The exploration of Law and Jewish civilization, the principal mission of the Center, takes place through the following programs.
Scholarship – The Fellowship Program
The Center hosts, on an annual basis, Fellows who spend a ten month Fellowship working on individual scholarly projects which coincide with the Center’s intellectual orientation. The projects apply the insights, sensibilities, normative considerations and experiences of Jewish civilization to law and legal issues of significant scholarly and social value. This effort is meant to result in publication, by the Center as well as in learned journals and books, of scholarship of the highest quality.
Fellows are of the highest quality, and selected on a competitive basis from applications received from all over the world, on the basis of their credentials and the compatibility of their research with the Center’s mission. Fellows receive a generous stipend, office space, working facilities and support from Center administrative staff. In addition to their individual research, Fellows are expected to contribute to the intellectual life of NYU School of Law, NYU as a whole, as well as the general community through various fora and an annual conference.
Complete lists of all Fellows are available on The Tikvah Center Fellows page.
The Center associates scholars from NYU and other institutions of learning in New York as Affiliates, with a view to encouraging and facilitating scholarship by them in the field of Law & Jewish civilization, as well as enlisting their support in the learning programs of the Center. The complete list of Affiliates are available on The Tikvah Center Fellows page.
Overall, the Fellowship and Affiliates Program serve to attain three meta-objectives:
To act as an incentive for emerging and established scholars to branch out to new academic endeavors geared towards Law & Jewish civilization.
To facilitate conversations among the Fellows and Affiliates during the year through workshops, seminars and intellectual synergies in the group which will enhance the quality of the scholarship produced, and also create lifelong networks among the past and present members of the Center.
To result in published scholarship which builds up to a significant repository of high quality work in the field, fueling and stimulating the interest of others.
Each year starting in 2011-2012, The Tikvah Center will define a central theme which steers the selection of two thirds of the Fellows complement and is the overarching subject around which the annual fora, colloquia and conference are set. Thematic Fellows will be pursuing research and writing projects around the selected yearly theme. The purpose of the Theme is not only to encourage research and writing in a certain area, but to create an intellectual community of scholars and educators whose projects share a high measure of affinity, producing the benefits of intellectual and academic synergy and cross-fertilization.
The research and writing projects of At Large Tikvah Fellows must fit within the broader Mission Statement of the Center.
The Annual Theme can be found here.
Learning – the Tikvah Scholar-in-Residence Program, and the Undergraduate Outreach Program
Tikvah Scholar-in-Residence Program:
The Tikvah Scholar-in-Residence Program, started in 2010-2011, is directed at outstanding graduates and young scholars interested in spending a year of research, writing and learning in the company of some of the most gifted and creative scholars in the field of Law and Jewish Civilization.
Applications are considered from candidates at the following levels:
- The very finest J.D. and LL.M. candidates at NYU Law whose profile and background are commensurate with the Tikvah Mission, whose ambition is to go into legal education or public service, and whose credentials place them at the very top of the student population at NYU Law. We aim to recruit from scholarship students and especially from among the Furman Scholars, the group identified by the law school as future teachers.
- Doctoral students at NYU Law, at NYU Skirball and Visiting Doctoral Students from other Institutions, as well as Post-Doctoral candidates, who are already on a track to a career in scholarship and education.
- We plan in the future to offer Tikvah Scholar positions to recent J.D. Graduates from NYU Law and other leading Law Schools who wish to go into teaching. Several elite Law Schools, including NYU Law, already have programs in place to offer such positions to enable the recent graduates to engage in intensive research and writing preparing their ‘portfolio’ for the competitive law teaching market. Tikvah Scholars will fit within that framework, with the research and writing focused naturally within the broad range of The Tikvah Mission Statement of Law & Jewish Civilization.
Scholars will join the intellectual community at The Tikvah Center as integral members. This includes:
- The Tikvah Scholar Forum. This is the core “dedicated” activity of the Scholar group directed and conducted by Moshe Halbertal and Joseph Weiler. It meets around 5 times a Semester to deal with texts and issues around a central theme. The theme for the first year of the program is “Judaism and Constitution, Judaism as Constitution”. The Forum attracts not only Scholars but many of the Tikvah Fellows and others associated with The Tikvah Center. The Forum is designed to train the Tikvah Scholars how to think, question, differentiate, internalize, and communicate complex issues pertaining to Law and Jewish Civilization. This means that not only the “substance” or “content” of what they learn is of special concern to this forum program, but also the “method” or “process” of how they digest and integrate that substance. As well, the Forum emphasizes the significance of understanding and clarifying the complexity of each and every problem they discuss, and not only the importance of offering, or trying to offer, a clever solution to it. The Forum thus ultimately provides essential, heuristic tools for each Scholar to become and serve as a responsible, independent thinker at the forefront of each academic field as well as in the general public setting. (Sample texts include: Hebrew Bible, rabbinic literature, Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem, The Declaration of the Independence of Israel, and Recent Proposals for a Constitution of the State of Israel).
- The Mentorship and writing project. Each of the Scholars is mentored by one of the Tikvah Fellows in Residence and expected to engage in a research or reflection exercise resulting in a paper or article with his or her help, within the broad theme of Law & Jewish Civilization.
- Integration with the Tikvah Intellectual Community. Scholars are fully integrated into The Tikvah Center and are invited to participate in all intellectual and social activities of The Tikvah Center, including the Tikvah Public Lecture Series, Tikvah Fellows Workshops, Cardozo-Tikvah Legal Theory Reading Group, and Tikvah Afternoon Tea. Through a variety of such occasions, formal and informal alike, the Scholars will closely interact with the distinguished members of the Center. We believe that this unmediated informal integration in the Tikvah intellectual community is as important as the other two more structured elements.
The duration of the Scholar-in-Residence Program is 8 months (September through April) and carries an annual stipend.
Please see the separate Tikvah Scholar-in-Residence Program Section for further details.
Outreach – The Undergraduate Summer Program:
Together with its strategic partner, the Law Faculty of Bar-Ilan University, The Center hopes to organize a residential Summer Program in which undergraduate students from around the country will enroll in intensive courses or seminars on the theme of Law and Jewish civilization. The courses and seminars will be designed in part to provide first and stimulating encounters between the students and the “greats” of the Jewish Canon in the context of contemporary social and political issues. They will be designed such that enrolled students, who will be self-funded at this stage, may earn credit for the undergraduate degrees in their respective institutions. Here, too, it is expected that the Summer Outreach program will be particularly attractive to aspiring law students from all over the United States. A summer program in Israel at Bar-Ilan will be integral to this initiative. The program will also work synergistically with the NYU in Tel Aviv study abroad program.