Program details

Our program offers five weeks of immersive and intensive textual study centered around classical Talmud study combined with fun camp activities like bonfires, swimming, arts and field trips. Students with extensive Talmud skills are pushed to new heights and beginners grow foundational skills rapidly under the guidance of an expert all-female faculty.


High school-aged girls from across the world.


The Labadorf center in West Milford, NJ.


June 25th - July 25th, 2024

Program Summary

A summer of immersive Torah learning (and fun!) featuring Gemara morning seder, experiential learning, arts, campy fun, expert (mostly female) faculty, classes in Tanakh, Halakha & Machshava.

Meet the faculty

Rabbanit Leah Sarna is the Director of High School Programs at Drisha. She previously served as Director of Religious Engagement at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago, a leading urban Orthodox congregation.

She was ordained at Yeshivat Maharat in 2018, holds a BA from Yale University in Philosophy & Psychology, and also trained at the SKA Beit Midrash for Women at Migdal Oz, Drisha and the Center for Modern Torah Leadership. Rabbanit Sarna’s published works have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Lehrhaus and MyJewishLearning.

She has lectured in Orthodox synagogues and Jewish communal settings around the world and loves spreading her warm, energetic love for Torah and Mitzvot with Jews in all stages of life.

Alexandra “Zan” Alhadeff
Alexandra “Zan” Alhadeff

Alexandra “Zan” Alhadeff is the Assistant Director of Drisha’s Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program for Girls. Before she began full-time learning, Zan had a successful career as a transportation planning consultant in Seattle, WA and Silver Spring, MD. Zan has learned at Yeshivat Hadar, the Drisha Summer Kollel and the Beit Midrash Program (2019, 2022-2023). Zan also teaches Hebrew school at a local synagogue and is the Assistant Director of the Drisha High School Summer Program. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing singing, writing, and hiking. Zan lives with her husband in Riverdale, NYC.

Victoria Sutton teaches Judaic studies at the Heschel School. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Berkeley. She was ordained through Yeshivat Maharat in 2014. A graduate of Barnard College, with a BA in Biological Sciences, she also holds a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute. Victoria sat on the board of Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay and prior to stepping into a clergy role, Victoria was involved with community organizations in New York City focusing on homelessness, literacy, sexual assault and domestic violence.
Rabbi Atara Cohen
Rabbi Atara Cohen
Rav Atara Cohen is the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at the DC JCC. Previously, she taught Judaics at The Heschel Middle School teacher and served as the Base MNHTN Rabbinic Field fellow, welcoming young professional Jews to engage in Jewish life. She received semikha from Yeshivat Maharat and has studied Torah in a variety of settings, including Midreshet Nishmat, Hadar, Drisha and a BA in religion at Princeton University. During rabbinical school, she focused on human rights and pastoral care through various fellowships and internships. She’s a novice runner, an avid knitter, and a vegetarian recipe innovator.
Rabbanit Meira Wolkenfeld
Rabbanit Meira Wolkenfeld

Rabbanit Meira’s doctorate in Talmud from Yeshiva University deals with scent and the sense of smell in the world of the Babylonian Talmud – like how might it have felt or smelled to walk down the streets of Mahoza or Pumbedita. Meira is also a graduate of GPATS and a student in Yeshivat Maharat’s Adanced Kollel Executive Ordination Track. She is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley, CA.

Daphna Nizan
Daphna Nizan

Daphna Nizan is part of the Talmud Faculty at the Dr. Beth Samuels Summer High School Program for Girls. She is also the Overseas Program Coordinator at Yeshivat Drisha. She holds a BA in Tanach, Talmud, and Jewish Art, as well as an MA in Talmud and teaching certification from Bar Ilan University. She has worked for the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education and taught in MMY, TVA, the Drisha high school summer program, and the Hartman high school for girls, as well as for many summers in Camp Moshava. She has studied in Midreshet Lindenbaum, Matan, and is a graduate of the Advanced Gemara Program in Migdal Oz, in addition to studying in their halacha program for three years. She is currently learning at and coordinating the Overseas Shana Alef Program at the Yeshiva.



At Drisha, we view Tefillah as a core feature of every learning environment. Over the course of the summer, our students will experiment with different ways of connecting to the siddur, through communal Tefillah in our Beit Midrash, individual Tefillah in nature, song, meditation, journaling, text study and more.

Morning Seder

Two and a half hours each morning are divided up into chavruta time and class time as students study yeshiva-style Talmud and commentators under the guidance of master educators. These classes are divided up by level and learning style, ensuring that all students are in environments where they will grow. Morning seder is the heart of our program, offering high school students unparalleled Talmud immersion.


In these fast-paced courses, students will complete either a short tractate of the Talmud or a book of Nakh over the course of our program. Bekiut style learning prizes breadth over depth, so students are exposed to a wide array of concepts and ideas. This style of learning gives students a rewarding sense of accomplishment in their learning and is also a skillset useful for gaining a wide perspective on the Jewish library.

Afternoon Electives

Each week students are offered a different set of electives on topics of Tanakh, Midrash, Halakhah and Jewish History with some of Drisha’s most beloved faculty and experts in the field. The Afternoon Elective program makes each week different from the last and also exposes our students to a wide variety of topics and faculty. Previous electives have included:The Critique of the Temple in the Prophets; It’s Not Just Talmud! Exploring the Midrash on Mitzvat Lulav; Jacob & Israel; Mourning Loss, Finding Meaning in Destruction; Preparing for Tisha B’av – A Look At The Biblical Narrative; Autobiographical Torah ; Elisha ben Abuyah: The High Road to Heresy; Being a Good Person: Halakha and Ethics

Drisha v'Chakira

Two nights a week, students are given the opportunity to try their hand at Torah research and writing. Each student selects a question, and her research and writing is guided by her own interests and supported by faculty and staff. In prior years, students have explored abortion in Jewish law, the relationship between Joseph and his brothers, playing organized sports on Shabbat, Jewish weddings, Spanish-Portuguese customs and more.

Debate Midrash

On Thursday nights, students gather in the Beit Midrash and hold a public debate. The proposition is determined by a faculty member who also furnishes source material. Students speak for three minutes each, either in favor of or against the proposition. For many students, this is their first experience with extemporaneous speaking or public debate, and our program’s supportive atmosphere provides a gentle and empowering entry to this life-skill. The Debate Midrash concludes with a vote on the proposition.

Camp Activities

In the early afternoon, after a leisurely lunch and break, we take advantage of our camp environment, go outside and get active. Afternoon activities include options like gaga, swimming, archery, kickball, a water fight or ropes course.

Optional Late Nights

Following our night time educational programming, students have free time until curfew. The Madrichot organize fun optional activities at these times like improv activities, flashlight tag, bonfires, talent shows, paint nights and more. Students also use this time for continued independent learning in the Beit Midrash.


Shabbat preparations begin Thursday night with challah baking, Mishmar and a late night tisch. On Friday, in addition to regular classes, we prepare our space for Shabbat: constructing our eruv, decorating our space, setting the tables and writing shabbat-o-grams. Shabbat begins with students reading Song of Songs and a gorgeous student-led Kabbalat Shabbat. Dinner is accompanied by a Dvar Torah and followed by a student-led tisch. Shabbat morning features communal Tefillah, a shiur at Kiddush, and free time before lunch. The long summer afternoon has plenty of time for rest, affinity group meetings and more learning opportunities before and after Seudah Shlishit.

Program application

To apply to the Dr. Beth Samuels Drisha Summer High School Program, students submit applications as well as two reference forms from teachers. Qualified applicants will be invited to interview with the program director. Applications are due March 15th, 2024 and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received after March 15th will be considered as space allows.

Contact us

Contact us at or use the general contact form.

What’s next?

If you are looking for more learning opportunities beyond the high school program, check out our year-round courses tailored to high school girls.

High School Program participant
High School Program participant
High School Program participant
High School Program participant
"I just had an incredible experience... the people are like no other you will ever meet: from the teachers to the madrichot, to the students themselves — everyone supports each other endlessly, and takes joy in one another’s success."
"This last month has truly been an incredible experience. I feel like I've grown a lot, and learned so much from all of my teachers, madrichot, and peers. The community we built here is so beautiful, and has shown me that it is possible to exist in a space that both values Judaism immensely and also holds values that align with mine."
"It was absolutely amazing. I learned new skills and enhanced the ones I had, I loved the intellectual conversations and debates"
"We were given space to explore ideas from the mishnah, gemara, and rishonim on our own, and it was gratifying to figure out complex parts of the talmud in chavruta or in shiur."