Mahloket Matters Fellowship

Program Description

We live in a moment of unprecedented breakdown in civil discourse. Yet, our Jewish tradition upholds the principle that constructive disagreement for the sake of heaven (Mahloket L’Shem Shamayim), is not only imperative but the holy work needed to repair what can feel like irreconcilable differences that permeate within our Jewish communities.

We are honored to present the first four cohorts of the Mahloket Matters Fellowship, consisting of 40 fellows who will be stepping up to this holy and timely challenge.

Comprised of Jewish educators, rabbis, and volunteers, these three distinct cohorts represent inspiring leaders working across the North American Jewish community. Over the course of 8 sessions, fellows will explore a methodology of text study that delves into complex and contradictory narratives and then apply this methodology in their own work by creating programs that increase the desire and ability to understand and engage more constructively with conflicting political opinions today, thereby improving civil discourse. (More information about the Fellowship can be found at the bottom of the page.)

Educational Leadership Fellows

Volunteer Leadership Fellows

Rabbinical Assembly
Educational Leadership Fellows

Covenant Leadership Cohort

Pardes is proud to partner with The Rabbinical Assembly (RA) to launch the third cohort for exemplary RA clergy, as well as with The Covenant Foundation to launch a NEW fourth cohort of Covenant grantees and awardees, as well as with the Rabbinical Assembly.

We often think of disagreements as an unfortunate aspect of life. Yet, in the tradition of the Mishnah and Talmud, mahloket (debate) is a vital tool to generate discussion, critical thinking, personal growth, and the deepening of relationships. Through the study of Jewish texts and social psychology, we will distinguish between different types of disagreements and explore why good people may have diametrically opposing views on moral issues. In an age when civil discourse is on the decline and demonization of the other has become common practice, it is crucially important that we find the courage to productively engage people with whom we disagree. 

In each class of the Mahloket Matters series, we will explore a constructive disagreement revolving around a tension between competing values. In addition to taking a deep dive into the specific topic of each shiur, the broader goal of the Mahloket Matters series is to become adept at considering an issue from multiple perspectives and to recognize the conflicting values, needs, perspectives, and concerns of each side. Ultimately, we hope these experiences will help us cultivate a culture of constructive disagreement and debate within our community and in the world at large.

Over the course of 8 sessions, fellows meet to study the adapted Mahloket Matters (MM) material in-depth as a group. This Fellowship consists of two distinct cohorts, each of which will consist of ten fellows:

  • Educational Leadership (Cohort 1) – Designed for Rabbis and Jewish Educators currently working in the Jewish professional field.
  • Volunteer Leadership (Cohort 2) – Designed for current and emerging Jewish volunteer leaders. The ideal candidate for this cohort will target leaders in business, civic and Jewish leaders representing influential social networks.
  • RA Educational Leadership (Cohort 3) – Pardes is proud to be partnering with The Rabbinical Assembly (RA) for the third cohort for exemplary RA clergy.

The fellowship will consist of two essential components:

  1. Group Study & Individual Mentorship – Fellows will learn Pardes’s renowned Mahloket Matters curriculum and receive individual mentorship with Pardes faculty. Each fellow of the Leadership Cohort will receive a $1,500 stipend for their time and participation in these sessions.  
  2. Communal Action – Fellows will be asked to transpose their inspiration and learning into a community engagement initiative (in a way that balances local creativity and established metrics) for their home communities. Each fellow will receive a $500 community engagement fund to support the development of their own communal MM study groups and/or community engagement initiatives. For more information, please click here for the requirements.

By participating in the MM Fellowship, fellows will: 

  • Receive both professional mentorship and financial support.
  • Immerse in highly relevant Pardes Torah that they can use to serve their home Jewish communities.
  • Become a critical voice in a movement to help foster respectful dialogue across North America.
  • Join a strong network of colleagues.

Educational Leadership Cohort 1: February 2 – May 11
Volunteer Leadership Cohort 1: February 9 – May 19
Rabbinical Assembly Leadership Cohort 1 March 8 – June 7

Pardes is pleased to announce the three inaugural cohorts of the 2021 Mahloket Matters Fellowship!
Learn more about the 31 impressive individuals selected to participate in the fellowship here:

Educational Leadership Fellows

Volunteer Leadership Fellows

Rabbinical Assembly
Educational Leadership Fellows

All applicants must be living in North America (Canada, the U.S., or Mexico) to participate in the fellowship.

Educational Leadership (Cohort 1):

Applicants must either be working as a Jewish educator or rabbi in a Jewish community (defined as a Jewish organization, synagogue or other Jewish institution).

Volunteer Leadership (Cohort 2):

Applicants must be appointed as/hold a volunteer leadership position in a Jewish community (defined as a Jewish organization, synagogue, Federation or other Jewish institution).

The deadline has passed for 2021. For more information how you can apply or nominate someone in the future please contact