Eretz Chemda Beit Midrash
Eretz Chemdah is the premier institution of Religious Zionist learning and ideology in the world. The students of Eretz Chemdah have all served in the IDF, have academic degrees, and have been ordained as rabbis as they prepare to become dayanim (religious court judges) and future leaders of Am Yisrael.
The caliber of students, the rigor of study, and the commitment to leading the Jewish People makes the Eretz Chemdah Beit Midrash an exhilarating place to study and grow. TVA students are fully integrated into this dynamic Beit Midrash where the dayanim serve as core faculty.
.עם ישראל .ארץ ישראל .תורת ישראל
THE PEOPLE, LAND AND TORAH
- Living in Jerusalem apartments
- Working on a Kibbutz and working the land
- Understanding the professional landscape in Israel through internship
- Learning in Eretz Chemda
- Tiyulim connecting to the land through its Torah and history
Matan Beit Midrash
Matan (Machon Torani l’Nashim) has been providing higher level Torah studies for Jewish women since its inception almost 30 years ago, through its Advanced Beit Midrash Scholars’ Programs, continuing education, and community programs. Matan’s students and graduates are on the cutting edge of Jewish education, innovating, creating and enriching Jewish studies curricula for students from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of Jewish knowledge and skill sets. MTVA students are fully integrated into the Matan Beit Midrash, and have the opportunity to learn from the world’s premiere educators. While many of the courses we offer are exclusively for TVA students using Matan faculty, there are also courses that are cross listed for TVA students and Matan students, including some classes taught in Hebrew. You will have the unique opportunity to learn in a demographically diverse environment, sitting alongside those who have chosen to integrate Torah into their lives as adults in shiurim and learning with them in individual chavrutot.
OUR FOUR PILLARS
Torah as a Means
At YTVA, we believe that the goal of your year in Israel is not only to amass Torah knowledge. Torah is not an end–we learn Torah as a means to affect our character, our relationships, and to inform and enable awareness of our future. We aren’t just the readers of a book, but people who are transformed and changed by its messages.
- Gemara through Styles: All shiurim focus on meaning and its impact on each individual’s lifestyle
- Middot HaRav Kook: We immerse ourselves in Torat Eretz Yisrael and shape our character through the daily learning of Middot HaRav Kook
- Time for Reflection and Journaling: We spend time considering how our learning has affected us in the present and how it shapes our goals for the future
- Chavruta: Enabling consistent learning in the future
- Close Relationships with Rebbeim: Learning is a means to form relation-ships with role models
Integration with Am Yisrael
As a Bnei Akiva Yeshiva, we believe that it is a privilege to be involved with Am Yisrael. We must spend this year taking an active role in Israeli society, and taking responsibility for the future of the Jewish people in Medinat Yisrael.
- Community Based Beit Midrash in Katamon: Our Beit Midrash is open to the community and is integrated into Eretz Chemdah, which trains dayanim (Rabbinic judges)
- Community Service and Chesed: Embedded into the weekly schedule of our yeshiva
- Chagim and Tefilot with Am Yisrael: We break out of the walls of our Beit Midrash to pray and dance with Am Yisrael• Focus on Tanach: We focus on the study of Tanach as a way of attaching ourselves to the ongoing story of Am Yisrael
- Hebrew: Through Ulpan and language skills we can develop a relationship with Am Yisrael
Eretz Yisrael as a Lifestyle
Our Beit Midrash is only possible in Israel. Israel for YTVA, is not just a loca-tion where our yeshiva happens to be, and it is not merely a change in mind-set–it is a lifestyle.
- Energy and Excitement: Our dynamic Beit Midrash is active, engaged and full of happiness• Tiyulim: A trip in YTVA is not a break or a day off – it is a day in to internal-ize the messages we learn in yeshiva
- Shabbat: Shabbat in the yeshiva is a time to reflect through song and tefilla. Monthly Shabbatonim allow us to experience different communities in Israel
- Kibbutz: Our students learn and live in places that enabled the return of Am Yisrael to Israel. They meet the rigorous demands of continuing their learning along with finding time to work the land.
- Physical elements and exercise are built into our schedule: including bi-weekly 5:45 optional shiurim and workouts to habituate a successful lifestyle
- Unique learning relevant to Israeli society: We focus on Israel advocacy tools and exposure to issues regarding Religion and State in Israel today
We believe that the best You is not about You–and that Torah values demand giving and not taking. The year is not about selfishness, it’s about outwardness!
- Monthly Stretcher Runs develop community and help us learn to take responsibility for each other
- Importance of Toranut in the Beit Midrash and the Dorms: Mundane rou-tines as a means to becoming a more responsible adult
- Focus on developing a healthy relationship to technology: We demand of our students to take responsibility for their time and look up from their devices to engage one another
- We demand of ourselves to take responsibility to have a one-on-one rela-tionship with each student
- Tefilla: Prayer is valued as part of our responsibility to ourselves and to Am Yisrael. Daily shiurim and workshops on various aspects of tefilla turns our prayer into an opportunity and privilege rather than a burden
On kibbutz, you will have the once in a lifetime experience of working, learning, and living on a historic religious kibbutz. Your day will include working in the fields, gardens, factories, dining hall, farms, and childcare facilities of the kibbutz, side-by-side with the Israelis who live there.Like all of our special programming, our time on kibbutz is fully integrated with Torah, and there is daily learning in the afternoons and evenings. You will also experientially learn the halakhot relating to working the Land of Israel, and connect with early Zionist pioneers through a deep engagement with their institutions.
Student Life in Jerusalem
At Midreshet Torah v’Avodah, we believe that an essential part of the year will be learning to live independently. You will live in beautiful apartments in the heart of Jerusalem, and the surrounding neighborhood functions as the most exciting and vibrant campus in the world. Minutes from the Old City, Emek Refaim, and the center of town, you will be perfectly situated to maximize all of your time in Israel.
We also offer a wide variety of mental health services. Guidance counselor, Dina Kessler, M.Sc., heads the team and directs both the formal and informal services. We focus on how to make behavioral changes in a way that allows the students to integrate the concepts of middot with practical methods of habit change. As part of our personal growth program, we also have our students take the VIA strength assessment to identify and highlight their strengths. This can be especially helpful in the leadership components of our program, where a student can use this information to tailor their leadership style and contributions.
Additionally, our Mashgichot Ruchaniyot, Rabbanit Shani Taragin, Rabbanit Nechama Goldman Barash, Rabbanit Michal Jacob, and Dr. Tamara Spitz, run weekly small group processing workshops to encourage reflection and deliberation on crucial religious issues that arise during the seminary year. Furthermore, the guidance counselor and Mashgichot schedule individual meetings with students and open office hours. The support staff is thereby able to assist students in working through personal challenges and to guide each student towards maximizing his or her potential and character. In cases where a student requires more extensive mental health services, we have a network of private licensed practitioners, with whom we refer, and contacts at The Family Institute of Nevei Yerushalayim when finances are an issue.
In-Shabbatot, where students stay in their apartments in Jerusalem with programming, meals, and ruach. Part of these shabbatot includes home hospitality at local families in the neighborhood.
Shabbatonim, where we go to various important destinations in Israel, such as Tzfat, or join with all of the World Bnei Akiva programs for special programming.
Out Shabbatot (approximately half of the time), when students can visit friends or family, or stay in their own apartments, with the em bayit helping secure them meals at local host families.
The apartments belong to the young women for the year--they are available at any time and the em bayit is always on call to help arrange meals for Chagim. TVA students also have special programming for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and can take advantage of special programming during the month of Nissan.
The apartment building, a 1 minute walk from MATAN, is situated on convenient bus lines, within walking distance of major supermarkets, gyms, and parks where the students are able to exercise and relax. Girls have 1-2 roommates and about 6-8 apartment mates. The madrichot live in the apartments with the students and are a guiding force in helping to create a comfortable and Torani environment. The students are expected to keep their apartments and personal space clean and are provided with the cleaning supplies that are necessary.
Living in an apartment building with Israeli families for neighbors exposes the students to what it is like to really live in Jerusalem. They have the independence of living on their own with the comfort of having a support system through the madrichot, Eim Bayit, and staff. This setup for the apartments is reflective of our education goals of training them towards independent living and ownership of their own religious and personal growth. At the same time, having everyone in one building is wonderful, as it helps facilitate the forming of a close and cohesive group.
The Eim Bayit’s family lives on the first floor of the building giving the students enough independence while at the same time having a constant address for any concerns.
Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen for milk and meat. While a dairy lunch and pareve or meat dinner are provided every day the students still have the facilities to cook for themselves and learn about keeping a kosher kitchen.
Laundry facilities are spread throughout the apartments.