We are living in a moment of unprecedented breakdown in American civil discourse. Unable to listen to each other – let alone understand each other – we are stuck in our own echo chambers. Many fear speaking up, lest we be judged or “canceled.” We cannot even agree on a shared set of facts or norms to govern our discourse. These problems cause significant pain and dysfunction for millions, and they show up at work, at schools, on the streets and in our families. The trauma of the global pandemic has only increased fear and distrust among many. This is as true in the Jewish community as it is in society generally.
Pardes North America seeks to foster a renewed discourse that heals divisions and offers our communities – and the world – a path forward.
Pardes North America’s pioneering Mahloket Matters methodology combines social psychology with the rich Jewish textual tradition of deeply engaging with conflicting opinions in order to learn. This curriculum helps provide learners with the motivation to better engage constructively with those with whom they disagree, thereby improving civil discourse. Mahloket Matters reframes what previously felt hostile and threatening as an opportunity for connection and change.