Torah & Archaeology Community Program

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FEBRUARY 19-25 2018


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Ktav Ivri / Ktav Ashuri - up to 2 hours [MS, HS] - a two-hour program that includes a historical review of the development of writing. A halachic outline of some of the issues related to the writing of Sifrei Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzot, we provide an integrated understanding of the issues that relate to the reading and writing we so often take for granted. The second part of the program is a hands-on writing experience working with kulmusim (quills), ink, and klaf (parchment) where the students learn to write their own names. By the end of the session the students are well on their way to being able to read ancient coins and inscriptions.

On the Map - 1.5 hours [MS, HS] - Making use of Foundation Stone’s De’ara Tanach Map (DTM), we revisit some of the key events of the Torah and Nevi’im (Prophets) - on the map. The map is approximately 9ft x 3ft and is east oriented (much like a whiteboard or chalk board). Using colourful dry-erase markers, the students participate in identifying the sites of battles and events that they are familiar with. This session is highly adaptable to the particular class and curriculum.

Pick the Perek - 1 hour [MS, HS] - At the discretion of the teacher or principal of the school, a specific perek of Tanach will be broken down and presented in terms of its geography, archaeology, and history, using artefacts, images and maps.

Show, Tell and Touch Jewish History - up to 2 hours [K-12] - with a collection of pottery shards, coins, and other excavated materials - and with a license from the Israel Antiquities Authority, we bring a variety of archaeological materials that students can touch and feel that come from a variety of sites, and a long swath of Jewish history.

The Rabbi and the Archaeologist - 1.5 hours [HS] - an entirely unique presentation - with an archaeologist and a Rabbi presenting on the same issue - from two completely different points of view. Often it is a chapter from Tanach. Where does archaeology challenge our understanding and where does it enhance or support our understanding.

Understanding Archaeological Sites - up to 2 hours [MS, HS] - Khirbet Qeiyafa: What’s so special about a 3000 year old site? - Tel Yavne: Where the Jewish People were reborn

Am I Blue - up to 2 hours (by special request) [MS, HS] - A virtual trip into Jewish history and an understanding of this long-lost Biblical commandment of Techelet. Includes the chemistry and science behind the identifying of the chilazon, a dying demonstration, and review and appreciation for the mitzvah.

Requirements: White board and dry erase markers, computer projector, table for artefacts. Mounting tape and wall space for 2.8x1meter map.


TOARCH is Foundation Stone’s pioneering Torah & Archaeology program scheduled to coincide with the annual ASOR Conference (American Schools of Oriental Research). The ASOR conference is run annually in a different city in North America, in November. Recognising that some of the world's leading archaeologists and scholars are in attendance at the conference, Foundation Stone seized on the opportunity to bring some of these outstanding, scholars, researchers and educators into the local Jewish community. Recently, Foundation Stone has been running TOARCH programs in addition to its November main event.

TOARCH is a rare opportunity for schools, synagogues, and community centres to host a unique scholars-in-residence program - a program sure to excite, captivate, and enrich the members of the local Jewish community - regardless of religious affiliation or level of observance. The result is a fantastic experience that will excite and inform people about Israel, Jewish history - the Tanach (Bible) and the Mishna/Talmud.

TOARCH brings to each community a collection of artifacts from actual excavations that students and adults can touch and feel. Artifacts come with the approval and export license of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The TOARCH program includes the De'Ara Tanach Map (DTM) and other outstanding media and materials that make for an incredibly enriching and powerful experience.


The TOARCH Shabbaton is a Shabbat-long scholar-in-residence program that offers a community the opportunity to spend time with outstanding scholars, archaeologists, and others involved in excavating Israel.

With sessions that include:
  • The Rabbi & The Archaeologist
  • The Ten Exiles of the Sanhedrin
  • The Battles of the Maccabees
  • The Brit of Noah & The Brit of Avraham
  • The Content and The Context
  • Bar Kochba: The Untold Story



They were scrolls unlike any others ever found. Impressed into nearly pure copper, they detailed a potential inventory of incalculable gold, silver and precious items that were hidden away on the eve of destruction. Vendyl Jones spent decades in a search for the lost treasures of the Temple in Jerusalem. He made some incredible discoveries, but never found the primary trove. Today that search continues. Jim Long spent years with Dr. Jones working at his excavations. Join Jim as he tells the story of an incredible man - and his search in the caves of Qumran.

Saturday Night - Motzai Shabbat February 24, 2018
(admission is free, your contributions are welcome)

Jim Long - writer and director of Riddle of the Exodus


Ancient writing and inscriptions - how important are they? What can they tell us about the development of Western Civilization. Unlike cuneiform and hieroglyphics, alphabetic writing spawned the modern age and is what occupies every texting person to this day. Join Foundation Stone and our guest presenter Prof. Chris Rollston - he is one of the world's leading epigraphers and will share his insight and knowledge about the development of writing and how it changed the world.

Saturday Night - Motzai Shabbat February 24, 2018
(admission is free, your contributions are welcome)

Prof. Chris Rollston of George Washington University


This is a pioneering visit to the brand new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. We will focus on two exhibition areas - "In the Valley of David & Goliath" and the Israel Antiquities Authority's collection that is on loan from excavations in Israel. With an eye to showcasing finds that highlight the time context of TANACH, this tour will enrich and inform understanding of Israel's foundational beginnings.

Sunday February 24, 2018

(Attendance is limited to the first 50 reservations received).

  • Schools

    Foundation Stone has visited schools across the US, Canada, and England. Here’s a short list…

    • SCY High - San Diego
    • Torah High Schools - San Diego
    • Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
    • Barkai - Brooklyn
    • Torah Academy - Baltimore
    • B’nos Yisrael - Baltimore
    • Etz Chaim - Toronto
    • The Academy - Chicago
    • Yavneh Hebrew Academy - Los Angeles
    • Ohr Eliyahu - Los Angeles
    • Kushner Academy - Livingston
    • The Ulpana - Toronto
    • JEC - Elizabeth
    • Torah Day School Atlanta
    • Temima High School - Atlanta
    • AJA - Atlanta
    • London School for Jewish Studies
    • Beth Jacob Grammar School - London
    • Menorah High School for Girls - London
    • Derech Etz Chaim - Jerusalem
    • Skokie Yeshiva - Chicago
    • Ida Crown - Chicago
    • Arie Crown - Chicago
    • Kollel Torah Mitzion - Chicago
    • Hillel Yeshiva - Deal
    • Moreshet Yehoshua - Lakewood
    • Keter Torah - Lakewood
    • Hillel Academy - Pittsburgh
    • Mesivta High School - McKeesport
    • Maimonides - Boston
    • La Jolla Country Day School
    • Or Hachayim - Toronto
    • YULA - Los Angeles
    • Torah Day School of Atlanta
    • Ohr Boruch, Veitzener Cheder - Chicago
    • Lubavitch Cheder - Chicago
    • Akiba Shechter - Chicago
    • Hillel Torah - Chicago
    • Joan Dachs - Chicago
    • JCFS Yeshiva - Chicago
    • Weinbaum Yeshiva High - Boca Raton
    • Yeshivat Hakotel - Jerusalem
    • Flatbush Yeshiva - New York
    • Ohr Yisrael Yeshiva - Atlanta
  • Community
    The TOARCH program has been a hit at community events in Carlsbad, Coronado, La Jolla, San Diego, Baltimore, and Chicago. One of the most exciting programs to date, were sessions at the Leichtag Ranch Hub in Encinitas, and with Leichtag Foundation director Jim Farley. In addition to JCC events, we’ve also been welcomed at the Centre for Jewish Culture (CJC) in San Diego County, and the Centre for Jewish Education (CJE) in Baltimore - one of our core sponsors for TOARCH ’12 Baltimore.
  • Synagogues
    The central TOARCH program has been our Torah & Archaeology Shabbaton. The first event was held at KINS (Knesset Israel Nusach Sefard) in Chicago in 2012. Last year (2013) the program was run at Ner Tamid in Baltimore. Rabbi Yisrael Motzen was quick to open his synagogue to us, and hosted the program with great care and professionalism. And in 2014, the program was run at Beth Jacob of San Diego. Our thanks go out to rabbis Leonard Matanky, Yaacov Motzen, and Avram Bogopulsky. A special shout out and thank you goes to Rabbi Pinny Roth in San Diego who opened his home and his friendship to our team. It really meant a lot to us.

    On the youth level, we’re thrilled to be able to work with organizations like NCSY. In Baltimore and San Diego we’ve participated in programming during Shabbat and the week for high school students, such as “Latte and Learning,” Shabbatonim, and public school programs.
    Beth Jacob Congregation - Beverly Hills
    KINS - Chicago
    Mikor Chaim - Skokie
    Yavne Kehilla - Los Angeles
    Etz Chaim Congregation - Jacksonville, FL
    Beth Jacob - Atlanta
    The Kehilla - Sandy Springs, GA
    Congregation Ariel - Dunwoody, GA
    Beth Jacob Congregation - Irvine
    Chovevei Tzion - Skokie
    Beth Jacob Congregation - San Diego
    Beth Avraham Yaacov of Toronto
Would you like to help Foundation Stone? All contributions - checks, cash, even the PayPal link are recognised 501c3 charitable contributions by the IRS. If you prefer to send a check our snail mail is:
Foundation Stone
c/o SRI - attn: Harold Schertz
252 Madison Avenue #608
New York, NY 10017