The Posen Foundation’s program for the Study of Secular Jewish History and Cultures is designed to support the development of courses on the varieties of Jewish secularism for students in North America and Israel. It is estimated that at least a half of American Jews consider themselves secular, even if this secularism means different things to different people. The percentage of secular Jews is even higher in Israel. These Jews are heirs to the tradition of secular Jewish culture reaching back more than two centuries. The courses supported by the Program are intended to inform students about this tradition that may be largely unknown to them, but the courses are not aimed only at secular Jewish students: they are aimed at the student body as a whole, Jewish and non-Jewish, who may find this secular tradition of interest and importance in understanding pressing contemporary issues.
Applications should be submitted on behalf of programs or departments of Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Literature, Sociology, Anthropology or other related disciplines, with significant enough faculty and student resources to support the advent or further cultivation of the study of secular Jewish history and cultures. Grants will not be awarded to support already extant courses in Jewish culture and civilization, but grants may be considered when such courses are to be extended specifically to cover secular and cultural Jewish thought and history. To be eligible for the Posen Foundation Grants, the primary course must focus specifically on secular Jewish history and cultures.
Applications in the form of a letter or proposal should include seven (7) sets of the following:
1. Curriculum vitae of faculty being proposed to teach such courses
2. Sample syllabi for at least three different courses in secular Judaism or Jewish secularism, including an interdisciplinary “core” or primary course
3. Statement describing how the study of secular Jewish history might be integrated into existing program and major requirements
4. Brief history of the program or department and current and past offerings, including number of faculty, majors, and students taught.
5. Detailed budget for the proposal. The budget may not allow for overhead or indirect costs.
6. Timetable for implementation
7. Information sheet with your name, mailing address, telephone number, email, name of institution and title and chair of department in which the courses would be implemented.
8. The grant request must include the signature in support of the application by the appropriate authorities permitted to institute curricula change within the institution.
Interim reports and evaluation will be required.