The establishment of the State of Israel, together with the challenges that modernity has presented to the Jewish people – in Israel and elsewhere in the world – confronts Judaism with a reality unlike any that it has encountered for nearly 2,000 years. In response, there is an urgent need to rediscover and reactivate Judaism in its vibrant, authentic form.
This has been the ongoing personal struggle of my life – a struggle born of a deep love of both the Jewish tradition and the Jewish people. My commitment to Judaism is unconditional, yet at the same time, I have wrestled with Judaism in profound ways, constantly searching for the best way to connect to its unique spirit and to help fellow Jews to do the same.
It is for this purpose, too, that the David Cardozo Academy was established, to imbue Judaism with new spirit – or in fact, to re-imbue Judaism with its original spirit – and to change the way Judaism is perceived for the better. We need to reconnect to the original religious experience of our forefather, Abraham, the founder of Judaism; to make his profound love for God and mankind the spiritual foundation through which we live and approach the divine commandments given to us at Sinai.
To move forward, we must take what is valuable and appropriate from the past and infuse it with what the future has to offer. We must return to the rich Jewish tradition of open exploration and debate, as exemplified in the Talmud, and embrace both the best of human thought of our own time and the original creative spirit of Jewish law, opening it up once again to the multitude of options expounded in the Talmudic sources.
This is our challenge today, and the goal that the Cardozo Academy strives to achieve – to revitalize the Jewish tradition and restore the relevance of Judaism as a force of authentic, non-dogmatic Jewish religiosity in which Jews once more take pride in the divine Torah and its great moral and spiritual mission towards all of mankind.
Please join us on this powerful and vital journey.
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo
Founder and Dean
The David Cardozo Academy