An update from Dr. Robert Hunt, Director of the Perkins Global Theological Education Program:

First day of 2014 here in Jerusalem. A regular working day. What New Year celebrations they have come from Russian immigrants whose old Soviet home ramped up New Year celebrations to shut down Christmas. Now stripped of the paeans to Soviet socialism, I hear it’s pretty much down to vodka and fireworks.

We’ve been learning about God in the Jewish tradition, but a good deal more as well about the methodology of Jewish teaching and learning. First – start with the text. Second – discuss it vigorously and never dismiss a minority opinion or what appears to be an off-the-wall reading. Why? A note from Donneil Hartman, “Teaching should not be the assertion of authority, but it should be an act of disempowering the self and placing what one teaches entirely in the hands of the students’ act of choosing what they hear and how they interpret it.”

The cemetery above the Kidron Valley.

The cemetery above the Kidron Valley.

Perkins students in Havruta (study) groups.

Perkins students in Havruta (study) groups.

The Western Wall from above.

The Western Wall from above.

From Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives.

From Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives.