Course Descriptions

 

Advanced Gemara Bava Metzia

Rabbi Yossi Goldin

In this course, we will uncover the world of Gemara in a new light- beginning with a discussion of the place of Gemara within the Oral law. From there, we explore the structure of the Gemara and its major components and commentaries. Finally, we will focus our attention to a particular text within Masechet Bava Metzia- the 1st perek, a text that deals with the concept of ownership in Jewish thought. Our learning together will include both the practical reading of the text as well as discussions regarding the conceptual underpinnings of the various opinions. Through all of this, we will gain a greater appreciation for the corpus of Oral Law.

 

A Journey Through The Mitzvot

Mrs. Shira Melamed

 This course is meant to introduce you to the reasons and philosophical underpinnings of many mitzvoth that we do on a daily and weekly basis.  During each class, a different mitzvah or custom will be introduced, and the class will explore the various reasons and logic behind the mitzvah/custom. Through this meaningful discussion and exploration, the students will come to better understand and appreciate the laws and customs that they observe on a daily basis.  

 

Beginners Gemara

Rav Baruch Felberman

Have you ever wanted to learn Gemara but never had the opportunity? Do you remember learning Gemara when you were younger, but not for years since then? This class will introduce you to the incredible world of Gemara study. You will learn about the history and development of Gemara- as well as the makeup of the page of Gemara and its commentaries. From there you will delve into the Gemara text itself- and uncover a world of depth you never knew existed.

 

Agadot HaTalmud

Rav Aviad Sanders

The Talmud, aside from being one of the most important Halachic works in Judaism, also contains many fascinating and thought provoking stories, otherwise known as “aggada”. In this course we will explore many stories found in the Talmud- and through them we will learn the spiritual message and the hashkafic message that these aggadot are trying to teach us.

 

Connecting: Pathways in Avodat Hashem

Rabbi Baruch Felberman

Relationships are important to us. Whether it is our family or friends or even how we are affected by experiences, events and activities. Of most importance is our relationship with Hashem. So much so, that the Zohar labels the 613 mitzvot as ‘advices’ for protecting and nurturing our relationship with the Holy One.  In this course, we will define positive attitudes and perspectives on areas of Avodat Hashem, midot development, our relating to Shabbat and Holidays and in general, our relationship building with HKB”H.

 

Derech HaShem

Rabbi Shmuel Veffer

In this course, we will aim to present the foundational principles of Jewish Theology according to the classic text by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. Through our in-depth interactive discussions of the text you will be encouraged to develop your own personal Torah world-view and gain the tools to answer major theological questions like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, “What happens when we die?” “Isn’t it enough just to be a good person, why do we need so many mitzvot?”, “How do our prayers affect God?”  Our focus will be on empowering the students with the main principles of Torah Judaism including the Jewish definition of God, Purpose of Creation, Purpose of Mankind, The Spritual Realm, Divine Providence, Prayer and Prophecy, and the Purpose of Mitzvot.

 

Famous Jewish Letters

Rav Johnny Solomon

Letters can offer a unique glimpse of the individual letter writer, and the historical context when the letter was written. But letters can also contain profound wisdom, inspiring messages, and expressions of love and hope. Over the years, famous Jewish personalities have written to families and friends containing timeless wisdom. The Ramban, for example, wrote a letter to his son in which he included valuable advice about how to maintain a religious lifestyle. Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner once wrote a letter to a student which helped him understand that success often occurs after many failures. In this course, we will read some ‘Famous Jewish Letters’ from great Jewish personalities, we will reflect on the wisdom that these letters contain, and we will consider how we can incorporate some timeless lessons that are encrypted in them.

 

Finding Yourself in Sefer Bereishit

Rabbi Baruch Felberman

Often Midrash and classical commentators use their strong textual reading skills to assist them in drawing their conclusions of a given text. Using the Chumash text as a base, this class trains you to ask the right questions and develop your own textual reading skills, so that you as well can be a keen reader of any segment of Chumash. Thus, one of our goals will also be to develop within you the tools to write your own divrei Torah. Concurrently, we will also be exposed to many soaring ideas that lift off from the pages of the Chumash.

 

Growing your Emunah through Tehillim

Mrs. Donna Solomon

In this course we will learn how to develop our Emunah through the use of Tehillim in our daily lives. We will study portions from Tehillim and learn  how David HaMelech responded to the many challenges he faced. From here we will consider how we too can face life’s challenges. Finally, we will look at Tehillim as a tool for connectivity for the individual and for the klal.

 

Growth Through Chessed

Mrs. Shira Melamed

This course is meant to accompany and provide a framework for the afternoon “Field Work” that our students do each afternoon with the children of Bet Elazraki. Firstly, it will give the students an opportunity to process their work with the children and to share any challenges, frustrations, and highlights- and to think about this work within their own lives and experiences. Secondly, they will learn important foundational concepts in Jewish thought and social work regarding the world of interpersonal relations – to arm them with the skills and knowledge to excel in their work with the children.

 

Ha’Isha V’HaMitzvoth

Mrs. Ellie Ausubel

In this course, we will explore various areas of Halacha and Minhag relevant to the 21st century woman. We will trace the development from the Biblical and Talmudic sources to modern day Poskim. We will note when societal changes are taken into account and reflected in the Halacha and when they are not. Through our analysis, we will come to understand the basis for different viewpoints and deepen our appreciation of halachik practice.

 

Hilchot Brachot

Rabbi Barak Shloush

When we have the opportunity to bless our Creator, we display hakarat hatov and instill within ourselves a profound love for Hashem. What better way to work on our Avodat Hashem than to develop a more meaningful and extensive knowledge and understanding of the laws of Brachot.  In this course, students will learn many of the laws of Brachot, attaining a better grasp of conceptual halachic principles as well as how to use these tenets in their everyday life.

 

Hilchot Shabbat

Rav Yossi Goldin, Rav Barak Shloush

In this course, we will explore many parts the Laws of Shabbat- from both a conceptual and practical perspective. We will begin with an introductory series on philosophical and hashkafic ideas related to the various categories of the Laws of Shabbat and explore the reasons behind them. We will then explore the positive mitzvoth of Shabbat, beginning from a conceptual perspective and moving to the practical laws. From there, will be study many of the 39 Melachot, with a special focus on the laws of cooking on Shabbat.

 

Holocaust Studies

Rav Johnny Solomon 

In order to remember something you need to learn about it and since every Jew must bear witness about the Holocaust, every Jew is duty-bound to learn about the Holocaust. In this course we will learn about the vibrant Jewish communities in pre-war Europe, the antisemitism in pre-war Nazi Germany, and the attempt to wipe out the Jewish people through the Final Solution. Though we will spend some time learning about the killing machine of Nazi Germany, we will also hear stories of spiritual heroism during the war, and while this course is about learning from the past, it is also learning for the future. Please note, this is a year-long course.

 

Jewish Life-Cycles

Ms. Alexis Levy

The aim of the course is to add meaning to the major life-cycle events and ceremonies in Judaism. Why do we perform Brit Milah when a boy is eight-days old? Why is Pidyon Haben only for boys? What is included in the obligation to educate children? Why does the kalla walk round the chatan seven times? Through an analysis of a wide variety of sources, we will explore the reasons, halachot and minhagim of the highlights of Jewish life from birth to death.

 

Jewish Moral Dilemmas

Rabbi Johnny Solomon

In this course we will learn how Jewish teachings found in the Talmud can be applied to the complex moral dilemmas that we face in the modern world. We will explore a number of fascinating topics including concerning Medical Ethics, War Ethics and Animal Rights issues and discuss how contemporary Rabbis are able to apply ancient texts to modern moral dilemmas.

 

Maagal Hashana (Easy Hebrew)

Mrs. Emuna Rosensveig

In this class we will follow the Jewish calendar, and explore and discuss beautiful lessons connected to the time of year in which we find ourselves. Every Jewish holiday, month, and season throughout the year has something wonderful to teach us- if we only make time to open our eyes, minds and hearts.

 

Nach Bekiyut                                                                      

Ms. Alexis Levy

The book of Nach details the travels of the Jewish people from their entry into the Land of Israel through the creation, and ultimate destruction, of the two Temples in Jerusalem. This course enables students to “cover ground” in their study of these stories. This course will have two aspects. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the content of Nach through an independent, structured and supervised study program. A set number of perakim will be scheduled to be learnt each week enabling the students to continue their learning outside the walls of the Bet Midrash. In addition, this will be complemented by a weekly shiur which will focus on an important and thought-provoking topic from the perakim studied that week. This course offers the opportunity to gain familiarity with a number of books of Tanach in a fun way, sparking Torah discussion whether at home, on the bus or in the Bet Midrash.

 

Netivot Shalom on the Parsha

Mrs. Tali Wohlgelernter

Netivot Shalom, authored by the Slonimer Rebbe, is one of the most popular and well known Chassidic commentaries on the parsha- as classic Chassidic concepts are interwoven with unique and original insights on the Parsha, to create a wonderful commentary on the weekly parsha. In this class, we will explore the weekly Torah portion using text from this incredible commentary, gaining a unique Chassic perspective and enriching our understanding of the Parsha.

 

Parshat Hashavua- Discovering the Deeper Story 

Mrs. Esther Farkovits                                                                            

In our class we will delve into the timeless wisdom of the Torah by dissecting and analyzing various themes in our weekly Parsha. Our journey will begin with a simple reading of a particular section of the Parsha- looking for questions, similarities and/or contradictions. We will then explore various theories and texts to help elucidate and uncover the deeper messages coursing beneath the text- together gaining a more profound appreciation for the depth and beauty of the Torah Text.

 

Pirkei Avot

Rabbi Baruch Felberman

…..not just stories! Pirkei Avot has garnered a traditional popularity based on its usage as an easy springboard to life’s stories. However, it also contains Chazal’s wisdom and perspectives on many religious, ethical and very practical issues of life. In fact, we will partake in a fascinating exploration of these sayings if pay attention not only to ‘what’ has been written, but also to ‘how’ it has been written. Studying this Sefer is not just a series of adages and stories- but rather an essential aid in building a way of life.

 

Sefer Shmuel- A Fresh Look at a Familiar Sefer

Ms. Alexis Levy

Join us on an exciting journey as we take a fresh look at Sefer Shmuel. Through an in-depth analysis of the pesukim, we will seek to uncover the main ideas, themes and messages of this pivotal sefer. We will delve into the intricacies of the sefer and accompany our study of the text with sources from the Talmud, Mefarshim, Midrashim and other Sefarim in Tanach. As we follow the transition from the rule of the judges to that of the kings, we will delve into the complex personalities involved and reveal the lessons which are still relevant  today, thousands of years later. This thought-provoking and thrilling journey will not only reveal the greatness of our nation’s leaders but also enable us to apply our discoveries to our own lives.

 

Sefer Mishlei

Mrs. Shira Melamed

The book of Mishlei, written by Shlomo Hamelech, is the beautifully composed book of the Jewish philosophy of life. This work expresses the authentic Torah understanding of the proper conduct, personal attributes and attitudes that a Jew must strive to possess in order to achieve the midot that we all strive for and value as important; integrity, peace and contentment, and more. Our midot are our essence, and it is through this sefer that we will learn how to commit to strengthen them.

 

Tefillah- Talking to Our Creator

Mrs. Esther Farkovits

In this course, we will explore and define parts of shacharit as a journey, a journey that will hopefully carry us up the “ladder of tefillah” into a state of awe and love for HaShem. We will try to become aware of the gift called tefillah and to understand how to use this gift and to begin appreciating its beauty and meaning. We will also discuss, and try to resolve, some philosophical questions regarding tefillah, such as “why can’t I just speak to Hashem in my own words?” or “Why pray when I don’t understand what I’m saying…?”. Ultimately, this is all for the grand purpose of forming a real and consistent relationship with our Creator through the act of tefillah. We will start with the Modeh Ani and continue on with the brachot. Our goal is then to move on to Shema and finally the Shmona Esrei prayers.

 

Torat HaChassidut and HaRav Kook

Mrs. Tali Wohlgelernter

This course will explore core topics in Judaism such as Teshuva, Tfillah, Shabbat, and Eretz Yisrael from a new perspective. Through the study of works by various Chassidic Masters and Rav  Kook we will develop a new outlook on how to approach  these topics which are commonly discussed, but often taken for granted.

 

 Torat Eretz Yisrael (Easy Hebrew)

Mrs. Emuna Rosensveig

As you spend this year in Eretz Yisrael, this course will help you connect to the Land in an even deeper way. Using the map of Israel as a jumping point, we will revisit the stories of Sefer Bereishit and Tanach and help the stories “come alive” by learning about the actual places where these events took place. Second semester we will learn about the history of Zionism and Shivat Tzion through the establishment of the State of Israel. Though this class, you will be provided with a greater understanding of the Map of Israel, and a greater appreciation for the history and beauty of our Land and Country.

 

Ulpan (Hebrew Language)

Mrs. Naama Melamed, Mrs. Emuna Rosensveig

This course will help our students attain a greater proficiency in the Hebrew language- through work on Hebrew grammar, discussions in Hebrew, and a curriculum geared towards improving their Hebrew within the context of the Children’s Home.

In addition to the classroom hours, students will also gain “clinical” experience speaking Hebrew through their volunteer work every afternoon with Israeli children from Bet Elazraki Children’s Home. The classroom content and discussions will correspond directly with the volunteer work that the students will be doing and experiencing. Each week, instructor will assign the students exercises to be completed over the course of their time with the children.

 

Women of Inspiration- From Tanach Until Today

Mrs. Donna Solomon

In this course we will learn about great women in Jewish history spanning from the Biblical period until modern times. We will interweave our studies of these female personalities with original texts from Tanach, Midrash, commentaries, biographies, poetry and journalistic articles.

Ultimately these women played a role in the journey of the Jewish people, inspiring those around them and the narrative is there to be a source of inspiration for us today. This will be an opportunity to critically look at these women, their positive characteristics, what they were and how we use them as a guideline for our own behavior- as well as their negative characteristics, why they were written about and what they are meant to teach us.

 

Yisrael HaYom

Rabbi Shmuel Veffer

In this course, we will aim to look at current events through the prism of Torah. According to Jewish Theology, God “speaks” to us through Divine Providence both as individuals and as a People. In rare circumstances this is done through open miracles, however He is in constant contact with us through daily events in the natural world.

When events happen to the Jewish People, they are messages to us as a people and they are an opportunity for us as a nation to alter our course to our ultimate goal. In addition to discussing current events as they occur and attempting to learn lessons from them, we will also deal with contemporary issues in Israeli society.

Through our in-depth interactive discussions you will be encouraged to develop your own personal Torah world-view and gain the tools to help navigate your way through the challenges world events present to us.

 

Lunch Classes (Optional)

 

Ha’Am VehaMedina- Contemporary Issues in Israeli Society

Rav Yossi Goldin

The existence of the modern State of Israel presents the Jewish people with both amazing opportunities as well as many challenging and crucial questions.

In this course, we will discuss the existence of the State of Israel today and explore its relevance and significance to Jews today. We will springboard into important and exciting challenges and issues that arise from the modern State- and attempt to understand them from a halachic perspective. Major topics will include attitudes towards the State of Israel and its ramifications, moral issues facing the IDF, practical applications of Mitzvot hateluyot ba’aretz, and the halachic status of today’s government. Stress will be placed on learning and appreciating the various approaches to each issue, and to understanding the halachic and hashkafic underpinnings of each opinion.

 

Middot- Step by Step

Mrs. Donna Solomon

This lunchtime learning session will be based around Rabbi Dovid Weinberger’s “Step By Step” book, we will read and discuss and most importantly reflect. In each session we will explore a different middah (character trait) and examine how we can improve our commitment to that particular middah.

 

The Thought of Rav Soloveitchik

Ms. Alexis Levy

This course seeks to expose students to one of the most influential personalities in Modern Orthodoxy. As we will delve into the complex thought of Rav Soloveitchik, we will seek to discover answers to a number of questions – what are we tasked with achieving in our lives? How do we connect to G-d? What is the purpose of prayer? How do we relate to the State of Israel? Through studying a range of his literature, we will experience first-hand the complexities of forming a weltanschauung with students being challenged to consider and develop their own approaches to life.

 

Sefer Kuzari

Interested in developing your understanding of fundamental Jewish principles? Enjoy stimulating discussions? Appreciate being exposed to exciting new insights?

In this course we will be studying Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi’s monumental work, the Kuzari. The book is considered to be one of the most important philosophical volumes in the Jewish world. The philosophical ideas are written in the form of a dialogue between a Jew and a pagan king. This dialogue will form the basis for our own in-class discussions, using Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi’s arguments and principles to further expand and deepen the students’ own beliefs and understandings.