How learning will bring together divided communities - Opinion

How learning will bring together divided communities

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko | Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:27 am

Imagine a room full of students from across the United States — Orthodox, Conservative and Reform — sitting with each other and discussing a given text from the Tanach — the Bible. Sounds like a utopian goal? A scene from the ’60s when Jewish communities were not that divided? Sitting last month in the heart of Manhattan watching my students participate in the U.S. National Bible Contest showed me that as divided as the world can be, there is always something that unites us all.

Students from Phoenix to Philadelphia, from Tallahassee to Teaneck, and from Dallas to Detroit, all gathered for the National Bible Contest in New York. The electrifying power of our oldest common denominator was visible as children and teens from vastly different locations and backgrounds connected in such a wholesome way.

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