Hillel at UCLA
Chaim Seidler-Feller has been working with students and faculty as UCLA's Hillel Director for thirty-two years. He was ordained in 1971 at Yeshiva University. Chaim is a lecturer in the Departments of Sociology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and is a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and of the Wexner Heritage Foundation. He was a rabbinic consultant to Barbara Streisand during the making of the film Yentl.
The Campus: Battlefield or Field of Dreams
Many in the Jewish community are convinced that American universities are seething with anti-Semitism and are hotbeds of anti-Israel activism. This workshop will examine the accuracy of this assertion from the perspective of a campus professional. A nuanced portrait that is both troubling and hopeful will be presented.
A Model of Community Leadership
The Legacy of Rabbi Soloveichik
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik has been described as both a boundary-maker and a bridge-builder, a link to the “Old World” in Europe and a guide to the contemporary trends in America. The panelists will discuss “The Rav's” complicated legacy in areas such as interdenominational cooperation, interfaith dialogue, Halacha (Jewish Law), Jewish education, and religious Zionism. They will also provide insight into his personal relationships and how they may relate to his public positions.
Encounters Between Isaac and Ishmael:
A Perspective on the relationship between Judaism and Islam
An analysis of Islamic teachings regarding Jews and Judaism and of the image of Ishmael and of Islam in Jewish sources. Issues to be addressed include: the myth of a perpetual ‘Golden Age,’ the centrality of Jerusalem in both Islam and Judaism, commonalities and divergences between the two religious traditions, holy war, and Maimonides’ distinctive and complex perspective on Islam.
Holy Matter, Sacred Space:
Land for peace in the Jewish tradition
Current thinking has it that trading land for peace is contrary to halakha (Jewish law) and can only be permitted on account of a consideration of saving an endangered life. However, an analysis of the teachings of RaMBaM and RaMBaN regarding the sanctity of the land demonstrates that there exist two distinct conceptual views - one mystical and the other rational and instrumental - that define contrasting attitudes towards the land, each of which lends support to a different political opinion.