Why have over 2000 Graduates completed the MEOR Maimonides Leaders Fellowship?

Fall and Spring Semesters: Hillel (2nd floor library) Mondays and Tuesdays 7:00pm-9:00pm

Founded in 1998 at the University of Michigan, the Maimonides Leaders Fellowship (MLF) came to Penn in 2004 and sparked a revolution giving rise to MEOR’s national debut and MLF’s expansion to 35 campuses throughout North America. MLF, now firmly rooted in Penn’s Jewish identity, has set the standard for Jewish educational programming on campus. The fellowship, spanning a college semester, engages students with the texts and concepts of their Jewish heritage in a mature and sophisticated manner and offers exposure to leaders and personalities shaping the Jewish world today. In Maimonides, you will convene weekly on Monday or Tuesday evenings for ten 2 hour seminars, featuring guest speakers like Jewish scientists, teachers of mysticism, physicians, and black-belt martial arts rabbis, as well as lectures and discussions linking you, the modern Jewish student, with the ancient wisdom of your Jewish heritage. Discover and appreciate the tenacity of our people – how we’ve survived physically and spiritually amidst the greatest set of adverse circumstances. Understand the fragile state of American Jewry today. Feel inspired by your legacy, committed to your future as Jewish activists and leaders, and deeply touched by the humanity and spirit of your heritage. We are seeking intelligent, engaged and empowered students who aspire to become tomorrow’s leaders and who feel compelled to learn how Judaism answers life’s most critical questions. The First hour of each weekly session is a mixture of lecture and discussion and is divided over the fellowship into three parts: The foundations of Jewish philosophy:Who is G-d and the purpose of our existence, what is the Torah, how to understand heaven and hell, body and soul, reincarnation and resurrection, free will and revelation. Contemporary Jewish issues:such as Happiness, Education, Suffering, Prayer, Spirituality, Love and Marriage – Judaism’s vision and its relevance to modernity. The dynamics of leadership: Judaism’s dream of world perfection, our role, character development, by which standards do we measure success, and the qualifications and regiment of leadership. The Second hour is devoted to hearing from outside speakers who are experts in the fields of government, finance, ethics, medicine, literature, philosophy and science, as well as from leaders and activists who work tirelessly for the Jewish people. Students maintain a thoughtful journal entry after each meeting. Typically, the program also includes two off-campus Shabbat experiences (an often welcomed respite from campus with great company and home cooked meals). Dinner and refreshments are served at every session. The Maimonides Leaders Fellowship provides a dynamic, interactive and intimate environment to discover the secrets of Jewish wisdom and a comfortable space in which to share your thoughts amongst like-minded students. It is a shared experience with unparalleled personal potential. Taste the sweetness of the Jewish experience. Unlock your Leadership potential. Discover the humbling privilege of your Judaism. Make the friendships of a lifetime. Join us on our journey.

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Maimonides FAQ

Q. Is a Jewish education required for acceptance?

A. No. There are no requirements regarding the level of Jewish education. In fact, the Fellowship is geared towards students with the most limited Jewish backgrounds. Our commitment is to service the “lowest common denominator” . However, because we explore each topic both on a basic and more sophisticated level, students with more extensive background can gain a tremendous amount. However, due to funding limitations and a desire to maintain a comfortable atmosphere for those with minimal background, we cannot accept students whose background would overqualify them – such as those who attended an observant full-time Jewish high school.

Q. What is the goal of the program and in what way is it a Leadership Fellowship?

A. The MEOR Maimonides Leaders Fellowship aims to empower modern-day Jewish college students with the information and inspiration necessary to become passionate Jewish leaders of the next generation. Our belief at MEOR is that ignorance of Jewish texts and traditions is the greatest impediment against young Jews making Judaism an integral feature of their lives and taking an active role in their communities. Through educational lectures, guest speakers, and experiential field trips (Shabbat programs, cultural and religious events, etc.), Maimonides offers qualified students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a traditional Jewish environment, where they can grapple maturely with great life questions and explore how ancient Jewish wisdom can connect with modern Jewish leaders.

Q. What's expected of me in order to receive the stipend?

A. The Maimonides stipend is pro-rated based on attendance and participation in Fellowship activities, including seminars, off-campus trips and journals.

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