We are nearing the end of a very difficult year for the country and for the people of Israel. The divisions between different sectors of Israeli society escalated into extreme conflict, with dangerous levels of tension in the social, public, and political arenas. The ramifications have been felt across the globe; our enemies are exhilarated, while our friends in Jewish communities worldwide are faced with difficult questions and great unease.
At Herzog College, we believe that education is the key to changing the current atmosphere, and improving the style of discourse between communities in Jewish and Israeli society. Through all of Herzog’s programs – teacher training, continuing education courses for teachers, principals and school supervisors in Israel and around the world, and in classes and external study programs for the community at large – we strive to actively listen to one another, to find ways to work together and unify around shared goals.
We are gratified to see that the vast majority of the Jewish people desire peace, recognize our mutual responsibility as a society, and continue to seek out ways to co-exist, with the needs and aspirations of disparate individuals and communities taken into account.
Herzog College specializes in teaching Tanakh, among other subjects. The underlying principle guiding many of our successful education and study programs is that Tanakh is central to our lives, and the basis for common ground between Jews in Israel and around the world. Visiting and local participants of the thriving Yemei Iyun B’Tanakh, those studying in Herzog College global online courses, teachers training through our pedagogical programs in Israel and the Diaspora – all attest to the fact that we share a common language, collective faith and a shared history.
As the new year approaches, I would like to offer my gratitude and appreciation to our friends and supporters. Through your partnership in Herzog College initiatives, you have taken part in building a strong ideology and society of the people of Israel and the Diaspora.
May we merit in this coming year to continue to elevate the study of Torah. By engaging in education, study and research, may we be blessed to make our contribution to peace and unity in Israel and in the Jewish people worldwide.
May this coming year bring better news, redemption and comfort, health, joy and kindness to all.
Shana Tova to you and your families.
Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Brandes
President Herzog College