Newly-Expanded Center for Modern Torah Leadership Seeks Further Impact & Growth
As of ten days ago, the Center for Modern Torah Leadership (CMTL) now has a full-time director who seeks to expand its operations and to provide further content to the broader Jewish discourse and to positively impact the American Jewish community (and beyond!) (self-disclosure: I served as rabbinical student intern for the CMTL in 2008-2009). With its now full-time director, Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, having run the annual Summer Beit Midrash (SBM) program for the past 18 summers in the Boston area (self-disclosure: I attended the 10th SBM in 2006), he is seeking to expand its activities (by the way, I highly recommend listening to his lectures).
As originally announced in March, Rabbi Klapper is now “serving full-time as the Center’s Dean, with the mandate of expanding the Center’s impact on the Modern Orthodox community, the Jewish community, and the human community.” He is seeking to do this in the following ways:
- Creating an SBM alumni network;
- Running multiple conferences and y’mei iyyun for rabbis and educators;
- Expanding the Center’s campus and synagogue presence nationally through lectures, Shabbatonim, and online classes and conversations;
- Publishing two issues of Acharayut Ketuvah and at least one book;
- Generating a steady stream of public commentary on issues such as day school tuition, proposed agunah solutions, the boundaries of normative halakhah, and the economic expectations we impose on our children;
- Creating ethical discussion circles for lawyers, doctors, and other professionals;
- Helping day schools create and teach curricula that simultaneously inspire commitment, provoke thought, and generate legitimate autonomy within Orthodoxy.
His bigger vision for 3-5 years in the future is to expand to include semester-long and year-long programs to “nurture American-Israeli halakhic conversation and women’s creative halakhic contributions.”
According to its website, the mission of the CMTL is
is to model and foster a vision of fully committed halakhic Judaism that embraces the intellectual and moral challenges of modernity as spiritual opportunities, takes responsibility for the societal implications of its interpretations of Torah, understands that the real-world effects of Torah are mediated by the character of Torah leaders, and that self-knowledge is therefore essential for Torah leadership, and takes the ultimate significance of all human beings as tzelem Elokim as a fundamental Torah principle.
I am very excited and glad that Rabbi Klapper has sought to finally go out on his own and to work full-time on this organization (he had been a teacher in Jewish schools) and to spread his insights and knowledge!