Nishmat’s Alisa Flatow
Post College Program

About the Program

Looking to strengthen your connection to your religion? To engage in the Talmudic sources and build a deep understanding and hashkafa (world view)? Looking to feel spiritually connected on a profound intellectual level? Are you looking to be part of a group of empowering post college students who want to spend a year in Israel broadening their understanding, their place and connection to Judaism and halacha?  Are you looking for an approach where women learn on a serious level, becoming part of the Bet Midrash (study hall) which has formed halacha for thousands of years without compromising your commitment to halacha?

Don’t leave your understanding of who you are as a Jewish women on an elementary level.  Deepen and broaden your knowledge, engage in the sources and make your religious understanding your own! 

The Alisa Flatow Post College Program is an opportunity for young women who want to spend an empowering year in the Bet Midrash learning a variety of topics to build a strong spiritual and intellectual foundation of who they are as religious women. The schedule is full day, five days a week.  The learning is based on chevrutah study (with a partner) which allows for engaging independently in the sources, along with a study partner to help build skills and make the knowledge you acquire your own.

Nishmat’s Esther Kryss Bet Midrash is filled with a tapestry of highly skilled, devoted educators of diverse perspectives on halacha and Judaism. The faculty is there to teach and guide you in building your own viewpoint and understanding who you are.  

Join us this September at Nishmat for an empowering year which will change you for a lifetime. Whether this will be your first experience studying in a Bet Midrash or you have previously spent a gap year in Israel; if you are looking to deepen and broaden your hashkafa with motivated, inspiring women – Nishmat’s post college program is for you!

Throughout the year we will go on tours of different sites in Israel, many times the very sites we learn about in Tanach. That is the beauty of learning Torat Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael together with the women of Am Yisrael!

In addition we will spend some shabbatot together as a group, at different staff members’ homes and experiencing shabbat with different families and communities in Israel.

FOR MORE INFO: office@nishmat.net

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. I already did a gap year in Israel, is this program still appropriate for me? Yes! If you are interested in learning with a vibrant, motivated, mature group of women who want to build a stronger foundation in Judaism and halacha, this program is for you!
  2. I am not completely observant yet, is this program appropriate for me? Yes! We are all on a religious and spiritual journey. If you are interested in growing spiritually and broadening your understanding, you are welcome at any stage of observance. A dress code according to halacha is expected on Nishmat grounds.
  3. What topics are taught in the program? The program includes a variety of topics such as Talmud, Halacha, Tanach, Jewish philosophy, Women and Mitzvot and Chassidut. The learning is done both with a learning partner (chevrutah) and in class. You are welcome to make additional chevrutot to add additional opportunities for independent learning and the staff will guide you.
  4. Is the program all in English? Although we are an Israeli institution and those who feel comfortable in Hebrew are welcome to join classes in Hebrew as well, you are not expected to know any Hebrew. All the classes of the program will be in English.
  5. What is the age range of participants? Almost all participants are post college students in their twenties.
  6. Are there dorms? The learning program is a full day. It does not include housing. However, Nishmat can try and help you find a nearby apartment, with or without roommates.
  7. Does Nishmat provide food? There is a hot lunch served daily as well as a small breakfast together as a group after tefilla.
  8. Is there an expected dress code? Nishmat is a halachic institution and students are therefore asked to dress according to Rav Henkin ztz”l’s halachic ruling which includes skirts to your knees, and shirts with sleeves which cover most of the upper arm.
  9. Do I have to commit for a full year? Although it may seem like a long time, a year to engage completely in studies shaping who are religiously, is a very short period of time. Because the classes start at a certain point, and continue to elevate along with the level of the members of the class, it is impossible to create this kind of program without the full year commitment.
  10. I am married or in a serious relationship, is this program appropriate for me? Absolutely! Whether you are single or married, a year dedicated to building yourself religiously is important. The hours are very comfortable for married women and young mothers as well.
  11. Will there be organized shabbatot? For most of the shabbatot you will independently experience Israel. Since Nishmat has many programs in one bet midrash we are sure you will connect to other students and staff members who would be happy to invite you for shabbat. A few times a year we will have an organized shabbat together as a group somewhere in Israel to explore new communities and experience shabbat with different families.
  12. How much is program tuition? Tuition for the full program is $8,500 USD. At Nishmat, we believe in giving every woman who sincerely wants to learn and grow, the opportunity to do so. Need-based financial aid is available. Please contact the office to apply for financial aid.
suNDAY

11:30-12:45

Chassidut

Rachel Seidenberg

This class serves as an introduction to the teachings and worldview of chasidut. There is a focus on fundamental ideas and concepts within a wide spectrum of chassidic teachings. The history of chassidut and key figures within the movement will also be integrated within the class.  Through text based learning and class lecture and discussion, students strengthen their ability to access and appreciate the depth and relevancy of chassidic thought.

14:00-15:00

The World of the Sages

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

As part of understanding our wise sages and their words, we delve into the lives of some of the major sages in the Talmud.  Most of the Talmud is practical halachic discussion sprinkled with wise words of advice and inspiring stories giving us a glance at some of our sages’ lives both in and out of the beit midrash. In this course we learn about the sages of the talmud which helps put their wise words and our tradition into a multifaceted context. 

15:00-16:00

Talmud: Seder and Shiur

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Nothing more thrilling than to comprehend the beit midrash discussions documented in the Talmud. In this course, we become active members of the beit midrash and connect ourselves to the chain of tradition and wisdom brought in the many years of halachic discussion. We learn to decipher the Talmud and understand the deeper discussions of our sages. The course includes guided chevrutah with a study partner where students acquire skills to help them understand the unique logic and structure of the Talmud in addition to some of the classic commentators. The course also includes interactive frontal discussions, to help us deepen our understanding and relevance of the Talmudic discussions to our everyday lives. 

16:15-16:45

Rav Kook 

Rav Da’vid Sperling

Rav Kook – one of the most important figures in Jewish thought in the 20th century was Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook zt”l. Unfortunately, because of his highly poetic style, the depth and breadth of his thought, and his writing in a beautiful but difficult Hebrew – his writings have remained a closed book to many people, especially in the English speaking world. We will examine some of Rav Kook’s zt”l major themes – modernity; the place of the secular world; the process of redemption. An inspiring learning that both elevates the soul, whilst enlightening the mind.

16:45-18:15

Halacha: Seder and Shiur 

Rav Da’vid Sperling

In our shiur we have three aims: 1. To learn how to open halachic texts and understand them independently. To this end we focus on learning the Mishna Brurah. 2. To understand the halachic system. To achieve this goal, we learn about many halachic structures and concepts. 3. To reach a halachic “bottom line” about hilchot Shabbat and know what to do in real life. For this purpose, we direct our learning to practical applications. 

18:15-18:45

Halacha Survey

Rav Da’vid Sperling

This class covers the practical knowledge that a practicing Jew needs in order to live a religious life in today’s world. Shabbat on campus, kashrut when traveling, tefillah when short on time, and other practical scenarios are all topics of study. With time for open discussion and to discuss students’ questions, this course prepares each student to leave her year at Nishmat well-equipped to live her religious life to the fullest in whatever environment she finds herself.

21:00-23:00

Optional Seder Erev

MONDAY

8:30-9:45

Tefilla + Breakfast

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Together on a rooftop we open our morning with a group shacharit, praying and singing the morning prayers together. Together we become more familiar with the morning prayers. We start by sharing thoughts on parts of the tefilla and deepen our understanding of the words and structure of the sidur. We end with a healthy breakfast together in our classroom. 

9:45-13:00

Talmud: Seder and Shiur

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Nothing more thrilling than to comprehend the beit midrash discussions documented in the Talmud. In this course, we become active members of the beit midrash and connect ourselves to the chain of tradition and wisdom brought in the many years of halachic discussion. We learn to decipher the Talmud and understand the deeper discussions of our sages. The course includes guided chevrutah with a study partner where students acquire skills to help them understand the unique logic and structure of the Talmud in addition to some of the classic commentators. The course also includes interactive frontal discussions, to help us deepen our understanding and relevance of the Talmudic discussions to our everyday lives. 

15:00-17:00

Parshat HaShavua: Seder and Shiur

Rabbanit Chana Henkin

In this course, we delve into the weekly Torah portion through exploration of classical and contemporary commentaries, with an eye to understanding the Torah’s messages for our religious lives.  This course includes an hour of engaging in the sources together as a group and an additional hour of frontal learning and discussion. 

21:00-23:00

Optional Seder Erev

TUESDAY

8:30-9:45

Tefilla + Breakfast

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Together on a rooftop we open our morning with a group shacharit, praying and singing the morning prayers together. Together we become more familiar with the morning prayers. We start by sharing thoughts on parts of the tefilla and deepen our understanding of the words and structure of the sidur. We end with a healthy breakfast together in our classroom. 

9:45-13:00

Talmud: Seder and Shiur

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Nothing more thrilling than to comprehend the beit midrash discussions documented in the Talmud. In this course, we become active members of the beit midrash and connect ourselves to the chain of tradition and wisdom brought in the many years of halachic discussion. We learn to decipher the Talmud and understand the deeper discussions of our sages. The course includes guided chevrutah with a study partner where students acquire skills to help them understand the unique logic and structure of the Talmud in addition to some of the classic commentators. The course also includes interactive frontal discussions, to help us deepen our understanding and relevance of the Talmudic discussions to our everyday lives. 

13:45-14:45

Workshop: Writing for the Soul 

Prof. Vera Schwarcz

15:00-15:30

Moral Philosophy (Musar)

 

Rav Da’vid Sperling

 

Moral Philosophy (Musar) – Rav Da’vid Sperling

Growth in our religious lives and our commitment to Hashem and His Torah must be built on a strong, healthy, and growing inner self. The building of one’s inner sense of self in a healthy and holy way is the labor of Mussar and Middot. In this course we will work together in an effort to help ourselves discover who we are, how we want to grow, and how to do that in the best way. Through the study of Iggeret HaRambam, together with the teachings of Rav Kook zt”l and others, we will, please G-d, discover the world of personal growth.

15:30-17:30

Halacha: Seder and Shiur 

Rav Da’vid Sperling

In our shiur we have three aims: 1. To learn how to open halachic texts and understand them independently. To this end we focus on learning the Mishna Brurah. 2. To understand the halachic system. To achieve this goal, we learn about many halachic structures and concepts. 3. To reach a halachic “bottom line” about hilchot Shabbat and know what to do in real life. For this purpose, we direct our learning to practical applications. 

17:30-18:00

Halacha Survey

Rav Da’vid Sperling

This class covers the practical knowledge that a practicing Jew needs in order to live a religious life in today’s world. Shabbat on campus, kashrut when traveling, tefillah when short on time, and other practical scenarios are all topics of study. With time for open discussion and to discuss students’ questions, this course prepares each student to leave her year at Nishmat well-equipped to live her religious life to the fullest in whatever environment she finds herself.

21:00-23:00

Optional Seder Erev

WEDNESDAY

8:30-9:45

Tefilla + Breakfast

Rabbanit Shira Mnitentag

Together on a rooftop we open our morning with a group shacharit, praying and singing the morning prayers together. Together we become more familiar with the morning prayers. We start by sharing thoughts on parts of the tefilla and deepen our understanding of the words and structure of the sidur. We end with a healthy breakfast together in our classroom. 

9:45-13:00

Personal Learning Project 

Rabbanit Shira Mnitentag

The personal project is an opportunity to explore a Torah topic that interests each one of the students while acquiring tools for self-study and research. In addition, in the course we deepen our study of the Jewish timeline and learn how to use relevant databases. During the course each student presents the project to the other students.

14:00-16:00

Torah Classics
Rabbanit Neima Novetsky

This course takes an in-depth look at a selection of the most fundamental, intriguing, and vexing stories from throughout Torah.  We delve into both narrative and legal material, wrestle with philosophical issues, engage in character analysis and study ancient near eastern parallels.  Throughout our studies, we turn to both classical commentators and modern scholarship to help guide our learning.  Students are encouraged to question, explore, and share areas of personal interests as well.  By year’s end, students should have a strong understanding of the central stories/passages of Torah, appreciate their eternal relevance, and gain tools and skills to study more on their own. 

thursday

8:30-9:45

Tefilla + Breakfast

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Together on a rooftop we open our morning with a group shacharit, praying and singing the morning prayers together. Together we become more familiar with the morning prayers. We start by sharing thoughts on parts of the tefilla and deepen our understanding of the words and structure of the sidur. We end with a healthy breakfast together in our classroom. 

9:45-13:00

Women, Halacha and Building a Jewish Home 

Rabbanit Navit Tzadik

Growing up as proud modern women, we are lucky to live in a time and place where we are appreciated and accepted as equals having all doors of opportunity opened to us. As we build a strong religious foundation, we struggle with what seems to be discrimination against women on many halachic topics. Why are women commanded in less Mitzvot? Are women encouraged to pray and study Torah as men are? What are the laws of modest dress and do they over sexualize women’s bodies? What is the halacha of hair covering for married women and why? Can women become Rabbinic halachic figures in the same way men do? As part of building a strong religious and spiritual foundation as Jewish women, we tackle these questions with a very authentic and healthy approach. The Beit midrash is the place to study and understand our traditions with no questions being off limits.  questioning the why’s. Students are encouraged to ask, learn, and discuss and are given tools to ultimately build a broad and deep understanding of Women in Jewish law.

15:10-16:25

Fundamentals in Jewish Thought

Rav Mendel Blachman

The shiur focuses on fundamental issues of Jewish theology, including: free will divine intervention, the divinity of the Torah, love and awe of God, Jews and non-Jews, the nature of the Oral Law, and more. 

The texts taught are primarily those of our medieval scholars including Rambam, Ramban, and Ran, with some exploration of the writings of Ramchal and Gra, and of Chasidic literature. 

21:00-23:00

Optional Seder Erev

NISHMAT נשמת

R.A 580161628

The Jeanie Schottenstein Center For Advanced Torah Study For Women

The Alisa M. Flatow Building
Berel Locker 26A, Pat
Jerusalem, 9328249, Israel
T : 972-2-6404333
F : 972-26404343
misrad@nishmat.net