This World & the Next: Politics of Pirkei Avot
The Mishna’s tractate Pirkei Avot is a treasure trove of wisdom and values handed down to us by generations of Rabbinic masters. How do its aphorism and principles translate to our situation today? We will examine mishnayot from several of the Chapters, along with commentaries both traditional & alternative, ancient & modern, to attempt together to apply those sayings to our Congress and Knesset, national Jewish organizations and shul politics, leadership and citizenship in our time. What do Kamala and Rashida, Meretz and the Kahanaites, ADL and AJC and J Street and AIPAC have to learn from Pirkei Avot?
Jonathan Wolf is President and CEO of YASHAR: the Institute for Jewish Activism. He has taught at dozens of CAJE and Limmud conferences and has spoken at hundreds of synagogues, campuses, schools, and institutes. He has published widely and has been a founder or leader of numerous activist Jewish organizations. He created and led the Community Action Department of Lincoln Square Synagogue in NYC, the largest and most ambitious program of social activism in the history of American congregations, and ran the West Side Center for Jewish Life, housed at his famous Riverside Drive apartment, where thousands of shabbat meals, speakers’ series, fundraisers, organizing meetings, Shabbatons, seasonal gatherings, and innovative/traditional holiday celebrations were developed and shared.