RABBI AHARON LICHTENSTEIN ZT”L IN CONVERSATION WITH THE EDUCATORS OF THE ATID FELLOWS PROGRAM

RABBI AHARON LICHTENSTEIN ZT”L IN CONVERSATION WITH THE EDUCATORS OF THE ATID FELLOWS PROGRAM

I n the early days of the ATID Fellows program, we benefited from the interest and occasional involvement of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l in our work with educators who were confronting the variety of challenges facing Jewish education.

On two occasions, Rav Lichtenstein zt”l met with the cohorts of our Fellows for an informal question and answer session. In April 1999 the 90-minute meeting covered an array of topics, but was focused on issues related to teaching Tanakh. In March 2001, the focus had shifted to matters related to character education.

With the recent and lamented passing of Rav Lichtenstein zt”l ATID alumnus Rabbi Uri Cohen has prepared an annotated summary of each question and answer to aid listening to the recording or to locate a specific topic (time stamps will help you fast-forward to each topic).

Throughout his career Rav Lichtenstein zt”l felt a very strong person obligation and commitment to men and women toiling in the fields of Jewish education, and his involvement in these evenings was a reflection of that. By way of introduction he stated in his characteristically modest fashion:

“Questions from the world of Jewish education are perennial; the answers, though, are not perennial but always change. All of us working in chinuch should see ourselves as sharing problems with each other. If I have something to contribute, I will. But you don’t have all the questions, and I certainly don’t have all the answers.”

Among his other involvements with ATID, Rav Lichtenstein zt”l contributed an essay to Wisdom From All My Teachers on “Harbatzat Torah: Motives and Objectives” as well as our monograph featuring his essays, Talmud Study in Yeshiva High Schools.

Ester Kellman

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