Organizing their own batei midrash
Fusing Torah and Technology
Building their own minyanim
Exploring Gender and Torah
Talmud for the People
Project Description: "Talmud for the People" is a 10-session gemara skills course, open to any beginning or intermediate learner with a desire to develop their Talmud toolbox and become more independent explorers of the daf. We learn selected sugyot in the original language while sharpening text skills, such as recognition of "road signs," deciphering of shakla v'tarya, and reading of rishonim.
Bio: Jonah is a Boston-based Talmud nerd. He is an alum of Hadar (Summer 2015, Year 2015-2016) and Pardes (Year Program 2014-2015, Educators Program 2016-2018).
Talmud Torah in Be’er Sheva
Project Description: This project is a community Beit Midrash for Hadar alumni and friends in Be’er Sheva. We will meet once a month to learn Torah together. We look forward to having the members of the community take on teaching roles each month and watching this community grow and flourish in the Negev.
Bio: I am 24 year old and live in the Negev. I am a student of Anthropologie in Israel Open University and a human rights and education activist currently working with the Bedouin youth population in the unrecognized villages.
Imaging Vashti and Esther An Artist’s Interpretation of Purim
Project Description: This project was inspired by learning the book of Esther with Rav Shai during summer 2017. Previously, I’ve found this story appealing because of Vashti and Esther. I’ve been drawn to their centrality to the narrative and their individual cases of challenging absolute power and control. While studying this story with Rav Shai, I was intrigued by the relationship between Esther and Mordechai, which planted the seed for this project on their ability/inability to procreate. As this project develops, I hope to share an emotional, thoughtful portrayal of characters and narrative, and hopefully engage people in thinking about this story differently, through visual imagery.
Bio: Arielle Stein is a Brooklyn based visual artist. Arielle received her BFA in Studio Art at NYU in 2014 and was an Hadar fellow during the 2017-18 year. Arielle has shown her work in group and solo exhibitions in the US and Germany, and has been published in a variety of magazines, most recently HCE Review and Jewish Currents. Arielle is a 2018-19 fellow for New Jewish Culture with Brooklyn Jews and is excited to embark on creating another piece of visual Torah!
The Sephardi Zemirot Project
Project Description: We will gather to learn the text and melodies of various Sephardi Shabbat Zemirot. This Project will help build a vibrant Sephardi community in the Bay Area that is rooted in ancient song practice as well as experimental musical practices.
Bio: Hadar is a spiritual leader community organizer manifesting visions of feminism, soulful prayer, and communal care. Hadar loves birthing her own projects including feminism all night - a communal all night learning immersive around feminism and spirituality. She is a graduate of Cooper Union, where she studied Electrical Engineering, and alt*div, an alternative divinity school centered the intersection of justice and spirituality. She is a lover of dance, song, and communal transformation. She writes about spirituality, justice, and her experience being in a body in a newsletter called in loving faith.
Project Description: A new London-based Torah podcast, where women and non-binary people can teach and learn without having to constantly reference their gender. There’ll be panel discussions, shiurim, chevrutot and solo teaching to listen to. Inviting more people to engage with Torah study, one episode at a time!
Bio: I grew up in a Masorti community in London but never thought that I was welcome in the Torah-learning world until I heard about Hadar, where I spent a summer and then a year in 2017-18. Now I’m combining my desire to share my experience with my MA in Broadcast Journalism with this Project.
Carmel Shivyoni Minyan
Project Description: We are the Middle School daily shivyoni Minyan. In addition to davening, we are hoping to increase the programming for our minyan to help create more of a sense of community. We will have a monthly Rosh Chodesh breakfast for anyone who puts on tefillin and plan to start a lunch-time film club about feminism and changes in American society. We also look forward to beautifying our tefillah space with art that we create.
Bio: Jordan Soffer is the Rabbi-in-Residence at Carmel Academy. He oversees Judaic programming for students, faculty and families. He received smicha from YCT in 2016.
Beit Midrash Hadar in Tel Aviv
Sara Chaviv and Igal Lavi
Project Description: The Hadar Beit Midrash in Tel Aviv meets biweekly for chevruta learning and shiur, followed by maariv. The format comprises several series of shiurim interspersed with single shiurim, all taught by Hadar staff and local Tel Aviv scholars who are partners to the Hadar vision. The beit midrash seeks to provide a home for learning and prayer that creates a community in Tel Aviv and the greater Merkaz area. It aims to engage the many Hadar alumni living here as well as the general public.
Bio: Sara (Kedma 2017) is studying in a tour guide course in Tel Aviv and finishing an MA in Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Igal (Kedma 2016, 2017) completed his degree in law and is now interning in a law firm in Tel Aviv.
Project Description: Traditional Poetics, is a comprehensive collection of poetry on the Mishnah and will explore various themes that appear throughout the text. This project will include all new, original poetry on Shas, and will incorporate references and commentary from both traditional and contemporary sources, as well as a handful of secular sources.
Bio: Shani Abramowitz (YH '15-'16) is a published poet, community organizer, and Jewish educator. Originally from the Chicago-area, Shani is in her third year of rabbinical school at JTS, working toward a master's degree in Bible, and currently works as a rabbinic organizer at the New Israel Fund.
Cambridge Niddah Group
Project Description: The Cambridge Niddah Group is a space for women in Cambridge, MA to learn and discuss sources and experiences related to the practice of Niddah. The group meets monthly on Shabbat afternoon in folks' apartments around the city. We explore, integrate, and challenge traditional constructs of niddah while eating snacks.
Bio: Rachel Jacobson lives in Cambridge, MA. Her favorite things to do are eat eggs with her husband and daughter and swim, bike, and run to fun places in Metro Boston. She has led informal Jewish education programs in Seattle, Ontario, Colorado, and Cambridge and was a Hadar Campus Scholar while a grad student at the University of Michigan. She fights climate change in her day job and in the evenings transforms into a Marvel superhero (i.e. watches Netflix while she cleans her house.)
Baruch Gilinsky and Miriam Kunin
Project Description: Oxford has the only halachic-egalitarian davening in the wider Thames Valley region, and we'll be holding davening and learning over the end of Pesach and throughout Shavuot. Our goal is to make attending the yom tov minyan more accessible by reducing the cost of travel and meals, and so increase the number of people in the Thames Valley and wider Midlands who can affordably attend traditional-egalitarian tefila on these yom tovim.
Bio: Baruch (Bz) Gilinsky learnt at Hadar in Summer 2018 and is currently a Masters' student at Merton College, Oxford, served as Oxford JSoc President in Hilary 2017 and is a boger of Noam Masorti Youth. Miriam (Mim) Kunin was at Hadar in Summer 2017, was Oxford JSoc Interfaith Rep and is an English Literature Finalist at Magdalen College, Oxford. Both are actively involved in organising and leading davening in the Oxford Jewish community.
Parshat Hashavua Podcast
Avraham Gross-Grand and Briah Cahana
Project Description: A weekly parsha dvar torah podcast composed and read from a range of contributors. Rooted in Torah learning that nourishes movements for personal and collective liberation. Podcast will also feature bonus "Stuff You Missed in Hebrew School" backgrounders on Tanakh interpretation.
Bio: Briah Cahana graduated with a Masters in Jewish studes. She is a doula and a budding soferet. Avraham Gross-Grand is a caterer and dj who lives in Montreal. He is former co-host of radio613 - a Jewish community radio podcast.
Nefesh B’Naim: Learning, Meditation and Creativity
Project Description: Weekly learning Chebura + Craft space at Studio Naim! We will meet in Jaffa at the beautiful Studio Naim for an hour of Jewish Meditation and Torah learning, followed by an hour of open craft space to process and explore the themes that were learnt in the Shiyur. We will explore various themes that are connected to personal spiritual development rooted in ancient wisdom and thought, inspired by patterns in the Jewish calendar cycle.
Bio: Bluth loves plants, people, niggunim, permaculture and coffee shops. She is studying for Smicha at Yeshivat Har El in Jerusalem, and works for Achvat Amim, an Israel-Palestinian peace and justice program. Bluth completed her degree at McGill in Environmental Studies and Buddhism, and leads Jewish retreats and gatherings around the world, including a joyous Kabbalat Shabbat on the sea shores of Tel Aviv. She is a creator of Jewish art and Ketubahs, and hopes to bring joy and meaning and healing to our world. Bluth lives in Yafo but feels at home almost everywhere else.
Project Description: The RAZA_רזא Project seeks to explore the sound of the feminine voice in old chassidic melodies, which have been sung almost solely by men for the last several hundred years. RAZA_רזא is Aramaic for mystery, or secret. Our hope is to un/discover the hidden sound of these melodies through women's nigun circles and multimedia content propelling these renewed feminine sounds around the world.
Bio: Chana Raskin lives in Tekoa, Israel. Her song-filled Chasidic upbringing infuses her with tefila (prayer) and nigun (Jewish melody), and carries her in each moment of work and rest. Her appreciation for quiet spaces that invite deep listening, receiving, and connecting in with our simple selves, with Higher, and with our communities, has moved her to lead tefila spaces, as well as teach and perform nigunim in and around New York, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Still on a journey of her own self-healing from injury and trauma, Chana strives to hold a space with others recovering from illness or traumatic injury, through the healing powers of quiet, laughter, humming, singing and movement. Chana is currently a Kollel member at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Shabbat in the Woods
Tamar Friedman Wilson and Aaron Wilson
Project Description: For one magical Shabbat, we'll leave the city behind and head to the woods. There, we'll form a community for a Shabbat of t'fillah, song, nature, mediation, learning, and being together. Sometimes stepping out of our regular context can allow us to imagine the ideal...and to start building it.
Bio: Tamar Friedman Wilson (Summer '12) and Aaron Wilson made Aliyah 3 years ago and have been very involved with the Hadar alumni community ever since. When they aren't hosting davening in their home or attending Hadar events, Tamar works at a socioeconomic research institute called the Taub Center and Aaron works at Via, a ride-sharing service.
Jerusalem Queer Beit Midrash
Project Description: Jerusalem Queer Beit Midrash is meant to create a Torah learning space for queer people of all backgrounds, identities and affiliations to bring their full selves into. The Beit Midrash will offer a number of series throughout the year and will focus on learning Talmudic sugyot, out of hope that the multiplicity of voices in the Talmud can be particularly meaningful for queer experiences and thought.
Bio: Uriel Levy lives in Jerusalem. By day - an administrator specializing in financial management for non profit organizations. By night - a dreamer and weaver of connections between Jewish and Queer thought and life.
Art + Torah Series
Project Description: The Art + Torah Series will engage young adults with Torah ideas through art. We will explore topics including creation, prayer, and Hebrew letters using creative outlets such as clay, paints, music and poetry. The series is open to those of all artistic backgrounds.
Bio: Taylor Winfield was a 14-15 Hadar Year Fellow. She is now a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Princeton University. She recently moved to Ottawa, Canada and is excited to engage the local Jewish community in Torah through art!
The Midrash Generator
Hallel Hanoch (Rabinowitz)
Project Description: The Midrash Generator is a new and innovative game encouraging players to talk and create Torah. The game combines creativity, intellectual challenges, peer-learning and of course - lots of fun! Suitable for many ages, this game will be a refreshing addition to the classroom, Beit Midrash or any Shabbat table.
Bio: Hallel Hanoch (Rabinowitz) is currently living in Jerusalem with her husband Negev. She enjoys dancing, hosting guests with Airbnb, programming, preparing girls for their Bat-Mitzvah and performing with Jerusalem's community theater. Deeply grateful for the dear places of Torah that have raised her including Yeshivat Hadar, Migdal Oz, Drisha, and the home she grew up in. Hallel loves inventing surprises, games and events for any occasion.
Berkeley Beit Midrash
Dorit Resnikoff and Ben Kramarz
Project Description: The Berkeley Beit Midrash will be an ongoing Beit Midrash organized by and for the Berkeley Jewish community and greater Jewish Community of the East Bay. We plan to host regular learning events featuring a variety of learning styles including chevruta, small group, and creative arts. As the community grows we hope to add more events and bring in more teachers and students.
Bio: Ben Kramarz is a Songleader and Jewish educator. Originally from the Bay Area, Ben lived in Brooklyn for 3 years, where he co-founded the Brooklyn Beit Midrash and hosted hundreds of people at his apartment for monthly community Shabbat lunches. Dorit Resnikoff is a Hadar Summer alum from Summer 2014. She is native to the San Francisco Bay Area and is involved in many aspects of the Jewish Community there.
The People’s Beth Midrash: Talmud B’kiuth
Project Description: Alongside a Talmud beth midrash I developed in my Western Mass community that focuses on root-level translation in direct encounter with the text (borrowing SVARA's pedagogy), I am offering an additional Talmud study opportunity that zooms out to study a larger section of text with larger thematic questions. This is an opportunity for folks who have less of an appetite for precise translating to study Talmud in a way that speaks to them. Like its older sibling, this class aims to center the voices and experiences of previously marginalized folks and empower them to become agents in the Rabbinic Project by examining the levels of interpretations and contributing our own.
Bio: Mimi Farb is a Torah teacher, community organizer, and writer currently based in Amherst, MA. Trained as a Kevah Teaching Fellow (2016) and SVARA Radical Educator (QTC 2017), Mimi draws on her experiences in ultra-Orthodox community, liberal yeshivas and Mt Holyoke College to create learning experiences that are empowering and question provoking. Before developing The People’s Beth Midrash: Northampton, Mimi taught Torah to fifth graders and middle schoolers at Oakland Hebrew Day School, co-created the Girls in Trouble Curriculum, and taught experiential feminist Torah workshops in a variety of settings.
Project Description: TRIBESchool is hosted by TRIBE: IKAR’s 20s/30s group. We host a monthly Beit Midrash style study session of that week’s Torah portion. No experience is needed and we call it the Hebrew School you wish you went to!
Bio: Emily is currently a 3rd year rabbinical student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. She received her masters’ degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies from Hebrew College.
Pigul - A Magazine
Project Description: The vision of "Pigul" is to create a place for interesting texts, both literary and philosophical, and a to open new channels in issues like Judaism, art, literature and academic study. The magazine would come out from the world of Batei Midrash, Yeshivot and Midrashot, trying to start a conversation in that world, and worlds beyond it.
Bio: I was born and raised in Yerushalayim. Alumni of the Bronfman Fellowship and the 16' Hadar summer program. Currently studying at Yeshivat Ha'Kibbutz Ha'Dati in Maale Gilboa.
Avia Sandak, Nadav Cohen, and Ariel Hanoch
Project Description: The establishment of a Beit Midrash for Torah and Culture in the spirit of both Middle-Eastern Judaism and traditional Mizrahi culture in Israel. We are seeking to form a bridge between the values of traditional Middle-Eastern Judaism and the world of Torah and Halacha that Mechon Hadar promotes, through the creation of a committed community who come together to participate in Torah learning, communal dialogue, creative activity and Piyut. During our bi-weekly meetings, we collectively engage in these important topics. In consonance with the highlights of the Jewish Calendar, we organise larger events that are specifically geared towards the general public, to place the unique message of Mizrahi Jewry at the forefront of the Jerusalem public discourse.
Bios: Avia Sandak - Daughter of Uri and Irene, sister to Eliran, Maayan and Ibi. Raised and educated in Ashdod, currently living and studying in Jerusalem. Will complete my Philosophy and Jewish Thought studies at Shallem college in June (beezrat hashem). Have the honor to participate in the Beit Midrash of Ein Prat, Mechon Hadar and Elul min haMizrah, and striving to build bridges between those three elements of my Jewish identity. I’m a food lover, enjoying my Darbuka and trying to turn from evil and do good.
Nadav Cohen, 29 year old, resident of Jerusalem. raised and educated in an ultra-Orthodox community. I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree at Shalem College, where I am studying Western Philosophy and Jewish Thought. I am a lecturer in academic literacy at a pre-university program for ultra-Orthodox students. I have enjoyed the privilege of participating in the ‘Elul’ program of Mechon Hadar, and continue to study in its fellows program. Alongside this, as a graduate of the ‘Elul min Ha’Mizrach’ program in Yerucham, I am active in the movement of Eastern Jewish Renewal across Israel. One of my primary ambitions is to build connections between the Egalitarian Jewish Renewal movement and traditional Mizrahi culture.
Ariel Hanoch [Hanukhashvily], born in Rasco, Jerusalem. A graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, is completing his BA in Geography and Jewish Thought with the help of HaShem. A student at the 'Chavruta' Beit-Midrash at Mount Scopus, member of 'Elul Min HaMizrach'- Yeruham, and of the Kedma program of Mechon Hadar. Specialized in the distribution department of the "United King" company of the Edri brothers, Herzliya. Producing content and cultural events at Beit Avi Chai, Jerusalem. One of the founders of 'Yeshiva Mizrachit' - a home for Torah study, piyyut, and creativity in the spirit and language of Sepharadi-Mizrachi Jews.
Rena Singer and Samantha Frank
Project Description: Modern Ritual models passionate, resonant Judaism. We post beautiful, content-filled posts daily on Instagram that educate young people about living Jewishly. We correspond with thousands of Jews from all over the country and world, answering their questions about ritual and tradition, and connecting them to local rabbis and communities.
Bio: Samantha Frank is a fifth year Rabbinical student originally from Silver Spring, MD. Interested in feminism and liturgy, she has served as student Rabbi at Temple Beth Am in Monessen, PA as well as at the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. Currently, she is the co-founder and director of community development at @Modern_Ritual, a feminist Jewish Instagram, and rabbinic intern at Temple Micah in DC. She loves macaroni and cheese. Rena Singer is a fourth year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion and a rabbinic intern at Central Synagogue. Rena was raised in Seattle and got her BA in Philosophy at Brandeis University. Rena spent two years studying at Hadar. Rena is the co-founder of Modern Ritual, an online source for beautiful Jewish content and community. Rena is trying to get better at running, and is passionate about great food, music, and feminism.
Project Description: Online project engaging with each Hebrew month via an image and an accompanying text that relates to the themes and holiday(s) of that month. Beginning as online posts, these images and texts will also be developed into a printed calendar. The project as a whole celebrates the ‘hiddenness’ of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Chodesh (the new month) while considering new interpretations of the Hebrew calendar.
Bio: Patrick Coyle is an artist and educator whose work expands on personal anecdotes and encounters through performance, writing, photography and installation. Coyle completed a fellowship at Hadar (2016-17); MFA Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London (2010) and BA Fine Art at Byam Shaw, University of the Arts London (2005). He recently performed and/or exhibited at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK; Aberystwyth Arts Centre, UK; Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham, UK; Haltemprice Leisure Centre, UK; Global Committee, New York; El Tercer Lugar, Buenos Aires; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Van Alen Institute, New York and Tate Modern, London.
“Eit Laledet” - A Booklet of Texts for Birthing People
Project Description: The experience of pregnancy and birth is starkly absent from our ritual life as Jews. There are no rituals to mark the spiritual and physical power of pregnancy and birth; these aspects of human experience are nearly fully absent from our liturgy, and they are only scantly or tangentially mentioned in our texts. The majority of appearances that do exist relate to the risks and fear involved in pregnancy and birth, such as fear of miscarriage and hope for health, depictions of death in childbirth. While these are real aspects of pregnancy and birth, they tell only part of the story. In an attempt to highlight the powerful positive aspects of pregnancy and birth, I will compile and edit a booklet of Rabbinic texts which will serve as a basis for tapping into the spiritual and personally positive and empowering aspects of pregnancy, labor and birth. The booklet will be illustrated (in collaboration with the "Atiq Jewish Maker Institute") and will be available for acquisition in electronic and print version.
Bio: Alexandra Berger-Polsky (Dorot 2008-09) is a doula and is currently studying nursing with the goal of becoming a midwife. She has worked in resource and organizational development for a number of Israeli human and women's rights NGOs, most recently serving as Executive Director of "Lada'at", the Jerusalem organization for the promotion of healthy sexuality, from 2015-2018. She currently serves as the Chair of the Israeli Board of Or Halev, the Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation. She holds a BA in Biology from Columbia University, and an MPH from Ben Gurion University. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and son.
Der Yiddish Tekhines Proyekt
Project Description: The Yiddish Tekhines Proyekt will be an online database where Yiddish Tekhines will come to life in song, and will be made accessible for people to pray with again. There will be translations and transliterations of Yiddish Tekhines, and original melodies will accompany the Yiddish liturgy. The hope is that there can be gatherings to support the creation of singable tekhines. At these gatherings, people will read through tekhines prayer books in search for sections and phrases that speak to them, and then create new songs, prayers and/or chants.
Bio: Noam grew up in Milwaukee, WI, and is currently a rabbinical student at Hebrew College. They are a musician who enjoys singing nigunim, Yiddish folk songs, laments, and studying the Oud. Noam is a co- founder and organizer for Let My People Sing!, a Jewish singing retreat which connects people to their ancestral singing traditions. They have worked as a chaplain for incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals fighting for healing and liberation.
Project Description: Shabbatluck is an egalitarian, song-filled Shabbat gathering in Louisville, KY that includes Friday night davening and a potluck dinner. It includes opportunities for lay members of the Louisville Jewish community to lead prayers or give a D'var Torah.
Bio: Michael Fraade is the Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education Director at the Louisville JCC. He was a summer 2011 Hadar fellow and is also an alumnus of Hazon’s JOFEE Fellowship. He serves on the board of Slow Food Bluegrass and the young adult council for Louisville food justice nonprofit New Roots, and volunteers as a clinic escort at EMW Women’s Surgical Center.
Project Description: Layered Learning is a weekly living room parsha study that meets in Downtown Washington, DC. The ‘layers’ come from both the depth of study as well as the lasagna which accompanies the conversation. Through exploring texts that are familiar to us, we hope to come to new revelations about both the text and ourselves.
Bio: Daniel Chudnow (Summer ‘13) lives in Washington, DC with his partner Yael Nagar. During the day, he is an engineer, and at night, he enjoys free comedy, cheap theater, and complaining about how people aren’t willing to pay for the arts. He loves to cook for others (and eat for himself) and looks forward to spending the year exploring lasagna as a medium of expression.
Jewish Feminist Book Club
Project Description: Our Jewish Feminist Book Club will consist of an intimate group of strong women who meet monthly to discuss the monthly book. Different women will host each month and choose the book we'll be reading that month by and or about women and people of color. We will share our thoughts about the book and our changing society through a Jewish and feminist lens.
Bio: Lindsay Goldman is a native New Yorker and is glad to be back in the city that never sleeps. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in general and special education from New York University. Lindsay served as the Jewish Experience Associate at the University of Maryland Hillel building a more cohesive pluralistic Jewish community of over 5000 students. Lindsay returned to the classroom at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School where she taught middle school. Her favorite classes included Jewish Identities and Prayer & Personal Connection. She is now a first year rabbinical school student at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She is a Shapiro fellow as a past staff member of the education department at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack where she taught 2nd- 7th graders Jewish studies everyday. Lindsay is the Slifka fellow serving as the Conservative rabbinical intern at the University of Maryland Hillel, advising and teaching the traditional egalitarian minyan. Lindsay loves teaching, traveling and trying new restaurants and is thrilled to do all three around her new neighborhood in New York City.
Egal Minyan at Harvard Hillel: A Revival
Project Description: I am organizing a traditional egalitarian minyan at Harvard Hillel that brings together undergraduate and graduate students with members of the larger Cambridge community through the development of a prayer community.
Bio: Hello! My name is Shira Mogil and I am a student at Harvard Divinity School. After graduating from NYU in 2016, I came to Hadar as a Fellow and, well, never really left (eek!). I love ice cream, night runs, talking about the U.S. Civil War, and wondering about a theology of presence.
Hillel Yad Squad
Project Description: Michael Evers is currently the Director of Cincy Internships at Hillel, helping students secure work opportunities. He also serves as a religious school teacher for a local synagogue. He studied at (Mechon) Hadar in the summer of 2015.
Bio: Yad Squad seeks to empower students to take Jewish practice into their own hands by creating a space exploring Jewish ritual, TaNaKh and approaching the siddur. This mini-course is an introduction to the rich text of the siddur and accompanying choreography. The aim is to give students the tools and resources to not only "do" Jewish but to understand why and what they're doing.
Beit Midrash Havayah
Project Description: A once-a-week grass-roots community beit midrash (egalitarian, non-denominational, and non-prescriptive) for folk to study the torah they are interested in. Learners will be matched with a chavrutah based on mutual interests. Group study will be available for unmatched members. At the beginning of every session, community members are encouraged to share an insight derived from their learning for about 5-15 minutes before studying commences. Food will be provided for the hungry.
Bio: Havaya is an independent and egalitarian Jewish community founded in 2016 in Northside, a neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the first praying community founded inside the city limits of Cincinnati in over 50 years (possibly longer). Initially organized around making Friday night shabbat together, the community has grown around programs for fast and festive days, as well as experiential education (cooking babka, making sauerkraut, etc.). The community beit midrash is our first formal foray into expanding our community programs into a weekly endeavor.
Nurit Muskat Barkan, Atara Haruni, Noa Goldschmidt
Project Description: Every Friday before Shabat we gather together to pray, learn,and explore the arts with creative writing or singing together. We also enjoy a short breakfast together after we daven, sing, and learn.
Bios: Nurit Muskat Barkan finished the service in the army in the Education department and start studying in the Hebrew university next year. Atara Haruni is a MA student at Hebrew U, in a program called Revivim, which qualifies teachers for Jewish Studies in non-religious schools in Israel. Noa Goldschmidt is studying for a B.A in special education and Hebrew language at the David Yellin College of Education and works in the Noam youth movement in the field of education developing.
Empowered Judaism Book Club at Chevrei Tzedek
Project Description: This grant will provide copies of Empowered Judaism by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer for a book club at Chevrei Tzedek, an informal, participatory, egalitarian community in Baltimore. The membership, equally devoted to creative approaches to Judaism and to Halakhic observance, is eager to study the best practices of communities who share these values. The Empowered Judaism Book Club will provide an ideal structure for deep conversations surrounding Chevrei's strengths and weaknesses as a congregation. These conversations will serve as the basis of a larger movement to empower Chevrei's membership with the skills it needs to to establish itself as a rich and vibrant spiritual community that is prepared to recreate congregational Judaism for a new generation.
Bio: Rory Katz serves as the student rabbi at Congregation Chevrei Tzedek in Baltimore. She is finishing rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she received the Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinics. When she's not building Jewish community, she enjoys creative writing, hiking, and studying Talmud and Midrash. Having been raised as a dog person, she is working on refraining from trying to play fetch with her newly-adopted cat.
Irreverently Yours: Return of the Shushan Queens
Project Description: This show is now in its second year of production! An updated, edited version of the original "Irreverently Yours, The Shushan Queens", this Purim show is a comedic, feminist, political, musical interpretation of the megillah. With a full-length script all in rhyme, original music and musical parodies, and brilliant performers, this show brings the book of Esther to a wide, diverse Bay Area audience.
Bio: Kiki Lipsett is a Bay Area educator, musician, and performance creator. She is a full-time arts and education instructor for homeless youth in San Francisco, and works on creative projects like "Irreverently Yours..." on the side. She loves fusing Judaism and performance and is very grateful that Hadar is supporting her to continue this musical production.
Rosh Chodesh Teas
Project Description: Ariela will create new moon teas for an At the Well Rosh Chodesh Group in Berkeley. Combining her research in the energetics of the moon cycle with her experience in herbalism, Chinese Medicine and Jewish text, she will create a tea blend so folks have the opportunity to embody that particular month.
Bio: Ariela Sharon is a creative, herbalist, and bodyworker, who loves working with women going through life transitions. She is currently a student at the McKinnon Institute and the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has studied at ArborVitae, Ohlone Herbal Clinic, and the Hadar Institute. She believes that through our bodies, we can touch our souls.
לך לך: Adventures for Young Professionals
Nadav Slovin and Gabi Wasserman
Project Description: Local, affordable, short-term immersive adventures for young professionals. לך לך Adventures venture outward - to the mountain peak and river bed - in order to search inwards - into spirituality and self-discovery, into genuine friendship and bonding. Together, we will discover the wonders of our world, our heritage, our community, and ourselves.
Bio: Gabi grew up in Phoenix, AZ where he attended Arizona State University and received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Gabi studied at Yeshivat Hadar in 2017 and currently works with BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy in Colorado. Nadav was raised in Massachusetts and studied at Yeshivat Hadar after graduating from McGill University. They are both outdoor enthusiast, passionately engaged in spirituality and tradition, and dedicated to strengthening Jewish community.
Serach Bat Asher: A Modern Midrash Novel
Project Description: I am working on a piece of modern midrash that I hope to turn into a novel, God willing. The piece is about the character of Serach Bat Asher, who is mentioned by name twice in the Torah, as part of lists describing who went down to Egypt and who came out of it. It is unusual that Serach is mentioned in both lists, both because they otherwise contain only male names, and because they occur 400+ years apart. Because of this the rabbis imagine in classical midrash that Serach lived to be many hundreds of years old, or possibly lived forever. My story builds on that idea, exploring the role of Serach during the exodus from Egypt.
Bio: Ariana (Siegel) Capptauber is a fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, pursuing ordination and a master’s degree in Midrash. Ariana received her bachelor’s degree in English and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University, where she wrote a collection of short stories for her senior thesis. While at Tufts Ariana won a short fiction contest and received an award in creative writing upon graduation. Ariana is a JTS Gladstein fellow and works at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, serving also as a rabbi at Congregation Eitz Chaim in Monroe, NY. Ariana was a Hadar fellow in 2014-15.
Friday Nights at Kehilat Hadar
Project Description: For 18 years, Kehilat Hadar has provided spirited, traditional, egalitarian davening on Shabbat mornings on the Upper West Side. Recently there has been a huge interest for meeting on Friday nights as well and we have begun to meet in people's apartments. This microgrant will be able to pay the extra amount for additional rent in order to meet in our usual space, and accommodate larger numbers.
Bio: Zoe has been living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan since graduating from college. While in school, she participated in a handful of Hadar Institute programs. Zoe is now an active member of the KH community where she sits on various committees, and helps to coordinate Friday night programming.
Naama Shalem, Noa Goldschmidt, and Sarah Agus
Project Description: Daana is a group for committed women to discuss sexuality, with a particular focus on Judaic and Halachic aspects. Upon assembly, we engage in an open and powerful discussion, allowing each participant to share their knowledge and learn from one another. Our group meetings include lectures from professional women in various areas, followed by a group discussion to process the topic.
Bios: Naama Shalem, graduate of Hadar’s Elul program 2018: Naama studied at the women’s Beit Midrash program in Migdal Oz. Naama is currently studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Also, she a counselor at the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, and works at the National Library of Israel. Noa Goldschmist, graduate of Hadar’s Elul program 2018: Noa is currently studying for her B.A in special education and Hebrew language at the David Yellin College of Education. She works in the Noam youth movement in the field of education development. Sarah Agus, graduate of Hadar’s Elul program 2018: Sarah studied at the Beit Midrash for women in Migdal Oz. Currently, Sarah is a student in the Hebrew University and Jerusalem Academy, studying physics, chemistry and music (viola).