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Pardes opens doors to college students in response to campus protests

Its programs have previously been available only to college graduates.

Students at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Credit: Courtesy.
Students at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Credit: Courtesy.

In the wake of troubling demonstrations at colleges across the United States, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem announced that it is opening its educational programs to current college students effective immediately.

“The very nature of the recent demonstrations at campuses has left us all shaken,” said Rabbi Leon Morris, president of Pardes Institute, in a letter to supporters. “The fact that there are some young Jews who have chosen to ally themselves with these protests is highly troubling.”

The school’s programs have previously been available only to college graduates. By extending eligibility to undergraduates, Pardes aims to provide a welcoming space for Jewish learning at a critical time.

“We do this not only to provide a safe space for students to continue their learning but also because we know the importance of Jewish education in combating ignorance and creating deeper connections to one’s identity,” stated Morris.

The letter quotes Times of Israel political analyst Haviv Rettig Gur characterizing some protestors as displaying “a sheer gaping chasm of Jewish ignorance” in events like a Palestinian Solidarity Seder circulated online.

“At Pardes, diving into Jewish text and tradition is a transformative journey … and when our students leave they are dedicated to making sure that Jewish learning is central to their Jewish life,” wrote the rabbi. “Together, we can combat ignorance and nurture strong Jewish identities.”

For more information, see: visit Pardes.org.il.

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The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies (www.pardes.org.il) is an open, inclusive, diverse and intellectually challenging Jewish learning community based in Jerusalem with programs worldwide. Pardes cultivates a life-long love of Jewish learning, the Jewish people and Israel. Pardes inspires engagement in Jewish life—as communal and spiritual leaders, educators and active participants.
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