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Maimonides Innovator




Pardes Summer Executive Learning Seminar June 30 - July 4, 2013 / 22 - 26 Tammuz 5773, Jerusalem

Mishneh Torah - Laws of Torah Study 3:1

The crown of Torah is set aside, waiting, and ready for each Jew... who ever desires may come and take it.

We welcome participants who have studied Jewish texts before, as well as those who have not previously encountered text study.


Now in its 16th year, the Pardes Executive Learning Seminar is geared towards executives, professionals and community leaders who wish to study classical Jewish sources within the landscape of Israel. During five incredible days, participants will be grappling with ancient texts and current issues, visiting historical sites and learning from some of the best educators that Israel has to offer.

Rambam: Innovator, Healer & Thinker Moses Maimonides, or Rambam as he is known in rabbinic literature, was the most outstanding Jewish figure of the Middle Ages. Born in Cordoba in 1135, he was the descendent of a long line of scholars who traced their ancestry back to Rabbi Judah the Prince, who compiled the Mishnah (Oral Law). In 1148, his family was forced to flee Spain due to religious persecution. Their journeys took them to Morocco and the

land of Israel until they eventually settled in Fostat, the Old City of Cairo, Egypt. It was during these years of wandering that the foundations were laid for Rambam’s vast learning and prolific literary works. His mastery of both rabbinic and secular knowledge, and his ability to synthesize them, was unparalleled. His two major works, Mishneh Torah and The Guide to the Perplexed, established his reputation as the ultimate rationalist.

During the seminar, we will examine the whole spectrum of Rambam’s literary works, comparing them with rabbinic and philosophic literature from the Talmudic period to today. We will get a sense of the genius of Rambam and the tremendous impact he has had on each generation that has followed.

The Thinker

But Rambam was not simply an intellectual. He spent most of his adult life working as a physician and serving as the religious leader of the Fostat community. He was actively involved in both communal affairs and personal counseling, in addition to corresponding extensively with the vast majority of Jewish communities throughout the world regarding issues of Jewish law and theology. His influence went far beyond his generation and it is felt to this very day in the areas of medicine, philosophy, and Jewish religious observance. No other spiritual leader of the Jewish people since Rabbi Judah the Prince has made such an impact on the development of Judaism and the Jewish people in all of its manifestations.

Topics of Study Does Judaism place a value on secular knowledge? How can secular knowledge be integrated with Torah study? Should one seek the reason why each commandment was given? What impact does this have on observance? Is martyrdom the appropriate response to religious persecution? Why is mysticism a sore point for rationalists? Is Judaism equipped to address today’s complex medical ethical issues?

Touring The seminar will include visits to unique historical and cultural sites in and around Jerusalem that directly connect to the texts.

The Team

Elaine and Richard Asarch, Englewood, CO



As we reflect back on our week in Jerusalem we are so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in such a high level learning experience. The staff, the participants and the facilitation did not only meet our expectations but exceeded them. Thank you for giving us the gift of Jewish learning in such a stimulating environment. The Mishnah came alive for us and our study of it continues to have an impact on us. Thank you for making us feel so welcome at Pardes. We hope that we can return next year. USA: Israel:

Jamie Bornstein 212 447 4333 Robert Grossman 972 (0)2 673 5210

tuition $1,300 15% discount before October 31, 2012 Programming, lunch, tours and some evening meals included. Flight arrangements should be made individually. See website for hotel recommendations.

The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies brings together men and women of all backgrounds to study classic Jewish texts and current Jewish issues in an open, warm and challenging learning environment. Pardes offers a variety of programs including a Year Program, the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, a variety of summer programs and events throughout the year.


information and booking

Summer Executive Learning Seminar 2013 Brochure  

Brochure for Summer ELS 2013