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Rabbi Dr. Nathan T. Lopes Cardozo is Dean of the David Cardozo Academy for Jewish Studies and Human Dignity and Associate Dean of the Isralight Institute in Jerusalem, and a guest lecturer at the Michlala Jerusalem College, Yeshivat Darchei Noam (Shappel's). He lectures regularly at over fifty institutions of Jewish and secular learning around the world and is often hosted by programs with affiliation ranging from the Orthodox Union and Union of Sephardic Communities to Oxford and Harvard Universities.

He is the author of several books on Judaism sponsored by Beth Midrash Cardozo in Jerusalem in memory of Rabbi David Lopes Cardozo of the Amsterdam Portuguese Spanish Synagogue (1808-1880). Regarded by many as a type of ambassador of Jewish conscience, he has, over the past twenty-five years, attracted a large number of students with his unconventional style. His fresh approach to many topics of social concern and his unswerving honesty continue to engage Jews and non-Jews alike.

“When Judaism is introduced to a person as a religion of taboos, permanent damage is inflicted upon its very structure. Too often, young people have become victims of such negativity and consequently have not been able to find their way to the Jewish experience. One of the greatest tasks of Jewish educators today is to daringly turn the tide and show our people that Judaism is foremost the art of enjoying God’s world.” (Cardozo)

“Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism. He is a man of deep faith and wide intellectual horizons, unafraid to confront the challenges of the age with the quiet confidence of one who is attuned to the music of eternity.” (Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Britain and the Commonwealth)

“Rabbi Cardozo brings an unusual - perhaps unique - collection of talents and cultural sensitivities to his sacred work. He embodies Ashkenazi training, Sephardi heritage, European dignity, and the English speaking idiom.” (Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, PhD, author, lecturer at Hebrew University, Executive Editor, Intermountain Jewish News, Denver)

“Rabbi Lopes Cardozo has earned a well-deserved reputation as a brilliant and profound teacher, lecturer and author. Audiences around the Jewish world flock to hear his lectures on Torah and Jewish philosophy. Rabbi Cardozo’s insights into, and understanding of, Judaism and the modern world are refreshing as they are thought-provoking.” (Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold, Dean of Jerusalem College for Adults Rabbi of Kehillat Zichron Yosef, Jerusalem)

”Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and teacher; the Dutch-born, Gateshead- and Mir-educated ba’al teshuva (returnee to Orthodoxy) is among the first rank of those Jewish spiritual teachers willing to confront the challenges and contradictions contemporary culture present to the halachic Jew.”

According to Rabbi Lopes, G-d had entrusted Jewish people a divine mission to mankind: “Jews brought monotheism to the world: the most powerful idea Man has ever encountered. Since that day, the universe has never been the same. The gift of Torah turned all deeds into moral actions, teaching ethics and justice. And this “ethical monotheism” is, as a long chain of Torah teachers have argued, the fundamental contribution to mankind.”

A powerful proof of Jewish chosenness is the return to Zion. He writes: “The Jews’ return to their homeland is totally unprecedented. No nation after such a long, painful exile has successfully returned to its homeland, and violating all principles of historical conformity, built a modern nation state. This ingathering is more remarkable in that it fulfills the biblical promise and covenant.”

Lopes Cardozo’s view of Judaism is broad and humane. He is continually concerned with mankind as a whole. For him, Judaism is deeply concerned with establishing the “equality and dignity” of all human beings. And he shows how Judaism’s special care for the stranger and concern for the weak are at the heart of its religious vision.
(Shalom Freedman)