Debate contemporary cases using Jewish legal wisdom.

Develop ethical arguments grounded in Jewish wisdom.

Our competitions are structured around a detailed case alongside a curated sourcebook of traditional and modern Jewish texts. Teams develop arguments using the provided source material to address the questions presented in the case. Cases in recent years have addressed timely issues including medical ethics, #MeToo, and artificial intelligence.


Powered by the Hadar Institute and supported by Maimonides Fund, the competition offers students the opportunity to present their arguments in front of a panel of expert judges. Our aim is to inspire rigorous ethical debate rooted in Jewish legal wisdom, providing students an international stage to engage the most significant challenges of our time.


The Maimonides Moot Court High School Competition occurs over a thrilling weekend. Beginning with an inspirational shabbaton and culminating in a spirited competition, the experience brings an international cohort of students together into a shared conversation rooted in the intensive study of Jewish ethics.

We offer students an empowering look at the inner workings of Jewish legal tradition. In the months leading up to the competition, students are provided a detailed case involving a contemporary ethical quandary and a sourcebook of relevant Jewish texts. Following a shabbat celebrated in community, students debate their rulings in front of a panel of expert judges.

Jewish scholarship has always involved vigorous minds engaged in lively debate. We model this dynamic process on an international stage, demonstrating to students how Jewish wisdom can span cultures, geography, and time, to offer unique insight into the most complex questions of today. Through a deep engagement with the sources, we aim to inspire the development of ethical leadership skills rooted in the timeless wisdom of Jewish texts.

Maimonides Moot Court Competition staff

Aliza Abolafia, Associate Director of Teen Empowerment

Aliza Abolafia is the Associate Director of Teen Empowerment at Hadar where she works with Jewish teens to deepen and develop their religious and spiritual lives. Aliza holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and spent two years learning full time as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, experiences that have deepened her commitment to the transformative and affirming power of sacred text. Aliza serves as mashgihah ruhanit (spiritual advisor) at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, NH and as Spiritual Leader of the Havurah Minyan of the Capital District in Albany, NY. A life-long learner as well as an educator, Aliza is passionate about leading spiritually impactful Jewish experiences for all ages.

Mara Braunfeld, Senior Director of Children and Families

Mara Braunfeld is a Jewish Educator with over 15 years of experience creating community, building relationships, and bringing innovative leadership to progressive and pluralistic Jewish settings. She earned a B.A. from Brandeis University and a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Previously, she worked at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY, at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, and at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, NY. Mara, her husband Daniel, and their three amazing children live in Manhattan.

Yitzhak Bronstein, Director of Maimonides Moot Court Competition

Yitzhak is the director of Maimonides Moot Court Competition, overseeing all educational content and student programming. Previously he served in Chicago as the Senior Regional Jewish Educator for Moishe House, working with young adult leaders to strengthen educational experiences in their peer-led communities. He is an alumnus of the FASPE Ethics Fellowship (Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) and the M² Senior Educators Cohort. Originally from New York, Yitzhak has studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School, Yeshiva University, and Yeshivat Har Etzion.

Dani Carrus, National Program Associate

Dani Carrus is Hadar’s National Program Associate. Prior to joining Hadar, Dani worked at a plethora of Jewish institutions, doing both formal and experiential Jewish education, including seven summers at Ramah New England and nine years teaching General Studies and Judaics at the Maimonides School. She holds both her MA and BA from Brandeis University. Originally from a small town in New Hampshire, Dani now calls the Boston area her home.

Julia Chatinover, Associate Director of Programs

Julia Chatinover is the Associate Director of Programs at Hadar. Prior to joining Hadar, Julia spent 6 years creating joyful Jewish experiences as the assistant director of Camp Ramah in the Rockies. During her time at Ramah, she participated in the Foundation for Jewish Camp Yitro Leadership Program. She earned a BA in Earth Science from Columbia University, and a BA in Talmud & Rabbinics from JTS List College. After college, Julia was also a fellow in Hadar’s year-long Yeshiva. Originally from Seattle, Julia lives in Boston and is spending the 2021-22 academic year in Jerusalem.

Advisory Board

Coming soon

Explore our cases and sourcebooks

In preparation for our annual competitions, students are provided a detailed case which engages a contemporary ethical issue. Our sourcebooks contain curated texts spanning the full breadth of Jewish tradition; ancient and medieval texts are juxtaposed with modern perspectives from our present moment. A strong argument will engage these sources and bring them into conversation with each other.



Privacy in the Digital Age - 2024 Sourcebook

This year’s case challenges students to explore how traditional Jewish laws and ethical teachings on the nature of privacy rights can be applied in the digital age. In particular, participants will determine whether there should be limits
in place regarding the types of data that social media platforms can collect from their users, and for what purposes.

Business Competition in the Age of AI - 2023 Sourcebook

This case explores whether Jewish law recognizes the rights of workers to prevent their jobs from being displaced by AI. In particular, should a city government protect local taxi drivers by banning or regulating a corporation with a self-driving taxi fleet? Or should the lower prices and added convenience of the self-driving fleet be embraced?

Shaming on Social Media - 2022 Sourcebook (High School)

Framed around a contested social media page, the case challenges students to explore how Jewish laws around speech and shaming can be applied to a modern context. The case poses the following question: is online shaming permissible for a greater cause?

Beyond the Box - 2021 Sourcebook

The 2021 case addresses a crucial question of human rights and criminal justice: what are the rights of an individual who has been convicted of a crime and has served their punishment? Students will evaluate the “Beyond the Box” initiative, which encourages universities not to inquire about the criminal histories of applicants during the admissions process.

Tainted Money - 2020 Sourcebook

A group of student climate activists struggling financially is approached by a donor who allegedly profited from human rights abuses at a detention center for asylum seekers. How should the student activists respond?

Additional Helpful Resources

General FAQSCollegiate FAQSHigh School FAQS

Who are typical Maimonides Moot Court Competition participants?

We design our programs to be meaningful for Jewish students of all backgrounds, irrespective of previous experience with studying Jewish texts. Because our participants come from such a wide range of backgrounds, there is no “typical” MMCC participant.

Can I participate without having previous experience with Jewish law or Jewish text study?

Yes! Participants are provided a sourcebook with all of the materials needed to compete. All texts are included in their original language alongside an English translation.

How do you choose the topic for each year's case?

Each case challenges students to explore a high stakes ethical question. In recent years our cases have addressed a diverse range of issues including artificial intelligence,social media, criminal justice, and medical ethics.

I've never done a public speaking competition. Is this still something I can do?

Absolutely! For many participants, this moot court experience is their first public speaking competition.

What type of Shabbat experience can I expect?

We design our programming for students of all backgrounds in mind. We offer a pluralistic Shabbat experience that accommodates a wide range of Jewish practices in strict accordance with halakhah. Please be in touch if you have any concerns.

Who can I speak to for more information?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Yitzhak Bronstein ( with any questions about participating.

Can I register without teammates in mind?

Yes! Students can register individually, or as part of a team. Whether you have a team in mind or would like to have us match you with teammates, all students must apply individually.

How many students are on a team?

Teams consist of 3-4 students.

What is the conference structure?

Over the course of a weekend, participants enjoy conversations led by prominent guest speakers, small group activities, and social programming, all of which occurs in an immersive Shabbat environment.  The competition takes place on Sunday morning.

What is the structure of the competition?

Each team’s presentation will have three components (20 minutes total).
(1) An initial Oral Argument of up to 10 minutes.
(2) Questions from the judge panel and peer teams.
(3) Closing statement

Can I use secular sources in my argument?

Yes! While arguments should be primarily rooted in Jewish sources, you are welcome to introduce secular texts to strengthen your argument.

Can I use Jewish sources not provided in the source sheets?

Yes, definitely!

How are teams scored?

The judging rubric scores five criteria:
(1) Strength of argument
(2) Mastery of sources
(3) Originality and creativity
(4) Organization and clarity
(5) Quality of responses to questioning

Which campuses have participated in the competition?

Since the collegiate competition launched in 2018, we have welcomed students from several dozen campuses throughout North America and beyond. We are excited for an even larger expansion in the coming year.

Who can I speak to for more information?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Yitzhak Bronstein ( with any questions about participating.

Who is eligible to participate in the MMCC High School competition?

We design our programs to be meaningful for Jewish students of all backgrounds, irrespective of previous experience with studying Jewish texts. All high school students are welcome to participate.

What types of organizations send teams?

Schools, synagogues, youth movements, JCCs, camps, and other organizations are all welcome to participate in the shabbaton and competition.

When and where will the MMCC high school competition take place?

The Shabbaton will take place from April 4-7, 2024 in Westchester county, New York. The competition will take place on April 7, 2024.

How can I prepare for the competition if my school does not participate?

We offer a range of virtual and in-person learning opportunities. Please email for the latest information.

How many students compete on each team?

Teams typically have 3-4 students.

What is the structure of the competition weekend?

Programming begins on Thursday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon. The first three days are dedicated to community building, learning sessions, preparing for the competition, and celebrating Shabbat. The competition takes place on Sunday morning.

Will there be an option to participate in the competition virtually?

We strongly encourage students to participate in person. Depending on need and interest level, there may also be a possibility of competing virtually.

When is the application deadline for the 2024 competition?

The deadline to register is October 13, 2023.

What is the shabbat experience like?

Shabbat is a highlight of the experience! As a pluralistic program, we welcome students from a wide range of backgrounds and schools for an incredible shabbat spent in community together.

All meals served will be fully certified Kosher (OU), and all programming is in accordance with halakhah at all times. Multiple options are provided for prayer spaces to ensure there are appropriate options for everyone.

Who can I speak to for more information?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Yitzhak Bronstein ( with any questions about participating.

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