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August 15-28, 2016

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Beit Midrash in Israel

We are actively working to expand our programming in Israel. This fall, we will have our first full-time Elul program in Jerusalem (September 11-28, 2016). Click here for information on the Elul program in Hebrew.

Flyer Elul

Drisha’s Beit Midrash in Israel will be entering its fourth session this summer. A group of Israeli students from across the spectrum of Israeli life participate in the intensive two week program of study situated in Yemin Orde, a visionary youth village in northern Israel. The Beit Midrash integrates immersive learning of Jewish texts with an exploration of critical social issues, and participants are challenged to bring insights from their learning into the work that they do in their home communities throughout the year.

Click here for information on the summer program in Hebrew.

Drisha’s Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde will take place this summer on August 15-28, 2016.

This summer’s Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde will focus on the first chapters of Tractate Sotah and will touch on different issues that arise from the text, including doubt, jealousy, anger, trust and reconciliation. In addition to Gemara, the program will include classes in Tanakh, Chassidut, and Midrash, as well as open discussion around current social issues.

This summer’s faculty includes Rabbi David Silber, Dr. Devora Steinmetz, Bili Rabenstien, and Ben-Zion Ovadia, as well as guest teachers.

The Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde is an intensive program. The daily schedule includes preparation for prayer, participation in three prayers a day or an alternative to prayer option for those who do not pray. There is daily seder and class in Gemara, as well as classes and workshops in the afternoons and evening.

The program includes meals and lodging in Yemin Orde.

Participants will be expected to do a projects in their communities during the year following the program.

Participants will receive a stipend, conditional on participation in all aspects of the program.

Application Process:

The application to the Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde is a two step process. The first step is filling out the written application. The second step is an interview with Drisha staff.

Written applications will be accepted until July 16; Interviews will take place in the second half of July. Acceptances will be given at the end of July. Click here to apply for Drisha’s Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde.

With questions, please be in touch with Beruria Steinmetz-Silber, coordinator of Drisha’s Israel Programs: beruriadrisha@gmail.com


Description of Previous Summers in Yemin Orde:

Yemin Orde 19Drisha’s Beit Midrash in Yemin Orde Youth village is buzzing with over 30 participants learning the third perek of shvuot and other texts. Ranging in age from 22-32, and from diverse backgrounds religiously and geographically, the participants are discussing oaths, speech that obligates, and truth…The group  will also be meeting with the staff of the youth village and participate in shared activities and learning with the young members of Yemin Orde who are in the village this summer.

Yemin Orde 8In the summer of 2013, we welcomed a group of 26 Israeli students from across the spectrum of Israeli life to Drisha’s pilot program in Israel. Our intensive two-week program of study was situated in Yemin Orde, a visionary youth village in northern Israel led by our colleague, Dr. Benny Fisher. The village serves as the temporary home for 400 students from different nationalities who come from difficult backgrounds.

Israel program- walkingYemin Orde was not merely a convenient home for our beit midrash. Yemin Orde provided a setting for us to engage with our goals of integrating serious learning of Jewish texts with exploring critical social issues and engaging with the work of the youth village.


The purpose of this cluster of experiences was to spark an inquiry into the connection between learning Torah and doing good work.

Israel program- around tablesEach day began early in the morning with hachana l’tefilla (mindful preparation for prayer) followed by a choice of minyanim or an alternative to prayer, continued with traditional Talmud study and classes in Tanakhaggadah, and chassidut as well as discussions with Yemin Orde staff and outside guests about critical social issues in Israel, and culminated in ma’ariv followed by a late-night sicha (conversation) or student-led learning. In addition, participants interacted with the youth at Yemin Orde in both formal programs and informal conversations and activities.
Israel program- learning outside 2On the final evening of song and reflection, participants spoke about the honesty and intensity of the Torah learning that they had experienced, the openness that they had developed toward each other and toward expressions of Judaism and modes of tefilla different from their own, and the reinvigoration of their commitment to serve others and to form communities of meaningful study and service.


“There were many things that were actually voiced out loud that had been in my thoughts. I feel that now, I am more open to truly hear. I have a different way of looking at the person who is next to me. I believe that this is a gift that I will have for my entire life.”
“It is impossible that love will not lead to obligation and obligation will not lead to love… and that is what I felt here.”