Shalom Hartman: Study in Jerusalem over Winter Break

Shalom Hartman: Study in Jerusalem over Winter Break

Dates: December 21-29, 2021

Apply today! If you have questions, please email Rabbi Eric.

Join over 100 college students from across North America for a week of learning, cultural events, and field trips around Jerusalem!

“Loved the trip, [it] really rejuvenated me with a passion and desire to discuss the topics we explored on the seminar back at Hopkins. Thank you!”
—Hopkins student/Hartman alum

This year’s iEngage Student Seminar will explore relevant questions and topics related to Jewish peoplehood and questions on students’ minds. Through studying texts with other college peers gathered together in Jerusalem, Hopkins students will investigate big ideas facing the Jewish people.

Recognizing the importance of providing resources, content, and training to multiple aspects of the campus community, the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America provides an expanding range of programmatic offerings which support the growth of values-based conversations about Israel on campuses across North America.

Highlights Include:

  • Lectures with top Hartman scholars like Donniel Hartman, Elana Stein Hain, and Yossi Klein Halevi.
  • Engaging with pluralistic students from across the country.
  • Connecting with other Hopkins Students who care about deeply exploring Israel’s challenges.

Dates: December 21-29, 2021*

*The actual program dates are December 23-29, 2021. However, students must receive a COVID test in the Jerusalem hotel and wait at least 24 hours for results. Therefore, we ask that students arrive by the evening of December 21. Please connect with Rabbi Eric if you have questions.

Cost: Registration is $500 and covers everything in Jerusalem: hotel (starting Dec. 21), meals, and travel to and from the airport. Students purchase flights on their own, and Hopkins Hillel will reimburse flights up to $1000 after the program ends. Students will also most likely want spending money for souvenirs and the occasional meal on their own.


  • Participants must have been to Israel before. If you haven’t been to Israel and still want to attend, please talk to Rabbi Eric.
  • Participants must be fully vaccinated (two-weeks after final dose). Students will have to provide a scan of their vaccination card.
  • Participants must have health insurance that covers them while abroad.
  • Participants must follow all COVID protocols as outlined by the State of Israel, United States, university, and Shalom Hartman Institute. These may include blood or PCR testing before leaving for Israel, upon arriving in Israel, and at the hotel before the seminar begins.
  • Participants must have a valid passport that expires no sooner than six months beyond the date of their departure from Israel.
  • Participants must bring an openness to text-study, discussions around big ideas, and new ways of thinking.

Register now!

“I found my views challenged and walked away with a renewed appreciation for the complexity of Jewish life.”
—Hopkins student/Hartman alum


What are the trip dates?

The program runs from December 23-29, 2021. Students must arrive at the hotel by the evening of December 21 to await COVID results.

What does it cost?

Registration is $500 and covers hotel (Dec. 21-29), meals, and programmatic materials. Students are responsible for booking and paying for their own flights, but Hopkins Hillel will reimburse students up to $1000 for their flights, to be disbursed upon completion of the program. Students will also want some spending money for the occasional meal out, souvenirs, and other external purchases.

Students may need to pay for some COVID testing. More details to come.

Questions about cost or finances? Contact Rabbi Eric for a discreet conversation.

What are the COVID-19 policies?

As with everything related to the COVID-19 pandemic, policies can change at any time. The current policies include:

  • Strict COVID-19 testing: Students will need to be rigorously tested for COVID-19. For Hartman’s summer trips, participants needed to do a PCR test at the airport and one at the hotel, staying at the hotel until receiving their test results (which could take 24 hours). A blood test may also be required. More details on testing TBD.
  • All participants must be vaccinated: All participants must be two weeks past their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Participants must submit proof of vaccination.
  • Participants must wear masks when necessary.
  • Follow state policies: The State of Israel has had tight restrictions on travel to Israel, and participants must follow any rules the state establishes.
  • Meals will be in a tent.

How do we get to and from Jerusalem?

Students are responsible for booking their own flights. In the past, students have booked together. Rabbi Eric will help with planning. Students should plan to arrive in Jerusalem by the evening of December 21 and they can book flights leaving Israel at or after 7pm on December 29.

Hartman will help students travel to and from the airport if they arrive on Dec. 21 and leave on Dec. 29. Due to COVID-19, there may be restrictions as to how students can travel to Jerusalem (e.g., no shared shuttle/sheirut with strangers).

In theory, students may extend their trip on either end of the program dates. However, due to COVID restrictions, if students want to extend their trip they should plan to do so after the program ends. They must simply pick a flight for any time after the program is over. Once the program ends, if students do not head directly to the airport, then the responsibility lies with them to find transportation, housing, and so on.

What hotel will we stay in?

Students will stay in the Prima Kings Hotel in Jerusalem.

Who is staff the trip?

Rabbi Eric is excited to return to Jerusalem and staff our Hartman trip this year!

Who is eligible?

Any Hopkins student who has been to Israel prior to this year’s trip (in any capacity) is eligible. If you haven’t been to Israel but still want to go on this trip, please reach out to Rabbi Eric.

Alumni of the program are eligible, too–especially because this year is a new topic with new texts!

Students should also bring an open mind and willingness to study texts. This trip is much more learning-oriented than trips like Birthright Israel.

What is the application process?

Interested students should apply here. The application asks for key registration information (e.g., name, address, etc.), passport and medical details, and insights as to Jewish background and why you want to apply. After applying, Rabbi Eric will hold an informal interview to answer questions, go over details, and make sure the program is a good fit.

Once accepted into the program, Rabbi Eric will follow up on details for booking flights and submitting other forms.

What is this year’s topic?

The Shalom Hartman Institute has yet to announce this year’s topic, but previous seminars have explored questions such as:

  • What are the challenges North American Jews face with regards to Israel today?
  • What are the Jewish values and ideas that animate Jewish discourse on Israel?
  • What is an approach to pluralism that can interrogate and welcome difference?

Do I have to know Hebrew? Do I need to understand Jewish texts?

Not at all! Everything will be in English, with sources given in both Hebrew and English. There is an elective taught in Hebrew for those who would like. Moreover, while experience with learning texts is helpful, you do not need a deep text background–just an openness to studying them!

What does a typical day look like?

Most days involve a lot of studying and discussion. While the days are often packed, there is also room for free time. Some days have nights out or afternoons off to explore Jerusalem. We will also take day trips, possibly including visits to the Western Wall or the Israeli Supreme Court.

Apply today!