At Nishmat, you will spend a year studying in our vibrant beit midrash, together with women from Israel and around the world who have come to learn Torah in Nishmat’s rich array of programs.
You will be guided by world-renowned Torah educators as you develop proficiency in Tanach, Gemara, Halacha, and Machshevet Yisrael and find your own place in the world of Talmud Torah.
We seek to help students develop both the skills and love of learning that prepare them for a lifetime of Talmud Torah. Students engage in a range of intensive, thought-provoking shiurim that push them to develop the full range of skills that are necessary for deep, serious Torah study. They also have the freedom to create a schedule that enables them to pursue those areas of Torah study most meaningful to them. Please click here to see our full schedule of classes.
Students devote three mornings a week to Gemara shiur, in which they delve into a masechta in depth. There are four options of Gemara shiurim, each of which has a different style and derech halimud. Some focus on peshat in the Gemara, while others include extensive analysis of Rishonim. This allows students to find the right shiur for them, whether they enter Nishmat with extensive Gemara background or with very little Gemara background.
During the remaining two mornings, students choose between Halacha B’Iyun and Tanach B’Iyun. Halacha B’Iyun focuses on tracing the development of areas of Hilchot Shabbat from their sources in the Gemara through Acharonim. Tanach B’Iyun focuses on exploring themes in Tanach, such as leadership, sin and redemption, and human psychology, through the lens of parshanut and literary analysis. Both Halacha and Tanach are intensive, textual shiurim that include both chavruta and shiur. Students who choose to focus on Tanach B’Iyun also participate in a Halacha L’Maaseh shiur one afternoon a week.
Afternoon shiurim cover a broad range of topics, from Parshat Hashavua with Rabbanit Chana Henkin, to Divine Justice in Tanach with Rav Yoel Bin Nun, to courses in halachic topics, Midrash, the philosophy of halacha, and Machshevet Yisrael. In night seder, students choose among shiurim and chaburot in topics in Tanach, Gemara, and Jewish Philosophy. We help each student craft the schedule that helps her pursue her own goals and interests in Talmud Torah.
Students also have many opportunities to pursue independent learning projects and to participate in small-group learning on topics and questions of interest to them. Our faculty is available to guide students in their own independent learning and to meet with students individually and in small groups to discuss questions and learn together.
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At Nishmat, growth in avodat Hashem comes through serious, in-depth Talmud Torah and through engaging in Shabbat, tefillah, tiyulim, and chessed together with an exceptional community of students and faculty.
At Nishmat, growth in avodat Hashem comes through serious, in-depth Talmud Torah and through engaging in Shabbat, tefillah, tiyulim, and chessed together with an exceptional community of students and faculty. Through an outstanding range of formal and informal learning opportunities, and through the relationships formed during this year of shared growth and inspiration, we encourage each student to delve into Torah in the ways most meaningful to her and to deepen her inner world of avodat Hashem.
Our schedule includes shiurim on tefillah, emunah, Jewish philosophy, and other topics that encourage a deeper personal connection to the Torah and Hashem. Through their learning, students also develop relationships with faculty members who are role models of lifelong Talmud Torah and religious growth.
At Nishmat we daven together, sing together, conduct powerful selichot, and engage in meaningful Shabbat and holiday programs as a midrasha. We devote ourselves to the community through weekly chesed opportunities and through the warm spirit that permeates our Bet Midrash. We learn how to deepen our relationship with Hashem from our teachers, mentors, and one another.
At Nishmat you will encounter Israel as an insider.
Your relationship with the Land, the State, and the Israelis you meet will shape how you relate to Israel for the rest of your life. You will be integrated into an Israeli Beit Midrash, sharing your chevrutot, shiurim, and dormitory apartments with Israeli students. Shana Ba’Aretz students room with Israelis from Shiur Alef and Ethiopian Israeli programs, experiencing the personal kibbutz galuyot that lies at the heart of the Nishmat experience.
Learning b’Ivrit with Israelis is a significant, valuable part of your year at Nishmat. Your Hebrew will improve exponentially as you are exposed to a fresh experience of Talmud Torah that is challenging and exciting. For that reason, almost every slot during the week will have a Hebrew shiur which you may choose to take. That said, because you are coming to learn the most you can and sometimes it is beneficial to do that in your native language, our schedule also includes a selection of extraordinary classes given in English. Each student shapes her own schedule and determines the balance of Hebrew and English that works best for her.
Shana Ba’Aretz students engage in a special Shabbaton approximately once a month, visiting communities around Israel. Additionally, we take five major tiyulim (2-3 days each) and many half- and whole-day trips throughout the year to different areas of the country and to cultural events and museums. We believe that experiencing the many facets of Israel is an important part of your year, which enhances your learning and your connection to Jewish history and destiny.
Just a short bus ride from the Kotel (30 minutes), Emek Refaim (10 minutes), and the center of town (25 minutes), students are encouraged to explore Yerushalayim and make it their own. Nishmat is located right on the beautiful “Park Hamesila” jogging trail that students use and enjoy. Nishmat is close enough to the hustle and bustle of the city to be convenient and accessible, but far enough away that students are able to focus and be present on campus.
Our program introduces our students to the breadth, beauty and depth of the modern State of Israel as they build their personal connection to our homeland.
Every student at Nishmat is given the independence to grow and the support to thrive
At Nishmat, you will be part of a community of Talmud Torah. You will learn from world-renowned Torah educators, who share not only knowledge but a way of encountering the world through the lens of Torah. You will learn side by side with students of a wide range of backgrounds and ages, who have come together to devote themselves to Talmud Torah. Shana Ba’Aretz students share our beautiful Bet Midrash with students in our multi-year program for pre-university Israelis, Maayan (our program for Israelis of Ethiopian descent), Tochnit Alisa (our post-college program for overseas students), and Keren Ariel (our two-year training program for yoatzot halacha). The Nishmat Bet Midrash is suffused with the feeling of mesorah and community, and of being part of something much greater than oneself.
Within this dynamic Bet Midrash, you will find your own voice within Torah learning. Our Shana Ba’Aretz faculty is devoted to supporting each student; faculty members are available for questions, discussions, and chavrutot, and host students for Shabbat throughout the year. In addition to our incredible teachers the Shana Ba’Aretz faculty includes our Rosh Tochnit, Administrator, Em Bayit, and two Melavot, all of whom are here for our students and get to know them well. The warmth and individual attention of the Shana Ba’Aretz program support each student in making the most of her year.
At Nishmat, you will also contribute to the broader community around the midrasha. Each student has a two-hour slot each week dedicated to a chesed project on or off of the campus. Examples include running a bat mitzvah program for girls, helping elderly neighbors with Shabbat preparation, organizing community events for children in the neighborhood, and bikkur cholim. There is also a bridal gown Gemach located on our campus, and all leftover catered food is packaged and delivered to a food pantry nearby. Nishmat’s chesed coordinator makes sure that each student has an appropriate chesed project.
Nishmat will be your home for the year. Your Em Bayit and Melavot are your family on campus. Their homes are open to you and they are always available to hang out and talk. Nishmat has six wonderful families living on campus, who are often available to host students on Shabbat.
Your friends at Nishmat, both within the Shana Ba’Aretz program and from the midrasha as a whole, will be an amazing group of women who share your drive and aspiration. At Nishmat, you will not just be part of a Shana Ba’Aretz program, but of the world of Talmud Torah.