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LEAP

Where The Rabbinate And Academia Meet

Each year, a group of the world’s leading scholars of Judaic studies and beyond gathers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies to study a shared topic at the forefront of the field of Jewish studies. Their research on Jewish civilization, past and present, has the potential to enhance Jewish life and shape Jewish culture beyond academic borders. While scholars have opened up vast unexplored areas of knowledge, the task of translating this knowledge for the Jewish community is best achieved by rabbis, who are expert in translating relatively complex data and research into increasingly accessible, meaningful and usable wisdom.

This Year’s Themes

Religion And Politics

Recent years have seen a revived interest in the subject of political theology. How does Jewish political thought address the entanglement between religion and politics? Can and should political debates inform the development of Jewish theology, and can Jewish theology provide conceptual resources with which to tackle political problems?

Comparative Study

How do categories and concepts from general political theory inform Jewish traditions of authority and membership? And what, conversely, can Jewish thought contribute to wider debates about topics such as sovereignty, allegiance, and citizenship?

The Political In The Everyday

General political theory has identified political logics and structures not only in the state but also in a range of more local contexts, including family, city, school, and congregation. What insights emerge from applying this theoretical approach to Jewish life?

Law As Politics

Relevant projects could raise questions that span law and politics such as those concerning governance, jurisdiction, and Halakhah. They may investigate the politics of those who develop Jewish legal traditions or explore the relationship between those traditions and their political contexts.

This Year’s Fellows

Katz Family Fellows

Rabbi Aaron Frank
Kinneret Day School
Riverdale, NY
Orthodox

Rabbi Andrew M. Jacobs
Ramat Shalom
Plantation, FL
Reconstructionist

Irwin Kula
Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
New York, NY
Conservative

Rabbi Seth Winberg
Metro Chicago Hillel
Chicago, IL
Orthodox

Rabbi Samuel T. Lachs Fellows

Rabbi Laura Baum
Combined Jewish Philanthropies/Jewish Federation
Boston, MA
Reform

Rabbi Abe Friedman
Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel
Philadelphia, PA
Conservative

Rabbi Mike Uram
Penn Hillel
Philadelphia, PA
Conservative

Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz
Temple Beth El
Springfield, Ma
Conservative

Corkin Family Fellows

Rabbi Elan Babchuck
Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
New York, NY
Conservative

Rabbi Fredi Cooper, Ed.D
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Reconstructionist

Rabbi Wendi Geffen
North Shore Congregation Israel
Glencoe, IL
Reform

Rabbi Matt Gewirtz
Congregation B’nai Jeshurun
Short Hills, NJ
Reform

Brad Hirschfield
Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
New York, NY
Orthodox

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Want to learn more?

VISIT THE LEAP WEBSITE

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