Civil Discourse Seminars

Can Biblical stories empower us to engage more constructively in disagreements today?

Today, civil discourse between the political divides is turning less and less civil. In response, the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution (PCJCR) has created a new initiative: Mahloket Matters: How to Disagree Constructively – The Beit Midrash Way.

At the core of the traditional beit midrash (study hall) are havrutot (study pairs), critically studying together mahloket, conflicting opinions, found on every page of classic Jewish texts. This methodology of studying text can be used to increase the desire and ability to understand and engage more constructively with conflicting political opinions today, improving civil discourse.

One Monday per month (see dates and topics below)
5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

Questions? Contact Alex Burte, Membership/Program Manager, 513.793.2556.

2019-2020 Schedule

  • Monday, November 4, 2019:  Introduction…Rabbinic Concepts of the Beit Midrash Way
  • Monday, December 2, 2019:  Unit 1…Meet or Refuse to Meet?
    From Korah and Moses to Political Adversaries Today
  • Monday, January 13, 2020:  Unit 2…Fear War or Trust Peace?
    From Jacob and Esau through Chamberlain and Menachem Begin to Today
  • Monday, February 3, 2020: Unit 3…Xenophobia or National Security?
    From Pharaoh and the Israelites through Japanese Internment to Today
  • Monday, March 2, 2020: Unit 4…Coexist or Separate?
    From Isaac and Ishmael to Israelis and Palestinians Today
  • Monday, April 6, 2020: Unit 5…“Fake News” or Uncovering the Truth?
    From Joseph and his brothers through Jefferson and Hamilton to Today


Sign up once for the entire year. Attend as many sessions as you can.
Co-taught by Rabbis Kamrass and Thomashow.