The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies launches Educational Series on Constructive Disagreement

The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies has launched “Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively – The Beit Midrash Way,” an innovative five-part educational workshop series on constructive disagreement.

“Mahloket Matters” shows how the study of contradictory interpretations of Biblical narratives about conflict can empower people today to engage more constructively in polarized ideological and political debates. The program is a ready-to-use yet customizable curriculum for educators and lay leaders to facilitate study and dialogue and includes source sheets, videos and facilitator guides.

“As an open, non-denominational institution, constructive disagreement is something that Pardes has been practicing and promoting for decades,” said Rabbi Leon A. Morris, President of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. “This value is relevant in ways it has never been before. People often are enclosed in like-minded groups, unable to engage those with whom they disagree in respectful conversations. This is a moment when we have the duty to share these concepts with the world at large,” he added.

The project was created by Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, a core faculty member at Bar- Ilan University‘s Program for Conflict Resolution, Management and Negotiation and the Director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. “The model of the Jewish beit midrash and the concept of mahloket l’shem shamayim (disagreement for the sake of heaven) cultivates our minds to be skillful interpreters of the many conflicting realities of the texts,” said Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth. “We believe that this methodology of learning texts can be also applied to the study of history, conversations over social media and the news. This is absolutely critical for strengthening the eroding culture of civil discourse and constructive disagreement in the world today.”

This series was  generously supported by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and the EGL Charitable Foundation.

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