Gil Perl

The Making of Modern Judaism Part I

The Rise of Reform

This is the first of a three part series I recently gave through the Young Israel of Teaneck on the Making of Modern Judaism.  It focuses on the rise of the Reform movement from its earliest forms in Germany to its emergence as a full-fledged movement in the United States by the late 19th century.  The next two parts focus on two . . .

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December 06, 2020

Modern Orthodoxy in a Post-Modern World

A Panel Discussion Hosted by Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy's Center for Continuing Education

I had the pleasure of joining Rabbi Tully Harcsztark this week for a spirited conversation on the strengths and weaknesses of Torah U'madda, Or Amim, and the future of Modern Orthodoxy.


Here is a full recording of the program:


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December 03, 2020

Hedgehogs, Foxes, and the Future of Modern Orthodoxy

A Response to the Responses

It's been deeply gratifying to see and hear some of the thoughtful responses to my essay on the need for a Modern Orthodox Hedgehog Concept (pt. 1, pt. 2, Op-Ed 1, Op-Ed 2).  I wanted to briefly address a few pieces of feedback that made their way back to me in different forms, as I believe that they help sharpen the argument I was . . .

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January 03, 2020

A Shul is Reborn

Burned to the ground on Kristallnacht, the Meiningen Synagogue emerges from the rubble 71 years later

Silvrback blog imageTwo years after fleeing Nazi Germany as a fourteen year-old boy, Dieter Gruen learned that the beautiful synagogue in which he had had his bar mitzvah, and in which his father had been a cantor, had been burned to the ground.  Though the young Dieter had safely reached the shores of the United States, the rest of his family was still . . .

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October 29, 2019

Torahs from a Mole

Inspiration from the life of Mr. Ira Lipman, z"l

Unlike most other Yeshivot, at Kohelet we've had a longstanding tradition of having school on the morning of Erev Yom Kippur in order to help set the mood and frame of mind for our kids before entering into one of the most important - yet difficult - days for any Jewish teen.


Here is link to a clip of our high school "slow . . .

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October 10, 2019

A Call for Clarity

Derashah for the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

In speaking last spring with Ha-Rav Moshe Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, I mentioned to him that we were planning a 20th anniversary trip to Italy over the summer.  He then informed me that his father and my teacher, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, ztz”l, had also taken an anniversary trip to Italy with his wife Tovah. . . .

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October 02, 2019

Rebellious Jewish Women

Derashah for the 1st Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

Rebellious Jewish women are hard to escape.  Or, at least they are today.


The first one we encounter is Sarah who in this morning’s Torah reading has an uneasy feeling about the environment in which she is raising her son Yitzchak and the influence of his half-brother Yishmael.  When she decides to take . . .

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October 02, 2019


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