Courses on Israel at the Academia Judaica

On the occasion of the celebration of Yom haAtzmaut, it is a good time to reaffirm our Zionist position and vocation, as individuals, as an institution, as a community and as Am Israel.

And it is from this place that the Academia Judaica has embarked on a permanent trail of courses with the Israel axis since its launch in February this year. The first of them was the course “Israel: 5 thousand chances to go wrong… #ButNo!”, masterfully taught by Professor Gustavo Perednik, who started from the historiography of Israel as a nation in antiquity to the modern conception of state. A thorough study has brought to light, in addition to the enthusiastic “father of modern Zionism” Teodor Herzl, previous heralds, secular and religious, such as Rabbis Yehuda Alkalai and Zvi Kalisher, and philosopher Moses Hess.

From a Jewish perspective, taking a Zionist position goes beyond supporting Israel. It means assuming your belonging to a civilization, a land and ways of thinking and interpreting life and the world (the latter in the plural, because diversity is something quite Jewish). That is why the Academia Judaica is also concerned that its courses facilitate an approximation between Israeli Jews and the so-called diasporic Jews (the problematization of this term is left for a future discussion). Reducing the existing gap due to geographical separation involves a cultural, intellectual, identity approach… And that is why the course of the second cycle offered in the Israel axis is precisely “Kabbalah and Philosophy in Israeli pop music”, an innovative perspective brought by the rector of the Academia Judaica, Rabbi Dr. Ruben Sternschein. By analyzing the classic, modern and contemporary musical repertoires – in styles ranging from hip hop, rap and reggae played in ballads in Tel Aviv – Rabbi Ruben points out how fragments of Jewish tradition and narrative reverberate and inspire their composers, revealing the intimate and inseparable relationship between the people of the book and the land of Israel.

The Congregação Israelita Paulista, through the Academia Judaica, celebrates the existence of the State of Israel in a way committed to Jewish continuity.