The recent graduation commencement of the 2010/2011 Cardozo-Kagan Jewish Leadership Program, held at the IDC in Herzliya, honored the second class of CKJLP Fellows. As part of the ceremony, a symposium discussed “Can There Be a Future Where There is No Past? The Place of Judaism in Education in Israel.” Panelists Dr. Micha Goodman, Dr. Einat Ramon and Journalist Ben Dror Yemini dialogued on how Jewish studies should best be integrated into Israel’s lower and higher education tracks. Instilling pride in one’s Jewishness by engaging in text study, and developing a sense of ownership on tradition-both goals of the Cardozo-Kagan Jewish Leadership Program -were common themes reverberating throughout the symposium.
Much was said about widespread ignorance of Jewish knowledge, a major culprit of today’s Jewish identity crisis in Israel and a result of Israel’s failed educational system. “Instead of omitting from curriculum Jewish books such as the Bible and the Talmud,” emphasized Dr. Goodman, “these works should be welcome as the masterpieces they are whether or not one believes in their divine nature.”
“Judaism has so much to teach all Jews, whether observant or not,” remarked Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo in his remarks to the graduates. “Even non-Jews have a lot to benefit from Judaism, and we Jews have a responsibility toward the rest of the world to teach them the wisdom of Judaism.”
CKJLP Director Chanan Atlas and David Cardozo Academy friend Michael Kagan closed the ceremony awarding certificates to the graduates, and wishing them best of luck on their continued Jewish journey. Michael Kagan offered moving personal remarks about his Jewish identity
in his youth, reflecting on how he never had the opportunity to fully explore his Jewishness as did the graduates of the Cardozo-Kagan Jewish Leadership Program.