Institute of North America President Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer discussing intermarriage in contemporary North America. The rabbinic respondents, Vernon Kurtz, Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, and Josh Aaronson, offer commentary that agrees with and challenges Rabbi Buchdahl’s decision to officiate at intermarriages.
read more>
Can We Create Places for All of Israel’s Tribes?
26.11.2014, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 1
Our initial segment features a video of Shalom Hartman Institute President Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman setting out the basic components of ‘Tribes of Israel:rsquo;. How does the first family of the Jewish people become a tribe over the course of the Torah? What does this mean for the Jewish people today? The rabbinic respondents, Daniel Bogard of Anshei Emeth of Peoria, Illinois, and J. Rolando Matalon of B’nai Jeshurun of New York, offer commentary that challenges some of the very concepts of ‘Tribes’
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Concept of Tribes Helps Us Understand the Contemporary World
01.10.2014, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 1 By Daniel Bogard
I may profoundly disagree with the way that Haredi Jews live their lives and understand our world, but the power in tribal identity is in our collective memory of having once been a family. As long as my particular tribe (American Liberal Jews) can keep the image of Abraham our Ancestor and his family as central in our memories, I am obliged to make room for all of the other tribes of Israel, my fellow family members
read more>
Concept of ‘Tribes’ Minimizes Enormous Challenges Before Us
01.10.2014, by Call & Responsa
V. 1, N. 1 By J. Rolando Matalon
The concept of tribes as an organizing principle for the diverse communities that form Israel’s mosaic may serve as a reminder of our kinship and of the cohesion we enjoyed for a short time during our nation’s biblical beginnings. But its use in the context of the present masks and minimizes the enormous challenges before us
read more>

"Call & Responsa" engages leading North American rabbis in a public and interactive exchange with iEngage Project scholars.

Each edition features a video (the "Call") and commentaries (the "Responsa") by leading rabbis on the issues raised.


Three Ways We Change: What Works and What Doesn’t

Vol. 3, No. 1, Adar 5777

  • The Call: Elana Stein Hain
  • The Responsa: Mari Chernow, Judith HaLevy, Steve Moskowitz, David Wolkenfeld

What Is A Jew?

Vol. 2. No. 1, Nissan 5776

  • Donniel Hartman
  • Adina Lewittes
  • David Steinhardt
  • Joanna Samuels
  • Neil S. Cooper

Should Israel Speak for the Jewish People?

Vol.1, No. 4, Tammuz 5775

  • Yehuda Kurtzer
  • Marion Lev Cohen
  • Jeremy Burton
  • Janet Marder

What Core issues Define Membership in the Jewish People?

Vol.1, No. 3, Adar 5775

  • Suzanne Stone
  • Yehuda Kurtzer
  • Batsheva Meiri
  • David-Seth Kirshner
  • Denise Eger

Should a Rabbi Perform an Intermarriage?

Vol.1, No. 2, Kislev 5775

  • Angela Warnick Buchdahl
  • Yehuda Kurtzer
  • Vernon Kurtz
  • Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi
  • Josh Aaronson

Can We Create Places for All of Israel’s Tribes?

Vol.1, No. 1, Tishrei 5775

  • Donniel Hartman
  • Daniel Bogard
  • J. Rolando Matalon

Add your comments to the conversation, which we will publish alongside the original commentaries.

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