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We will be CLOSED February 16th through
February 22nd for rest and recuperation.
We'll Reopen for regular hours Feb. 23.
THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED PATRONAGE
6698 Orchard Lk. Rd.
(In West Bloomfield Plaza)
An Active Think Tank
he Shalom Hartman In-
stitute is a Jewish think tank
for research and action, in
Israel and America, and it
covers a broad range of areas.
It is, at its core, a study center for a
select group of about 15 scholars, or
research fellows, in Jerusalem. No
degrees are granted; the goal is intellec-
"We operate in the spirit of Mai-
monides," explains Noam Zion, referring
to the philosopher-physician and out-
standing Jewish personality of the Mid-
dle Ages who sought to reconcile the
Torah with rationalism. Zion is a former
American who is a research fellow with
the Institute now "on loan" in the
American Jewish community and based
He said that the fellows consist of
men and women, Orthodox, Conserva-
tive and Reform, who share a belief in
Zionism and a commitment to Jewish
scholarship. "We believe dialogue is
possible when we can all speak the same
language — the Thrah — and we aim to
understand our own views and respect
one another's views."
The fellows, with David Hartman,
have developed their own methodology
in their approach to the Talmud, choos-
ing first a theme, like the family, and
then tracing it historically, from the
Bible through the Mishna and the
Talmud. Another unique approach is to
bring in Western philosophy as an in-
tegral part of the exploration.
Hartman said that while Yeshiva
University in New York, where he was
ordained, seeks to blend traditional
Jewish studies and secular studies, the
difference is that at Yeshiva the studies
are separate and unrelated. "You learn
Talmud on the first floor in the morning
and Aristotle on the fourth floor in the
afternoon, but our approach is to tie in
the Jewish and Western."
The Institute in Jerusalem operates
a Hesder yeshiva (where students also
serve in the Israeli army), an elementary
school in Talpiot, and provides in-service
training and curriculum. These educa-
tional programs are designed to combat
the growing extremism in religious
education in Israel by stressing tol-
erance and enlightenment.
The very fact that the Institute places
an important value on secular education
sets it apart from many Orthodox
yeshivas which view a college education
as, at best, a waste of time away from
Torah study, and, at worst, the path to
assimilation and decadence.
One of the more successful experimen-
tal programs of the Insitute is a month-
long seminar bringing American and
European Christian Bible scholars to
Jerusalem to study the scriptures
together with Jewish scholars. The for-
mat is to study together the texts of
each religion and re-examine the founda-
tions of each faith's understanding of
Here in America, Noam Zion and
several other Institute fellows work with
establishment Jewish organizations and
their leadership in a teaching capacity.
Zion, for instance, has taught and
developed curriculum at the Charles E.
Smith Day School in Washington. He
also studies texts on Tzedakah with
Washington Federation leaders and
travels regularly to Columbus, Ohio to
teach "a kind of crash course in Judaism
and Jewish history" to a group of about
15 Jewish leaders.
The Ohio connection is a result of the
participation of Les Wexner, the wealthy
Columbus Jewish businessman and
owner of The Limited, who sponsors the
16-week course. It is designed to provide
a Jewish perspective in decision-making,
says Zion, who credits Wexner with ask-
ing a question of himself that few
wealthy American Jews ask when called
upon to take a lay leadership role: do I
know enough to be a Jewish leader?
"In all of my study sessions, I try to
create a dialogue between the exper-
iences of the participants and classical
Jewish texts," explains Zion. "And those
texts always show competing views. The
point is to help people grow spiritually,
in their own communities."
Through its various activities, the
Hartman Institute is seeking to attract
not only the best and the brightest, but
those whose commitment to Torah
study and innovation transcend ideolog-
ical politics. "I want the best and the
boldest Jewish minds," says David
Hartman. "I don't need many. A minyan
would do. We're trying to create a
climate to bring about the next Mai-
"Remember," he concluded, "the last
book on Halacha has not been written
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The Jewish Community Center
of Metropolitan Detroit
to the opening of an exhibition
of recent works featuring an
innovative art form
on display February 15 - 28, 1987
Hamburger Exhibition Lobby
Jewish Community Center
6600 West Maple
West Bloomfield, Michigan.
Meet the artist CALMAN SHEMI
(direct from Israel)
on Sunday, February 15, 1987
1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. reception