With the understanding that students today enter a classroom with much broader exposure to information and appetite for knowledge than they did even a decade ago, Amudim’s approach is:
It is one thing to read a Rashi; it is another to read it in historical context, compare and contrast it to other texts, ascertain how the ideas in it unfolded over time, analyze authorial decisions and, in general, dialogue with it. Amudim’s classes take a higher perspective, looking beyond the content of Jewish texts to processes: How do these texts work and how are they meant to be understood?
Catering to the most inquiring minds, Amudim, in addition to traditional sedarim and shiurim, offers out-of-the-box courses and activities led by world renowned scholars and artists, geared toward in-depth exploration of fundamental questions of religion and Torah and an appreciation for the thought processes and complex negotiations that have taken place within Jewish thought and culture throughout the ages.
Learning at Amudim is based on the premise that the Jewish religious experience begins and ends with text, that all conclusions must be textually-justified. Utilizing classical sefarim, visual, audial and other types of texts, the process of interpretation stands at the core of how we learn. In this way, Amudim students are simultaneously empowered to advance their own understandings while situating themselves within the mesorah.
Amudim promotes independent thought and decision-making, asking students to interact personally with texts and even on tiyulim—observing, summarizing, inferring, critiquing, questioning and challenging. Teachers are facilitators rather than knowledge-dispensers and, with an eye towards experiential learning, students are asked to engage in peer-review, intellectual exchange and team-teaching.