Studying Conservatism’s Philosophical Foundations

About the Program

Herzl Program

The Herzl Program is meant for excelling research students in the humanities and social sciences who seek to gain a more thorough acquaintance with the foundations of conservatism.
The Program will include a philosophical study of the place of tradition and its values in culture, the postmodern challenge, and the foundations of the Jewish political tradition.

Wide Ranging Study

The program is meant to develop a group of intellectuals who will discuss the philosophical principles of conservatism. Study will be conducted with attention to the tension and congruence between the conservative tradition and other philosophical traditions such as romanticism, Enlightenment, and postmodernism.

The character of study will be wide ranging, touching on a variety of thinkers and ideas – broadly and deeply – from the fields of culture and sociology, philosophy and history, religion and society. Finally, we aim to observe the connections maintained between these ideas and Jewish tradition.


Meetings include three central themes: the nature of the connection between tradition, its values, and institutions and the way in which these are shaped in culture and society, the challenges presented by the postmodern alternative to the foundations of society and culture, and the outlines of how political and Jewish tradition shape relations between culture and society.

The program will be taught by Dr. Ronen Shoval, Dean of the Tikvah Fund, and will include a study of the following books, among others.

• Ofir Haivry, John Selden and the Political Tradition of the West

• Giambattista Vico, The New Science

• Claude Levi-Strauss, Myth and Meaning

• Rivkah Shechter, The Theological Roots of the Third Reich

• Antonio Gramsci, On Hegemony

• Alasdair Macintyre, After Virtue

• Shmuel Trigano, The Philosophy of Law

Program Director

Dr. Ronen Shoval

Argaman Institute Director and Tikvah Fund Dean.

Guest Lecturers

Professor Shmuel Trigano

Professor emeritus at the University of Paris, and head of the Popular University for Jewish Studies. Founder of the journals Pardes and Controversia.

Dr. Asaf Malach

Head of the Jewish Statesmanship Center. Lecturer at the Shalem Academic Center. Chairman of the Civics Subject Committee at the Education Ministry.

Dr. Elad Lisson

Lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and Herzog Academic College on Political Philosophy and the Philosophy of Science.

Dr. Ofir Haivry

Deputy President of the Herzl Institute. Co-founder of the Shalem Center and Azure journal.

Dr. Sagi Barmak

Director, Adam Smith Program.

Avital Hazony

PhD student in Moral Philosophy at the University of Arizona


A BA student in his final year studying social sciences, humanities, or law.

Grade average of 85.

Capable of dealing with complex philosophical texts.

Appropriate candidates will be invited to interviews.


The Argaman Institute provides participants of the Herzl Program with conditions for dedicated study. In addition to from academic accompaniment and full meals during the day, the program is fully subsidized.

Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a scholarship of 12,000 NIS.