Shalem College goes Forward

The Jewish Daily Forward runs a fact-packed and objective article about Shalem College:

In the most ambitious attempt to import American-style higher education to Israel to date, the country’s first liberal arts college will open its doors this fall.

The four-year degree program at the new Shalem College, located on the Jewish Agency’s campus in the East Talpiot neighborhood in Jerusalem, will teach a broad curriculum like those found in American liberal arts colleges, and will use financial incentives to encourage students to be active in campus life.

The program is a world away from that of most Israeli colleges… The core curriculum has a strong ‘great books’ emphasis, and includes Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Durkheim and Einstein. Key texts from Jewish tradition are drawn from the Babylonian Talmud, Maimonides, Spinoza and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sections of the Quran are also compulsory.

There’s information on the vision, the curriculum, and the scholarships, as well as quotes from my colleagues Daniel Gordis, Daniel Polisar, and Stephen Hazan Arnoff. And don’t miss the interesting comments by incoming students. Read the entire article here.