Field Study

Jerusalem and Judaism in The Time of The First and Second Temple

Jerusalem and Judaism in The Time of The First and Second Temple As one wanders through the alleys of past and present, the fascination of the First and Second Temple periods awaken even the most exhausted observer. The field study takes full advantage of the archaeology of the ancient city ,while at the same time sharpening ones senses with some of the remarkable museums which clarify those dramatic periods of Jewish endeavor.


Jerusalem: The Worlds Above and Below

Jerusalem is not only the center of the Jewish world - it is a unique world unto itself. For thousands of years, Jews have been making their way to Jerusalem through the written word, prayer and pilgrimage. Explore the deep and multifaceted relationship of our people to this place.

From Destruction to Reconstruction

The power of the years 1939 to 1948 constantly move us to tears and joy. From the pain of Yad VaShem to the marvels of Israel's War of Independence, we realize that the day in Jerusalem can reveal many of the pivotal moments of contemporary Jewish history. With maps of Europe and the Middle East in our hands, we weave the story by our journey through the City.

Walking Jerusalem through the Psalms

Each time we say the birkhat hamazon on Shabbat we begin with the words from the Psalms. This program is an opportunity to not only say Psalms but to physically trace the path of these words. This is a chance to physically experience what the poets wrote when they composed this literature. And the miracle of reading Psalms as one walks through Jerusalem is that much of what was written thousands of years ago, is remarkably similar to what is happening now in the city of Jerusalem, thousands of years later. Come learn how Torat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael intertwine creating an intensive Shabbat experience.

Boundaries, Dreams and Realities: When Judaism Meets the Modern Jewish State

Many of the early Zionists saw themselves as secular Jews, determined to build a modern state influenced by the ideologies of Europe. However, the impact of the earlier ultra-orthodox communities in the four Holy Cities and the new arrivals from North Africa and the Middle East, changed the initial concept of the Jewish State. Anthropology and sociology, with the critical eye, reveal the complex challenges for Jews of all trends.

Walking Jerusalem in Poetry

Reform Jewish living involves a life-long series of formative balancing acts. One must constantly juggle tradition and innovation, balance ritual with heart-felt spontaneity, and reconcile being and acting as an individual and as part of a greater community. After services, kiddush and lunch we will begin an interactive walking tour guided by the works of Yehuda Amichai, Jerusalems best-known and well-loved poet. Contemplate the challenges faced by Jerusalemites in balancing the ancient and the modern, the ceremonial and the spontaneous, as well as their private and their public personas.

Tales of Synagogues

A synagogue is a house of prayer, of study, of discussion and argument. The walls of old and new synagogues of Jerusalem have tales to tell us, about their origins and fears. The issues of gender seating and theology, songs and politics are all the focus of our searching in both the Old and New City. From the steibels of Mea Shearim to the magnificent new centers of worship, we learn about Jewish realities and dreams.

Back to the Future: A Night Time Odyssey in Mea Shearim

As twilight descends on our Old-New City, Jerusalem's inhabitants return to their homes. In one part of Jerusalem, in particualar, the local population continues it's collective existence in prayer houses and yeshivot. Mea Shearim, the Crown Heights of the Middle East, demands our attention. The "black hats" from Lithuania and Poland, Ukraine and Hungary reveal their 16th century modes in a bustling environment. How strange to be in modern Israel and yet, in another land as well.

Jerusalem - Place, Time and Memory

Exploring the multi-layered meanings of Jerusalem in the Jewish Quarter, as a storehouse of Jewish memory and values, as a religious and political metaphor, and as a focal point of issues in Israeli society and the Jewish world. How can we negotiate the tension between Jerusalem as a symbol of unity, and the reality of a divided and fractious city?






Building a New Jewish Future: A Walking Tour of West Jerusalem

A walking tour of the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia, a microcosm of the Zionist movement's struggle to build a new Jewish society in the Land of Israel. Rehavia was settled in the 1920s and 30s by Jews hoping on the one hand to revolutionize Jewish life, and on the other to preserve the best of the central European middle-class culture they had grown up with.

From Swords to Plowshares

What does Judaism have to teach about conflict and resolution? From Abraham and Lot to the Road Map, from Jacob and Esau to the separation barrier, we engage texts and explore both historical and current conflicts.

And Never Shall they Meet: The Four Quarters of the Old City

In one minute area live many peoples. The Old City welcomes us in to meet its varied residents, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, rich and poor, religious and secular, believers in dialogue and lovers of separation. There can surely be no other part of the world where so many stories can be told. Traders sell, prayers pray, residents sleep and tourists look- and desperately try to understand. Join us on a voyage of complexity.

From the Old City to the Modern Period

The Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter applauded the support of the great philanthropist Moses Montifore and his efforts to move them out of the walled city. From their cramped conditions, they moved into Mahane Israel, Nahalat Shiva, Mishkenot Shaanim and further out. By the 1870s an active world existed outide the walls with Jews, Christians and Muslims all trying to find their "place in the sun". In 1905 there was a Jewish majority of 40,000 as compared to the 11,000 Christians and 8,000 Muslims. Walk with us in the footsteps of earlier generations.

Jerusalem: The City of the Sovereign Jewish State

David Ben-Gurion insisted that Jerusalem should be the capital of the sovereign Jewish State. The divided city experienced harsh times until in 1967 it was united. However, with changing borders in the region, will the boundaries of Jerusalem be changed? What alternatives exist for this multi-religious capital city? Our study may give us no clear answers but at least we'll be able to make an educated guess on how to move forward - united or divided.

1948 War and the Destruction of Jewish Sites in the Old City

November 1947 to January 1949. Each day brought new surprises until the cease fire and some rest. From January 1949 the Old City was now in the hands of the Jordanians and many sites were destroyed. On the western part, new developments drastically altered the whole structure bringing modernity to its inhabitants. The Jerusalem cease fire line will be our focus as we weave through those critical moments.

The Desert Community and Ben Gurion

Israel's first prime minister David Ben Gurion, was a remarkable thinker, committed to taking advantage of the challenges of statehood. Each moment was an opportunity. His diaries make us marvel at his determination and commitment to success. Deep in his heart, he wanted one particular part of this arid land to bloom -the desert. The desert was the ultimate expression of the Biblical homeland where, he hoped, young Zionists would show the world how hard work and belief could surely change reality. It was in the desert where the group, the kvutsa, created the ultimate.