What can rabbinic arguments teach us about complicated contemporary issues like cloning or internet privacy? Quite a lot, it turns out. By applying these established arguments to a modern scenario, high school students gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand as well as the applicable rabbinic arguments.

About Moot Beit Din

Moot Beit Din provides high school students with a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Jewish legal system and helps them hone their critical thinking skills by applying the ancient wisdom of halakhah (Jewish law) to some of the most significant ethical issues of our time.

Student teams are assigned a topic and collaborate to craft a written decision and oral argument based on rabbinic sources. They then present their ruling to a panel of judges following a special Moot Beit Din Shabbaton.

Our halachik system arose from vigorous minds engaged in lively debate. Moot Beit Din engages high school students in a dynamic process that helps them understand how rabbinic wisdom spans cultures, geography, and time to influence our decisions and moral clarity today.

2019 Competition

The 2019 Moot Beit Din Shabbaton and competition will be held on April 4-7, 2019 at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Registration fee: $1700 per team
Team= Up to 4 students and 1 advisor

Registration deadline: November 1, 2018
Registered teams will receive the case, sourcebook (if relevant) and competition guidelines.

Due to space limitations, registration is currently restricted to one team per school.  Schools wishing to field a second team will be added to a waitlist and admitted based on capacity in the first week of November.

Registered teams should not book flights until receiving information about program start and end time. 
Travel stipends are not available for the 2019 competition.

Divisions

  • CARDOZO: Teams competing in this division receive a sourcebook and develop their argument based on these sources
  • BRANDEIS: Teams competing in this division receive a sourcebook and also conduct research to incorporate additional sources.
  • ABELLA: Teams competing in this division do not receive a sourcebook and conduct their own research to track down relevant sources.

Contact Yael Steiner to learn more.

 

“After three years of involvement in Moot Beit Din, I cannot even express how much the program means to me. I have learned so much about my heritage and about myself, and I have made invaluable friendships with people from all over North America.”
-Moot Beit Din participant

 

Click here to see the results and all the digital entries of the 2018 Moot Beit Din Competition