By Samuel Gelman
Communications and Program Officer
The Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought is proud to announce that the Jack Miller Center, a nonprofit organization that works to teach students the history and principles at the heart of American political life, has renewed its grant with the Center for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. The financial support will continue to fund the “Jewish Ideas and American Government” lecture series.
Under the direction of Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, and Dr. Neil Rogachevsky, associate director, the series will bring academic speakers from across the country to lecture on the role of religion and the Bible in the American story. Focusing on political thought as well as Judaism, Christianity and other religious traditions, the lecture series aims to provide Yeshiva University students with a wide view of politics and religion in the American tradition.
This year’s first lecture will be given by Professor Ran Halévi of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, located in Paris, France. The topic will be “Tocqueville and Modern Democracy.”
“It’s a delight to partner again with the Jack Miller Center, which is doing great work to advance serious study of American government,” said Dr. Rogachevsky. “Their generous grant will go toward bringing a series of first-rate scholars to campus to give guest lectures and interact with our students on topics related to American government and the role of religion in American public life.”
Previous lecturers in the “Jewish Ideas and American Government” series include Dr. Paul Cantor, the Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of the English Department at the University of Virginia, Dr. Seth Jaffe, assistant professor of political science and international affairs at John Cabot University, Dr. Rita Koganzon, associate director of the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Alexander Orwin, assistant professor of political theory at Louisiana State University.
The Jack Miller Center partners with faculty, administrators and donors to transform student access to education in American political thought and history, an education the Center believes is necessary for informed civic engagement. By receiving this grant, Yeshiva University joins a list of many distinguished academic institutions that have worked with the Jack Miller Center, including Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame and Yale University.
The Straus Center trains Yeshiva University students to be Modern Orthodox intellectual leaders who are well versed in both Torah and the Western canon. Through a combination of unique, interdisciplinary courses taught in collaboration with faculty from across YU, communal events, and publications, the Straus Center seeks to cultivate the intellectual, religious, and civic leaders of tomorrow.