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The intention behind the Popular University's approach is to pose the question of the meaning resonating in the Jewish traditional texts, namely approaching them in the perspective of contemporary questions and the relation to the contemporary Jewish condition. The object of the method is to combine the two dimensions into an intellectual and cultural approach.
The Popular University for Judaism proposes :
The program proposes courses of introduction to the spirit and method of the basic disciplines of Jewish studies, Bible, Talmud, Midrash-Aggadah, Philosophy, Kabbalah, Halakha, Hermeneutics, through the examination of themes in relation to contemporary questions.
We will organize three annual conferences on subjects concerning the contemporary debate, clarifying them with the issues of Judaism, which obviously must be elaborated suitably for this clarification. These conferences will be published in the Pardès review. They will also be recorded audiovisually and placed on the University site and other sites.
We also have a review, Pardès, founded in 1985, and which currently is the only review of Jewish thought in Europe. Pardès values open-mindedness and interdisciplinary initiatives. Such dynamics correspond to the spirit of the new program developed by the Popular University of Judaism. The review could thus propose the publications of the international conferences.
An interactive study community
We aspire to create a study fraternity and not only to provide education bureaucratically. Such a study community will also bring teachers and students together, allowing exchanges between them and distribution of texts.
Shmuel Trigano is the founder and president of the Popular University of Judaism. In this context, he initiates and develop the Judaic Humanities program. Shmuel Trigano, professor of sociology at the University of Paris-Nanterre, author of 21 books on Jewish, philosophical, political, historical subjects, founding director (1985-) of the Pardès review of Jewish studies (53 editions), founding director of the Alliance Israélite Universelle College of Jewish Studies (1986-2013), founding director of the Observatoire du Monde Juif (2001-), founding director of the Controverses review (2006-2011, 18 editions), founding director of the Popular University of Judaism (2013-).
Shmuel Trigano was awarded the prize Edmond Tenoudji for Jewish Education in 1992, the prize Francine and Antoine Bernheim for sciences granted by the French Judaism Foundation (Fondation du Judaïsme Français) in 2011. He was awarded in 2013 the Figaro Newspaper "Impertinents' prize".