Nishmat was founded in 1990 by Rabbanit Chana Henkin to open the gates of higher Torah learning to women. Now situated in its beautiful campus in Jerusalem’s Pat neighborhood, south of Katamon, Nishmat has become a world center for women’s scholarship, leadership, and social responsibility, and a world leader in paving a new path for women in Jewish life. Ten years after its founding, Nishmat created the new religious role of Yoatzot Halacha, women halachic advisors, opening the way for women in religious leadership. At the same time, the school established what has become an acclaimed advancement program for Ethiopian-Israelis, coupling Jewish studies with an intensive program moving talented young Ethiopian women from the social margins to the mainstream of Israeli society.
Nishmat has a range of programs catering to women of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Nishmat unites native Israelis and new immigrants, Americans, East and West Europeans, and more, in a warm, cohesive learning community.
Our Shana Ba’Aretz program offers post-high school students the opportunity to enter the world of higher Torah learning in an environment which is intellectually rigorous and spiritually nourishing, while experiencing Israel as an insider with fellow-Israeli students.
The Women’s Learning Initiative offers an opportunity for in-depth, text-based Torah study to women with busy lives. We offer weekly classes for part-timers of all ages, Yemei Iyun based around the flow of the Jewish calendar, and other special programming, such as our Seminar of Jewish Thought, where contemporary issues meet timeless wisdom. (If you can’t commit to the whole program, you can still join us for a day or two.) Our Summer Program is a rare opportunity to join women of all ages and backgrounds for three weeks packed with high level shiurim and soul expanding extracurricular activities. Treat yourself to a truly meaningful summer vacation, an investment in your spiritual and intellectual growth.
Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Program is a 2-year fellowship providing highest-level halachic study and training Yoatzot Halacha for leadership positions around the world.
Our Israeli Midrasha offers women an intensive year of rigorous text-based Torah learning in the year following National or Israel Defense Forces service, with the option of continuing on to Shiur Bet-Gimel-Dalet and Heh in our Educators’ Program.
Nishmat’s Ma’ayan program enables talented Ethiopian-Israelis to join the world of higher Torah learning together with a rigorous college preparation program, and the option of joining Nishmat’s Joint College Program.
Whether you are probing your heritage for the first time, or have been learning Torah your whole life, Nishmat has a program for you.