By: Meir Uretsky, MTA Class of 2018

 

Students in MTA’s Honors College, an enriched academic program that provides a challenging and comprehensive student experience, had the opportunity to hear from Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, Director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and Rav of Congregation Shearith Israel (also known as The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue), the oldest Jewish shul in America. In continuation of the Honors College students’ study of George Washington, Rabbi Soloveichik discussed the interactions that members of Jewish congregations had with President Washington, including letters which Washington exchanged with the Jews of Newport, Savannah, and other cities. He highlighted how George Washington was not only the military leader who led the charge for independence, but he was also the father of religious freedom in America. Honors College students were very grateful to hear a Rav’s perspective on Jews in American History.  Students enrolled in the Honors College participate in a more rigorous academic schedule that includes lectures, a book project, cultural and religious experiences, and regular seminars, such as this one.  Their next lecture will feature Seanegan Sculley, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and Chief of the American History Division at United States Military Academy (West Point), who will discuss “Washington’s Crossing,” the Pulitzer Prize winning book by David Hacket Fischer, which the Honors College students are currently reading.

 

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