Our Mission & Vision
Solomon Journal meets the most pressing task of the present: educating a new generation of American Jewish leaders. We believe that instilling a sense of commitment in promising young Jews is a moral and political imperative. There is no better way to accomplish this, we think, than by introducing such Jews to exceptional Jewish individuals worthy of emulation: biblical, American, and Zionist.
Our journal provides a forum for talented and ambitious Jews to engage with the lives of such individuals and, in so doing, to strengthen their connection to the Jewish and American people, to the State of Israel and to the United States. Our participants are promising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who learn from current Jewish leaders and educators before embarking on writing and multimedia projects of their own. Through engagement with their mentors and peers, our participants become part of a welcoming and supportive community in which they hone their reading, writing, and speaking skills and build relationships that prepare them to succeed in public and professional life.
For Parents and Educators
Thank you for exploring the Solomon Journal website. We hope your high school student will join us for our Fall 2021 cohort.
While grades are important to our admissions, we care most about our students’ writing skills, spiritedness, and leadership potential. Every applicant is important to us and we view each application holistically. We therefore make every attempt to interview each student in person at our offices in NYC.
We recognize that high school programming serves as a precursor to college. We are happy to offer feedback to applicants after the conclusion of the application process, regardless of the admissions decision your student receives.
A background in Jewish learning is not necessary for participation. We aim for a diverse community of students of various levels of religious observance.
Dr. Harry Ballan is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and Founding Dean of both the Tikvah Online Academy and the Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship. Dr. Ballan holds a BA, MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University and a JD from Columbia Law School. He clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was for many years a Partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, a leading international law firm where he is currently Senior Counsel. He has taught at several leading universities on subjects ranging from law and intellectual history to neuroscience and was Dean of Touro Law School before joining Tikvah.
Daniel Wasserman is the Program Director of Solomon Journal at the Tikvah Fund. He previously was a writer and editor for the Tikvah Humanities Project, a forthcoming humanities curriculum for Jewish high schools. Daniel holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, Clare College, and a BA magna cum laude from Yale, where he earned the Philo Sherman Bennett Prize for his senior essay “The Passion of Justice: Plato’s Education of Anger in the Republic.” He has taught at Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah and for Tikvah Online Academy.
Do you need a Jewish studies background to participate?
No, Solomon Journal‘s programming is designed so that students from diverse Jewish backgrounds can come together as equal partners in inquiry. We expect many of our students to be coming to Jewish education with little prior knowledge. We aim to reach and connect such students to the powerful stories of Jewish and Zionist history.
What is the time commitment?
We estimate our students’ average time commitment as three to four hours per week. Our classes meet on Zoom every other week. Two timeslots are offered for additional flexibility. Our speaker series meets once a month on Sundays in Manhattan. In addition, our students are expected to work on their journal articles and meet with their writing instructors. Most students write two well-polished articles over the course of the school year.
How much individual attention will each student get? Who are the writing instructors?
Our writing instructors are early-career journalists and experienced graduate writing tutors, sourced from the Tikvah Fund’s Krauthammer Fellowship. Writing instructors spend at least five hours working one-on-one on each article with each student. Most students write two well-polished articles over the course of the year and therefore receive at least ten hours of one-on-one writing instruction.
What is the Tikvah Fund?
Solomon Journal is an initiative of the Tikvah Fund, a think tank and educational institution focused on the foundational ideas of Jewish civilization, the great challenges facing the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and the political, moral, and economic traditions of Western civilization and American democracy. Tikvah runs a wide range of initiatives in the United States, Israel, and around the world, including educational programs and fellowships, publications and websites, conferences, and policy research.
The Tikvah Fund’s main interest is challenging exceptional students to become Jewish leaders and Jewish citizens. We seek to expose them to the most important ideas—in Jewish thought, Zionist history, political philosophy, economics, and strategy—and to inculcate a sense of responsibility for Jewish, Western, and American civilization.