Our alumni are...
Building a World of Hesed
Bikur Holim in Jerusalem
Tevel Victoria Onoufrienko
Through this project I will be handing out necessary and useful items to make patients' stay at the hospital as pleasant and not intimidating as possible.
I am a 23-year-old Israeli from the Golan Heights, currently studying to be an architect.
Ma'aser Kesafim App
Our tradition tells us to give 10% of our earnings, but it also tells us to donate every day (potentially in shul). How do these goals square up? Are we meant to keep a mental note of how much loose change we put in the pushke every morning? Are we meant to work out how much we earned yesterday and bring a tenth of that in cash to shaharit? Or are we meant to write an iOS and Android app that will send us a notification each morning allowing us to add to our running tzedakah tally with an intentional push of a button? Rov Haposkim say it's the latter.
Gabriel (summer '16, summer '18, amitei hadar '19-'20) is writing a PhD in "math" at the Hebrew University. He loves playing with computers and using them to do mitzvot. He is also writing a collection of short stories about queer torah-learning teenagers in the shtetl.
Matanot La'Evyonim: Purim and Social Action
This project will engage the Jewish community at Cambridge University in a service project modeled on the mitzvah of "Matanot La'Evyonim," the obligation to give gifts to those in need on Purim. Since this mitzvah often doesn't have the same sort of 'publicity' that other Purim-related mitzvot, such as reciting the Scroll of Esther, have among the broader Jewish community, this initiative will begin with a text-based learning session. After learning and discussing the mitzvah and the values and difficulties bound up in it, participants will engage in a direct service project for the benefit of people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge.
Having grown up in Jerusalem and bounced between Israel and the United States for the last decade or so of my life, I've found myself in an altogether new place, studying for a Master's in Classics at the University of Cambridge. I've recently been elected as the new Social Action representative on the committee of the Cambridge University Jewish Society, and in that capacity I hope to enable my lovely new community to realize their remarkable passion for gemilut hasadim.
Expanding and Deepening Ritual Practice
Trans Tahara Project
The Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston is undertaking a multifaceted project to train current members of the hevra in what to expect with tahara for trans folks after death, welcoming trans folks to serve on our hevra, and developing liturgy for nonbinary trans folks who have died. Our vision is to assure living transgender and nonbinary people and their loved ones that they will be respected and cared for in death as in life, include everyone in providing tahara who wants to be included, and advance the understanding of gender identity in our community. The hevra kadisha’s work is often referred to as “hesed shel emet” and using a bit of poetic license it is manifested here as “the kindness of respecting a person’s truth”.
Emily Fishman (EmFish, ‘09-’10), a third-generation Bostonian, is a talmud learner, bike rider, and speech-language pathologist. She spends a lot of time thinking about gender, disability, and class. EmFish developed the accessibility efforts at the National Havurah Committee's Summer Institute and recently reached 100 lifetime blood donations.
Judaism At Home: Pre-Wedding Workshops
A pre-wedding course/curriculum for couples before their wedding. Covering the wedding rituals, egalitarian practice, relationship reflection, and workshop on building a Jewish home.
Rachel "Bluth" Rosenbluth is a newly ordained Rabbi, dedicated to building meaningful and engaged Jewish communities, Torah-based wellness, and a dual narrative approach to conflict resolution. She lives in a plant- filled home in Jaffa, and is currently travelling around the world, exploring devotional communities and practices. Bluth received rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har'el in Jerusalem. She is the Program Director for Achvat Amim Ruchani, which is a five month volunteer program in Jerusalem that engages with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Bluth leads spirited prayer circles, retreats, and meditation classes, and does hand-crafted botanical and calligraphy art. Bluth is deeply dedicated to empowering religion as a vehicle for peace. She loves permaculture, coffee shops, house plants and connecting with people!
Stam Scribes Retreat
Alexandra Casser and Stam Scribes
Stam Scribes is a network of progressive Jewish scribes all over the world who communicate online to share knowledge and aid each other in professional development. The physical distance between us means we rarely meet in person, but with Hadar's help we will meet for three days at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in the summer of 2020 to share Torah and skills-based knowledge.
Alexandra holds a BA from Rutgers University in History and Political Science, with a minor in Jewish Studies, as well as an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture Studies from the Bard Graduate Center. She has studied at the Drisha Institute and at Yeshivat Hadar, and specializes in the repair and maintenance of antique torah scrolls. She is authorized by the Westminster Memorial Scrolls Trust for work on their sifrei torah. Stam Scribes is a collective of progressive Jewish scribes from all over the world. We provide a variety of services for individuals and Jewish communities, including writing new torah scrolls, repairing torah scrolls, writing and illustrating ketubahs, tefillin repair, and education.
Learning Ashkenazi Hebrew Pronunciation
Jonah S Boyarin
The primary goal of the workshop series is to develop and practice the skill of Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation, with a secondary goal of learning about its history and expressing to one another what it means to participants. All the Hebrew pronunciation systems are valuable and tell us different stories of Jewish beauty, pain, power, boundary, interchange, transmission, and interruption across time and place. The more the merrier--the more of them we enact, the more echoes we hear from the deep variety and particularity of Jewish experiences, cultures, and heritages. Many of us desire access to diasporic pronunciation systems that aren't commonly taught in most Hebrew schools, universities, ulpans, seen on tv, etc., and the opportunity to integrate them in part or whole as they see fit. For me, Ashekanzi is the one I know and feel closest to, so that's where I'm hoping to help out.
Yoyneh Hersh (יונה הערש) Boyarin is an educator, writer and organizer. He works for Jewish cultural self-determination and against white nationalism. He is the Jewish Communities Liaison at the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Trope Course for Women
During my recent experience of establishing a partnership minyan, I have come to ascertain that many women who have a strong yearning to read the Torah and Haftarah lack the practical tools to do so. As a result, new potential opportunities that have presented themselves before such women in recent years tend to remain largely untouched and unrealized, as only limited and unchanging circles of women have the relevant tools and knowledge. The purpose of this project is to ensure that women who wish to read trope have the access and support required to do so.
Sara (YH summer ’11) received her LLB from Bar-Ilan University. She works as an attorney at ITIM, in which she focuses on issues of women's rights in the religious establishment and questions of Jewish identity in the MOI and Rabbinical courts. She is a Gabbait in Kehillat Shirat Hatamar, Efrat.
Bringing Shehitah to Life in the Twin Cities
Naomi Klionsky and Martha Orhai Black
Martha and Geoffrey Orhai Black have been serving the Twin Cities Jewish community in a variety of farm-and-Jewish capacities for 8 years, with fresh happy local vegetables and egg, and splitting Shabbatot between ones spent on the farm and ones in the cities. Martha has been increasingly keen to learn the laws and skills to meet the local demand of the progressive observant community for meat that is both well-raised and properly kosher, and this project will help realize that dream.
Martha Black owns Avodah Farm in Stockholm, WI and has dreamed of learning shehita since first learning to butcher chickens in 2008. She is passionate about ethical farming and the pure magic of transforming a living animal into delicious food.
Naomi Klionsky ('12) met Martha over a plate of chicken bones at a Pesach Seder in Saint Paul, MN in 2014 and proceeded to work and live at the farm the following summer, including over Shavuot, when they learned sources from the 2014 Hadar Winter Learning Seminar “Can a Morsel of Bread Bring Peace?”
Frumsplaining with Abbi Gezunt
Abbi Gezunt is a Frum Queen from the Five-Towns who is fed up with people not understanding how to be Jewish, so she's decided to produce some tutorials for basic rituals, and share her views about some hot topics, in order to spread her Frum Torah and show everyone how it's done.
Yochai Greenfeld (Summer 2019) is a stage performer, writer, and Jewish educator. He grew up in Israel and moved to New York in 2017. He can currently be found "kvelling it" on the Broadway Tour of Fiddler on the Roof, a job he booked during his time at Hadar last summer.
Creating Art, Music, and the Spaces For It
Albany Song Circle
Mati is currently pursuing her Masters in Theology at the University of Chicago. She splits her time between her academic pursuits, her work as a chaplain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pursuing performance as well as community-based art. With her studies and artistic pursuits, Mati is bridging the world of ideas and religious thought into the public discourse, utilizing the arts as a medium for community and connection. Mati was born in England, raised in Borough Park, Brooklyn and the Five towns and has been based out of Chicago for the last four years.
(Previous to this, Mati lived in Washington D.C and worked as the Director of National Initiatives at the Embassy of Israel, after having studied Israeli politics as a Dorot Fellow in Tel Aviv. In 2014, Mati was named a "36 under 36" by the Jewish Week, after having successfully produced the "What I Be: Jews of NYC" photo series, which sent currents of controversy and conversations addressing mental health and social stigmas in the Jewish community.)
Project Description: This project will be a collaborative endeavor to bring together vocals and melodic arrangements from Jewish women interested and leading Jewish prayer across the globe. The project is designed to create a soundtrack, using electronic and house music as a base to arrange an overlay of a variety of different Jewish prayers from our sisters around the globe. The soundtrack will build on themes related to the reasons why we pray, and what kind of prayers Jewish life has to offer and inspire when communicating with the Divine. We hope that this soundtrack will be used in a variety of spaces that can facilitate ecstatic dance and devotional movement/prayer.
Jewish Electronic House Prayer Music
This project is a song circle designed to bring together the Albany Jewish community through music. It will be a space to learn new skills and share knowledge with each other. I will facilitate the group by teaching music from diverse backgrounds.
Aliza (she/they) is a writer, musician, and ritual leader inspired and guided by the radical softness of the Divine. She grounds her spiritual practice in Jewish text, song, and movement. Aliza has been a fellow at the Hadar Institute since June 2018, where she runs workshops on creative writing and communal singing.
Davar: The Jewish Art Immersive
Davar is a Jewish immersive art experience. Each experience will bring together individuals to encounter a Jewish text and respond to it by creating art and poetry. A typical Davar immersive experience will include space to contemplate art related to the chosen text, a performance to spark creative juices and a time to create art as a means of digging deeper into the text and internalising how it impacts the individual. Davar events are multi-sensory, engaging participants through visual art, tactile creation and creative refreshments.
Joe Hyman is Young Adult Programmer at JW3 and Jewish LGBT+ activist. He co-founded Davar with fellow artists Jake Berger and David Hochhauser.
One-Night Pop-Up Art Exhibition
This one night visual and literary art exhibition will bring creative work together from locals all around NYC who will create work based on Jewish texts and a specific prompt. It encourages any person whether they consider themselves an artist or not to step outside of their box and create. The exhibition will present professionally displayed work and will foster an environment for attendees to have conversations about the art and with the artists themselves.
Anina Dassa currently works as a preschool teacher in TriBeCa and is applying to Rabbinical school. She studied Visual Arts and Performing Arts at the University of Michigan while adding in a Jewish twist to all of her work. Anina is a big believer that there are many ways to learn, and that tapping into a creative lens is a lively and deep access point to experiencing text.
Jewish Puppetry of the Absurd
I am using the medium of puppetry, and collaborating with artists of varied disciplines, to create short videos responding to the bizarre, uncomfortable and ambiguous in our Tradition. The process begins from studying texts related to upcoming holidays and markers in the Jewish calendar, and adds in physical materials, movement and sound, to produce character and narrative. The project is meant to resonate new, personal absurdities with old absurdities embedded in our Tradition, and inspire questions and feelings rather than provide explanations or answers.
Yavni Bar-Yam is a puppeteer, writer, and Jewish learner and educator. He is on the arts faculty of Brandeis Collegiate Institute, was on the puppetry and design team for the 2018 Ashkenaz Festival Parade, and creates video found-object puppetry as one half of Hermit Appendage. He was the 2016 Timbrel Artist in Residence at National Havurah Committee, for shadow puppetry. As a child, Shabbat afternoon activities with his family included semi-staged readings of Waiting for Godot.
A Queer Nigun Project
Rena Branson & Ari Pomerantz
Based in New York and Philadelphia, A Queer Nigun Project has three facets: (1) hosting monthly gatherings for queer (LGBTQIA+) Jews to learn and sing nigunim together, (2) compiling a Soundcloud with melodies recorded and/or composed by queer Jews, and (3) facilitating monthly nigun singing at Jewish services in jails. We see nigun singing as a healing way to cope with marginalization, to connect across different Jewish backgrounds and life experiences, and to celebrate our own and our ancestors’ resilience. We are grateful for Hadar’s support and for the 10+ volunteers (including 5 other Hadar alums) who have helped make these circles happen over the past year!
Rena Branson has worked as an educator in a wide range of settings, from teaching ESL in Alaska to harvesting carrots for matzah ball soup with teens on a Jewish farm. After studying in the Pardes Experiential Educators Program (2017-18) and the year fellowship at Hadar (2018-19), Rena is taking a deep-dive into Jewish music and prayer leadership in the Rising Song Residency. She strives to make Chassidish nigunim more widely accessible and share their healing power in community. You can hear her recordings of original and traditional melodies on Soundcloud.
Ari Pomerantz helps run the jail component of the Queer Nigun Project. He was a Hadar fellow in Summer 2017, Year 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.
A Raza רזא + Hadar הדר collaborative series, focused on building singing community in the Hadar alumni and extended Jerusalem network.
Chana Raskin lives in Tekoa. Her song-filled Chasidic upbringing infuses her with tfila and nigun, and led her to found Raza רזא, a listening project which focuses on giving voice to the feminine sound in old chassidic melodies. Her appreciation for quiet spaces that invite deep listening, receiving, and connecting in has moved her to lead tefila spaces, as well as teach and perform nigunim in and around New York and all over Israel. 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 a Kollel member at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Light Up the Night
Nadav Slovin & Rebecca Mintz
We're gathering together on different nights of Chanukah in Philly, NY, and Boston to explore the spiritual layers of Chanukah and experientially incorporate its depth into our lives.Chanukah falls in the dead of winter. What if its darkness is an opportunity to discover the personal flame of creativity burning within, a canvass for our internal song, rhythm, and rhyme to paint its colors upon the world? Song, writing, painting, movement, and more will invite personal creative expression, drawing on ancestral wisdom, guiding us through an epic journey of connection to ourselves, one another, and the world. No artistic experience required.
Nadav Slovin has journeyed through the maze of childhood in Worcester, MA, the alleys of Montreal studying philosophy and playing ultimate at McGill University, the hills of Connecticut and Colorado raising plants and animals, and too many cities, forests, books, meditations, and halls of study to count in search for meaning and connection. He now studies and teaches among the stoney walls of Jerusalem.
Dance in the Expanse and Open the Gates: Songs of Love and Longing for the Divine
Brielle Paige Rassler
After years of seeking, singing, and channeling music from the Divine, Brielle Paige has recorded and produced her first two albums of original Jewish music- Dance in the Expanse and Open the Gates: Songs of Love and Longing for the Divine. These albums feature a stellar vocal team, including two fellow Hadar alumnae, and instrumental arrangements by her genius baby sister, Shelbie Rassler, who also served as the producer and recording engineer for both albums. Brielle can't wait to share her music with you and looks forward to singing and sharing her love of all things holy for years to come.
Brielle Paige Rassler is a therapist, spiritual artist, and rabbinic student from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She holds BA and MS degrees in Dance, Psychology, and Substance Abuse Studies and will graduate with her PsyD in Clinical Psychology in May of 2020, after completing her Predoctoral Internship with Penn Medicine. Brielle is in her fourth year of study in the ALEPH Rabbinic Program and had the great joy of being a Hadar Fellow in the Fall of 2018. Brielle has also written a treatment manual for religiously integrated treatment of Jewish women with eating disorders and a reference guide to the Talmud.
Music of Edot HaMizrah
In order to embrace the diverse backgrounds within the Hadar community, three songs of Edut Hamizrach descent have been recorded and shared in the music section of the Hadar website. Each song is recorded in its original version, and then said tune is incorporated into a psalm from Kabbalat Shabbat. The purpose of demonstrating how Edut Hamizrach tunes can be used in Kabbalat Shabbat psalms is to encourage Hadar community members to employ these tunes when leading davening. The overarching goals of this project are to both make people of Edut Hamizrach heritage feel valued in the Hadar community and diversify the music within Hadar prayer spaces.
Daniela Nagar was a 2018-2019 Hadar year fellow. Daniela lives in New York where she enjoys singing with her a cappella group, participating in creative writing spaces, and engaging in discussions about feminism and Judaism.
Building Community in Crown Heights
Liat Deener-Chodirker & Brooks Weinberger
Our project focuses on building strong traditional egalitarian community in Crown Heights. Our aim is to build on the davening communities that already exist in Crown Heights and work in collaboration with their leaders on a few new initiatives including:
- Hosting, and helping others host, living room learning sessions;
- Working to build a Shabbat meal (particularly Shabbat lunch) culture through creating financial support for community members to host lunches and through organizing occasional “mix-and match” Shabbat lunches.
- Showing up for each other in times of need. While this goal is broader than the other two, one specific way we plan on doing this is by organizing pop-up weekday minyanim for community members who have a yahrtzeit.
Liat and Brooks are both alumni of Yeshivat Hadar's Summer Fellowships, 2019. Brooks is originally from Chicago, and is currently a law student at NYU. Liat is originally from Boston, and is currently working at Avodah. We both find meaning in building strong Jewish community, and look forward to this new project!
Shabbat in the Woods
Tamar Friedman Wilson
We are so excited to leave the city and spend a special Shabbat camping in the forest. We hope to fill Shabbat with beautiful egalitarian davening, singing, sharing, learning, and connecting to nature and one another. After a very special experience last year, we can't wait to spend another meaningful Shabbat together!
Tamar and Aaron Wilson live in Jerusalem and are happy to be part of the Hadar alumni community in Israel! Tamar studied at Hadar in summer 2012 and Aaron learned at Hadar during the Winter Learning Seminar in 2014.
Dorshekha (דורשיך): An Immersive Learning Experience for Converts to Judaism
Those who have converted to Judaism, and those who have almost completed the process of conversion, often want to go deeper into study and exploration of Jewish learning and Jewish identity. Each of us has made a long, joyous, but complicated journey. In this immersive retreat, a small group of committed seekers will gather for a week of deep textual learning, music, reflection, and social justice work. The retreat will take place at the Hebrew College in mid-August.
Moshe is currently in Shana Bet (second year) at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is a former Summer Fellow ‘18, and formerly studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Before attending rabbinical school, he taught philosophy, religion, and history and ran Jewish life on campus at a boarding school in Northwest Connecticut. Moshe is an avid listener of podcasts and loves talking politics and philosophy. He loves starting his day with several strong cups of coffee. When not engaged in all things Jewish, he also enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring museums and bookstores with his wonderful wife.
SHVILIM Program for Rabbinical Leadership
The program sets to educate a new generation of rabbis who put an emphasis on the jewish social voice of pluralism and moderation. Therefore, the participants will join lectures on justice, equality, and peace. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion in which we will try to establish and form our opinions on issues.
Tahel is a student of Shalem College, an alum of Yeshivat Hadar (Elul 2019), and a member of the Amitim program. She grew up in Kibbutz Lavi and lives now in Kfar Adumim with her husband. Tahel studied at the Beit Midrash in Nature and in the Womens' Beit Midrash in Migdal Oz. She is an activist in social justice and human rights.
Judaism and Magic Weekend Learning Retreat
Yona Benjamin & Lilli Shvartsmann
We will be using our funds to extend our stays on Moishe House retreats for young professionals through Sundays rather than ending sunday morning. We hope the longer time-frame will inspire our participants to bring the learning that we do during shabbat into their lives after shabbat is over. So much young professional programming is shabbat oriented. We want to show people that dynamic Hadar Judaism is for hol as well!
Yona Benjamin is a senior at JTS/GS studying Philosophy and Talmud. he was a summer fellow in 2017. He currently works at the Morgan Library Museum, and aspires to make the best homemade pickles north of Grand Street.
Now a first-year rabbinical student at JTS, Lilli Shvartsmann spent the year studying at Hadar in 2018-9. Lilli loves to spend her days baking cookies, challah and other types of bread and learning Torah to teach along with sharing her food.
Exploring and Creating Torah
From Maisel to Moses: a Deeper Dive into Judaism
Project Description: A virtual course on a wide range of topics (including Jewish time, Shabbat, and gender) at Oklahoma University Hillel. The goal of the course is to expose students to substantive text-based learning, fuel their passion for Judaism, and whet their appetites for DIY learning.
Rebecca Galin spends her day studying Talmud. Previously, she worked at UJA Federation of New York, co-running a program for diverse Israeli social change makers, managing a small portfolio of innovation grants, and planning a day of service on MLK day. She also brought her passion for liturgy to youngsters at Town and Village Synagogue and students Oklahoma University Hillel where she lead Tot Shabbat, Junior Congregation, and High Holiday services respectively. Rebecca earned her BAs in Prayer Studies at JTS and Film Studies at Barnard College. In her free time, she makes jam and waves at puppies.
Upper West Side Parashah Haburah
This Haburah is a friendly environment to explore the upcoming Torah portion of the week every Sunday evening.
Judah is a PhD candidate in Religion, Ethics, and Politics at Princeton University.
From Head to Torah
In this series together we will experience how ancient Jewish texts and rituals can help us strengthen the connections between our bodies, minds and hearts. Each session will involve a group text study, a juicy discussion and an embodied ritual practice.
Zoe Jick is Associate Director of Jewish Content for the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. Zoe organizes programming run in conjunction with BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change in Tel Aviv.
Sarah Agus & Racheli Deutsch
Daana is a diverse women’s group, where we discuss and learn about various topics related to sexuality. We meet with professional women in different areas, and also read texts together, in order to deepen our learning and understanding. Our discussions are based on a relationship of the participants to religion, halakhah, and relationship to God. Daana is therefore an opportunity to connect these worlds.
Racheli Deutsch is studying for her BA in humanities, philosophy, and Jewish thought at the Shalem Institute. She is the author of the blog called “Kechi Lach Vanil.” She volunteered as communications advisor in the organization “Mavoi Satum - opening the dead end for the aguna.”
Sarah Agus is studying for her BA in Chemistry and Physics at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She also studies music (viola) at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and preforms with the women’s orchestra “Zemora”. Sarah founded Daana last year with Noa Goldshmidt and Naama Shalem.
Yemima In English
Our goal is to translate Yemima Avital's writings as a habura into English so that her work will be accessible for non Hebrew speakers. Yemima Avital was a descendant of a kabbalist dynasty, a psychologist and a Hassidic healer. Her teachings are learned by thousands of Israelis who wish to bring more balance and depth into their life.
My life swings between Torah learning and learning about the earth.. I currently live in Berkeley, CA, with my husband Adam Josephs. I am originally from Jerusalem, most of my time is invested in writing a doctorate about Environmental and Sustainability Education Policy in Urban settings and learning Torah with friends and community. The Yemima project is a long standing dream that I'm happy to have the opportunity to actualize!
The Seventh Seder
The Seventh Seder is a project that aims to document and combine the dialogues and lived experiences around being a non-male body that lives a halakhic lifestyle. It seeks to comment, discuss, expand, and qualify the laws we've been given as we try to harmonize the contradictions entailed in being halakhic and non-male.
Liza Bernstein (YH '17-'18) currently lives in Israel where she studies at the Conservative Yeshiva.
Talmud + Reparations Project
This project cultivates a Critical Race Theory analysis of Talmudic texts, looking to answer the question: How can we read our legal tradition as making space for or even insisting collective obligation towards reparations of historic harms. Investigating our halachic obligation to intervene and/or make repair on the violence from which we benefit by existing in this nation, this project will put Hazal in conversation with canonical Black and Indigenous American Intellectuals to articulate a halakhic obligation around reparations.
Alona Weimer is a community organizer and educator. Alona received her B.A. in Black Studies before attending Hadar in Summer 2019 and enjoys articulating dialogue between her two favorite intellectual canons.
Global Essay Contest: Jewish Life in the 20s
The 2020s are upon us. What does Jewish life look like in this new decade, especially egalitarian Jewish life? How will Jewish life evolve around larger changes in society? A group of students from the Oxford University egalitarian Jewish community hope to provide a forum for young people to demonstrate global Jewish leadership through an essay on a topic related to these questions The top essays will be publicized and awarded prize money.
Noam Kantor (originally from St. Louis, MO) is a doctoral student in math at Oxford University, where he also enjoys singing in a college choir and exploring the beautiful meadows nearby. He wonders how we can use religious traditions to think about contemporary issues, especially those raised by digital technology.
Organizing Batei Midrash
Or Gil & Arielle Lubick
Beit Midrashishi was found by Hadar alumni as an opportunity to meet and participate in joint learning sessions with friends and community members, as well as individuals interested in Hadar! The meetings will take place once a month on the Fridays of Shabbat Mevarchim in Rehavia. During the meetings, we will open with a Sacharit minyan, followed by a tasty breakfast and a joint learning session on different topics. You are welcome to bring friends along and contact us if you would like to lead a learning session!
Hi! We are Arielle Lubick and Or Gil, we are both alumni of Hadar's Elul program in Israel of 2019 and are currently participating in Hadar's Fellowship program. Besides studying Torah, we are both studying for our degrees at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and also do other stuff, like work and volunteer. During our time in Hadar, we have found a deep connection with its values, spirit, and community and are excited to contribute to its activity in Israel!
Bay Beit Midrash
Bay Beit Midrash is a space for community to deepen learning together. It will include time for independent havruta study as well as small directed learning circles. The purpose of this project is to empower people to have a consistent dedicated Jewish learning practice through community based support.
Hadar is a social artist, feminist manifestor, & devout God-lover. She loves weaving together tradition, ritual, prayer, community, embodiment and justice values. You can read more about her work at hadarcohen.me and check out her latest project at jerusaleminexile.com.
Lakeview Beit Midrash
Ranana Dine & Natan Hason
The Lakeview Beit Midrash is a space in the Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview for communal Torah learning in a casual laid back environment. We typically meet monthly in people's homes on Shabbat to be taught Torah by a lay leader in the community over light snacks and song. The Lakeview Beit Midrash hopes to be accessible to all who would like to partake in Torah learning from all backgrounds and affiliations.
Ranana Dine and Natan Hason are both residents of the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago, where Ranana is a PhD student at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Natan teaches Rabbinics and Tanakh at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. Together they enjoy running independent minyanim, canvassing for progressive political candidates, and eating Shabbat meals. Separately Ranana can be found photographing the Lake or swing dancing, and Natan enjoys making delicious Yemenite food with his husband Daniel.
Triangle Beit Midrash
The Triangle Bet Midrash is a place for Jewish learning in the Chapel Hill-Durham area of North Carolina. The bet midrash hosts regular shiurim where students can learn Talmud and other texts in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. At the Triangle Bet Midrash, people of all backgrounds and skill levels have the opportunity to study together in a mixed-level classroom.
Esther Mack grew up in traditional egalitarian communities in Cleveland, Ohio and Jerusalem. Her experience at the full-time program at Svara: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva in Chicago drove her to pursue deeper learning at Hadar's summer program, which she completed in 2019. Esther is committed to using Jewish tradition and halacha to inform and support movements for liberation locally and around the world. In her free time, Esther grows culinary mushrooms and hangs out with her rescue dog.
Tel Aviv Beit Midrash
Beit Midrash Hadari in Tel Aviv meets for hevruta learning, followed by maariv. The format comprises several series of shiurim, all taught by Hadar staff. 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.
Yigal (Kedma 2016, 2017, Elul in Hadar 2019) completed his degree in law and is now a lawyer in a law firm in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem Queer Beit Midrash
Uriel Levy & Michal Schonberg
The goal of the project is to create a Jewish learning space for lgbtq people in Jerusalem and Israel. The Beit Midrash will enable the participants to learn Torah in a space where they can bring their identity and their experiences into the learning without fear. There will be several gatherings throughout the year.
Uriel Levy lives in Jerusalem. By day - an administrator specializing in financial management for nonprofit organizations. By night - a dreamer and weaver of connections between Jewish and Queer thought and life.
Michal Schonberg was born and raised in Jerusalem. Michal is an alum of Midreshet Hashiluv Natur and the '17 Hadar summer program. Michal is active in the religious lgbtq community and works as an analyst.
Egalitarian Shabbat Minyan in Givatayim
The aim of the project is to create a community for residents of Givatayim and the surrounding area who are seeking egalitarian and progressive options for Shabbat. It will include Kabbalot Shabbat geared towards secular Israeli families with young children, as well as traditional egalitarian Shabbat morning services.
Rabbi Rachel Druck does a lot of Jewish stuff. In addition to running the Egalitarian Minyan in Givatayim, she works at the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit HaTfutzot, and is currently studying for her Master’s in Yiddish Literature at Tel Aviv University. Rachel is originally from New Jersey, and through a series of adventures and unexpected events, finds herself living in Givatayim, Israel.
Nolita Minyan is a monthly traditional-egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat minyan in downtown Manhattan, featuring spirited singing and engaged davening followed by homemade cholent and lots of hanging out. (We’re proud to identify as - so far as we know - the only fleishig egal minyan in town!) We’ve hosted once a month for over a year, and in the upcoming months we will be adding substantial learning to our gatherings, welcoming a series of visiting scholars. Each is an innovative scholar and community leader, and we are thrilled they are joining us to share their Torah.
Originally from California’s Bay Area, Marty Zack moved to New York City three years ago after graduating from Stanford University, where he majored in Urban Studies. Since moving, he has worked teaching SAT prep classes for public high school students around New York; as a waiter for two years; and currently works in the City of New York’s Tenant Support Unit, protecting renters in East New York from harassment and displacement. He studied at Yeshivat Hadar part-time in summer 2018.
The West Philly Shtiebel
The West Philly Shtiebel gathers monthly in the home of Micah Weiss and Nomi Teutsch for Shabbat and Yom Tov morning davening. We are a heimish affair that provides a supplemental gathering to the robust Jewish life centered in our neighborhood synagogue, Kol Tzedek. Please let us know if you live in West Philly and would like to be added to the mailing list.
Rabbi Micah Weiss is the Assistant Director for Thriving Communities and Tikkun Olam Specialist at Reconstructing Judaism.
Hadar Minyan Be'er Sheva
Sara Levy-Stevenson & Maya Tushinski
For the past two years, we have organized a Hadar-style Friday night minyan in one of the student neighborhoods of Be’er Sheva, Shchunah Dalet. We meet 1-2 times a month and we have been privileged to watch the minyan grow and develop over time. This year, we will use our microgrant to expand the minyan's activity to occasional Shabbat morning services. Together we hope to create a friendly, spirited, and engaged Shaharit services, and activities such as kiddush which will foster community and social connection.
Maya Tushinski Bassok is originally from Sha’arei Tikvah, and now lives in Be’er Sheva. She is studying towards a Master’s degree in urban planning and is married to Yagel. She is an alumna of Midreshet Lindenbaum, Beit Prat, and Hadar (Summer '16) and strives to create connections between these three batei midrash in her Jewish identity. She is a participant in a program called “Atidim: Local Government Cadets”, which aims to bring about change in local authorities in Israel’s periphery.
Sara Levy-Stevenson is a fourth year nursing student at Ben Gurion University. Originally from Minneapolis and Efrat, and an alumna of Midreshet Lindenbaum and Hadar (Summer '16), she now lives in Be’er Sheva. In her spare time, she works at a psychiatric hospital, at an Ethiopian absorption center, and as the BGU coordinator for Ne’emanei Torah VeAvodah.
Koleinu Yom Kippur Services
Koleinu is a once-a-year minyan that offers traditional, halakhic, gender-egalitarian Yom Kippur services. Davening places an emphasis on musicality through high-quality prayer leadership, a richness of singing, and full participation by the kahal, with the goal of providing a transcendent, heart-opening, and soul-moving experience that will inspire connection to Jewish prayer and community on Yom Kippur and beyond.
Renna Khuner-Haber is a Bay Area based Jewish community organizer and facilitator and leader of ritual, song, and prayer. For the past four years she has co-led Nigun Collective, a community of song lovers who gather monthly to sit in silence between beautiful harmonies of wordless melodies.