The Center carries out its mission through the following programs:
1) The Summer Beit Midrash
The Summer Beit Midrash provides a uniquely effective environment for the development of intellectually and personally compelling Modern Orthodox leadership by
· providing a rigorous top-level Talmud shiur which accepts challenges or enlightenment from any discipline
· demanding that fellows confront the ethical and the real-world implications of every halakhic position studied
· having faculty members model courage and integrity by presenting on and accepting critiques of their own halakhic rulings in difficult cases
· exposing fellows to the broad systemic visions of halakhah of underutilized past thinkers such as Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chajes, Rabbi David Zvi Hoffman, and Rabbi Ben Zion Uziel.
· requiring Fellows to write and defend their own responsum to a case that challenges their ideas, values, and character
The Summer Beit Midrash is has just completed a spectacular bar mitzvah year!
2) The Campus Education Institute
Growing out of Rabbi Klapper's decade of experience as Orthodox Adviser at Harvard Hillel, the Campus Education Institute runs programs that enable college students to see and utilize their university experience as catalysts for religious growth and Jewish commitment. Our programs include Boston-area intercampus ymei iyyun and lectures at many campuses across the Northeast.
3) The Rabbis and Educators Professional Development Institute
Our core program is an annual conference for rabbis and educators. The initial conference, on the dynamics of halakhic decision-making, took place on August 15-16, 2007 brought together over 20 invited congregational rabbis, day school educators, yoatzot halakhah, and others to discuss the roles of personal autonomy, judicial discretion, and the values of both the shoeil and the meishiv in the creation of binding halakhic decisions. The 2008 conference brought a similar group together to discuss Teaching Halakhah, and the 2009 conference is titled Exploring Authenticity.
We anticipate developing a year-round professional community in the coming year.
4) Acharayut Ketuvah
Acharayut Ketuvah will be a biannual journal discussing issues relevant to the Centers mission. The Center has published two well-received collection of responsa from the Summer Beit Midrash, and we anticipate that such responsa, with comments and discussion from outside scholars, will be the core of one issue each year, with the second issue to build off conference presentations. The 2009 SBM Fellows are currently editing their teshuvot, and we have commitments from this year’s guest faculty to write responses to the teshuvot as well.
Our website offers organized and focused access to mission-related Torah content and provides an effective introduction to our vision, ideals, and programs. It is an effective curricular resource for rabbis and educators.and attracts numerous students of Torah, with thousands of hits and hundreds of downloads each month.
6) The Community Education Institute
The Center offers public lectures each summer at various local synagogues as well as public classes during the academic year, and has partnered with Maayan, CJP, and Gann Academy for other public access programs.
7) The Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer Fellowship
This yearlong fellowship will become the heart of the Center. A group of 12-16 graduate and rabbinic students from Israel and the United States will gather for full-time study of a challenging contemporary issue with the aim of developing their character, scholarship, and capacity for leadership and of producing articles and materials that will be influential with and useful to rabbis and educators