In 2012, The Tikvah Fund launched its Institute for High School Students, a summer program at Yale University for high-school juniors and seniors from across North America, the U.K., and Israel. For two weeks, we bring together wisdom-seeking Jewish students who believe that great ideas are essential to building a meaningful life and a strong Jewish future.
We are now looking to expand the Institute by adding a week-long seminar that focuses on the nature of reason and rational inquiry.
By exposing twenty juniors and seniors to the question, “What is reason in the 21st century?,” in a team-taught seminar led by Dr. R.J. Snell, a philosopher, and Dr. Daniel Mark, an expert in the Jewish tradition, we hope to both complicate our students’ understanding of the world around them and equip them to be more effective and articulate citizens.
We know that as these students prepare for four years in the modern secular university, the very nature of reason and legitimate philosophical inquiry will invariably preoccupy them. From our nearly 150 alumni, we have seen that a sophisticated exploration of great ideas and big questions provides the grounding for a meaningful engagement, both critical and sympathetic, with university life and beyond.