Beit Midrash in Israel
July 30, 2019 – August 13, 2019 in Yemin Orde
Drisha’s Beit Midrash in Israel is an intensive, two week program of study. A group of Israeli students, ages 22-28, from across the spectrum of Israeli life for Israeli students, gather together to form a serious learning community. 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.
The program includes meals and lodging.
Participants will receive a stipend, conditional on participation in all aspects of the program.
Each day begins early in the morning with hachana l’tefilla (mindful preparation for prayer) followed by a choice of minyanim or an alternative to prayer. The morning is dedicated to traditional Talmud study. Afternoons are comprised of classes in Tanakh, aggadah, and chassidut as well as group discussions with program staff and outside guests about critical social issues in Israel. After ma’ariv, participants take part in chaburot led by students and faculty, often followed by a late night sicha (conversation) or singing.
The application to the Beit Midrash in Israel is a two step process. The first step is filling out the written application. Relevant applicants will be invited to an interview with Drisha staff.
For more information contact Beruria Steinmetz-Silber, coordinator of Drisha’s Summer Beit Midrash in Israel: [email protected]
Description of Previous Summers in Yemin Orde:
Drisha’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.
In 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.
Yemin 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.
Each 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 Tanakh, aggadah, 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.
On 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.