Elul Study Program

Return and Reflect

September 3rd – September 28th, 2017

This Elul, take time for contemplation in preparation for the Yamim Nora’im and Chagim!  

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Our hands-on, interactive classes will enable you to explore the inspiring texts of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in depth.  This is your chance to study the Torah readings and haftarot, analyze the concept of teshuva, and learn the laws of these Days of Awe at their source. Daven at the Kotel, join selichot services around the city, and experience a magical nighttime tour of the parts of Jerusalem most tourists never see. Make the transition from this year to next year a powerful spiritual experience.

You will also have the opportunity to spend time with Nishmat's warm and friendly educational staff through Shabbatonim and evening programs.

Cost: $880 for five and a half weeks of shiurim, Shabbatonim and extra-curricular activities. Optional dormitory available.

*Scholarships and Financial Aid available. Special subsidies for alumnae and Israelis with a teudat zehut.

Please contact Rabbi Miller the Program Director for information or to set up a day to visit: ravmiller@nishmat.net

We hope to see you in our Beit Midrash!



Course Descriptions:

Chumash: Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur & Succot in the Torah – Beginners
Instructor: Simi Peters
Scheduled time: 3 hours, Tuesday and Thursday mornings
In preparation for the Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe), we will study how these special holidays are described in the Torah.  Among the topics we will cover is the significance of each holiday’s name and its characterization in the Torah, and different aspects of the Yom Kippur service as it was practiced in the Mishkan (Tabernacle).  Our goal is to come to an understanding of the spiritual significance of this special time in the Jewish calendar and the role it plays in our relationship with God on the communal and personal levels.

Chumash: Tanach Texts in Tefilla – Intermediate & Advanced
Instructor: Dafna Siegman
Scheduled time: 3 hours, Tuesday and Thursday mornings
We will explore chapters of Tanach that are central to the Tefillot of the Yamim Noraim, including the Torah Readings of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, as well as selected Tehillim which are incorporated in the liturgy.  Aided by midrash and parshanut, we will probe the messages of these chapters, and gain inspiration and meaning in our tefillot.
Gemara: Masechet Yoma Chapter 8 – Intermediate & Advanced
Instructor: Rabbanit Gilla Rosen
Scheduled time: 3.25 hours, Sunday and Wednesday Mornings
We will study two sugyot regarding fasting and Teshuva on Yom Kippur. We will work on both classical halachic and Aggadic passages. The learning will create a space for spiritual and psychological,preparation for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as well as a rigorous analysis of the structure and methodology of Gemara.

Halacha Survey – All Levels

Instructor: Rav Da'vid Sperling

Scheduled time: 30 minutes, Monday – Wedneday afternoon

This course will acquaint us with both the larger context and the fine details of halacha as it is practiced daily and through lifecycle events.  Students will be encouraged to question and comment as they gain practical knowledge of how to incorporate mitzva observance in their lives.

Halacha – Beginners
Instructor: Rav Binyamin Miller
Scheduled time: 3 hours, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon
In preparation for the Tishrei holidays, we will focus on a variety of halachic topics. Students will get a chance to see the development of the practical halacha from sources in the Chumash through contemporary poskim.  Each shiur will be a self-contained unit.  Students will be given word lists, as well as thought-provoking questions to help them learn and analyze the sources in preparation for the shiurim.

Halacha – Intermediate & Advanced

Instructor: Rav Da'vid Sperling

Scheduled time: 3 hours, Monday and Thursday afternoon
The goal of this course is to give students in-depth skills in both learning halachic texts and understanding the halachic process. Every class is based on intensive chevruta-based study of classic halachic texts,  focusing mainly focusing on the Mishna Brura. Our class encourages students to develop a love for the halachic give and take, underlying principles and depth of thought that lie below the technical halachic surface.

Mishna – Mishnayot of the High Holidays – Beginners

Instructor: Laurie Novick

Scheduled time: 3.25 hours, Monday and Wednesday Mornings

We will study selected passages from the Mishna related to Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. Topics include the four New Years, the nature of judgement day, and the laws of shofar, fasting and repentance. As we build knowledge and skills, we will develop an appreciation for the theological, legal, and literary aspects of the Mishna.

Nach: Sefer Yonah & Megillat Kohelet – Beginners
Instructor: Debbie Zimmerman
Scheduled time: 3 hours, Sunday & Wednesday afternoon

Nach: Exploring Sefer Yonah- Intermediate & Advanced
Instructor: Simi Peters
Scheduled time: 3 hours, Sunday & Wednesday afternoon
In our study of Sefer Yonah, we will analyze the narrative and its connections to other parts of Tanakh, relying heavily on midrashic sources and the classics of parshanut. Among the issues we will explore are the larger existential issues the book raises and its relevance to Yom Kippur.

Parshat HaShavua – All Levels

Instructor: Rabbanit Chana Henkin

Scheduled time: 1 hour, Thursday morning

Rav Kook – All Levels
Instructor: Rav David Sperling
Scheduled time: 60 minutes, Tuesday – Thursday afternoon
The teachings of Rav Kook (1965-1935) are renowned to be some of the deepest and far reaching writings in modern Jewish thought. They touch on all areas of the Jewish soul, the Jewish people, Torah, and their relationship to each other in the rebirth of the modern Jewish nation. We will be exploring his writings in depth from the original sources. We will be focusing on one of the central themes of Rav Kook's writings: Teshuva – Repentance. We will be examining sections from his classic work Orot HaTeshuva – The Lights of Repentance.

Relationships, Family Life & Intimacy – All Levels

Instructor: Adi Bitter

Scheduled time: 2 1/2 hours on Monday morning

We study halakhot pertaining to women from the sources, presenting the spectrum of normative halachic opinion, so that each student can understand it and find her place within it.

Tefilla Workshop – All Levels
Instructor: Rabbanit Gilla Rosen
Scheduled time: 1 hour, Monday morning
A study of what we try to achieve through Tefilla and in our dialogue with the texts in Tanach, Chazal, the Siddur and women's techinot. During this month we will concentrate on understanding the structure of the Rosh Hashana Amidat: Malchiot, Zichronot, Shofarot.

Teshuva and Tefilla in Tanach
Instructor: Ora Derovan
Scheduled time: 1 hour, Sunday morning
In this mini-course, we will explore some of the main themes of the High Holidays, through four biblical stories.  Our first session will deal with the power of viduy (confession of sins) as seen in a comparison of David and Shaul’s reactions to prophetic rebukes.  The second will consider the importance of the Thirteen Middot  (attributes of God) through a comparison of the narrative of Moshe receiving this key from God, and the story of  Noah being commanded to save himself from the flood.

Topics in Chassidut – All levels

Instructor: Rav Mendel Blachman

Scheduled time: 1½ hours, Sunday evening

In this course, we will study a variety of chassidic perspectives on fundamental concepts in Jewish thought as well as questions pertaining to spiritual growth, avodat Hashem (serving G-d) and building a well-grounded religious identity.

Ulpan – Level 1
Instructor: Odelya Shochat
Scheduled time: 1 hour, Monday Night

Ulpan – Level 2
Instructor: Odelya Shochat
Scheduled time: 1 hour, Wednesday Night

"My knowledge of Judaism and eagerness to learn increased beyond what I could have imagined in my short time at Nishmat. I was challenged and inspired. If my job would have allowed it, I would still be there and I hope to have the opportunity to go back very soon!" 

Stacie, Financial Planner Ernst & Young LLP, New York

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