Scaling the Ivory Tower

By Gordon Bernat-Kunin

Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute, January 2010

This article explores the intersection between idolatry and universities. The author argues that the magnified emotions and values associated with getting into Yale and Harvard mark an idolatrous need for and obsession with these educational institutions. The author states that the obsession with these schools may have been a result of being from a first-generation background where higher education was seen as a path toward social mobility. The article concludes by questioning how one can avoid the idolatry of universities while acknowledging the opportunities and rich culture that can be found at them.

Topic: Socioeconomic Status, Higher Education, Students, Values

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Berrin, Susan

Volume/Issue: 40/665

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use; Distribute link freely

Bibliographic Information:
Bernat-Kunin, Gordon. Scaling the Ivory Tower. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. Josh Rolnick, The Sh'ma Institute. January 2010:


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