Seminar Reading Example

Ono Academic “Beit Midrash” Considers the “Window Jew” and the “Shutter Jew”

Once a month, Ono Academic College offers an academic “Beit Midrash” (traditional study hall) for the graduates of our Jewish Studies program, at our new campus. Zurit Buskila introduces topical content with readings and discussion of texts from various sources and guides the fascinating meeting to which participants come to from all over the country.

The classes deal with growth in times of crisis, with themes like home, destruction and meaning. The most recent meeting discussed controversy and listening – and how throughout the generations, again and again, and particularly since the founding of the state, we as Jews have needed to overcome controversies in order to reach our goals.

One source text was an essay by poet and thinker, educator and teacher, Barry Zimmerman. The  title of the essay is “Controversy as a Window” and in it he distinguishes between the “Window Jew” and the “Shutter Jew”.

“Who is the window Jew? The one whose windows are open and look out to other Jews, to other possibilities. He/She is one who is aware that there are also other windows from which other people look at him/her. And the “Shutter Jew,” his/her blinds are closed. He/She will live inside a closed room, neither looking nor being reflected.”

Food for thought.