Learn with Hadar
Manger Winter Learning Seminar

Manger Winter Learning Seminar

Manger Winter Learning Seminar

Sponsored by the Manger Foundation

January 2-9 & January 10-13, 2022






Hadar’s Manger Winter Learning Seminar (MWLS) is an opportunity for students and young adults to study in Hadar’s Beit Midrash and take part in an honest, dynamic, and multi-level exploration of Jewish texts with passionate teachers and committed peers.

Immerse yourself in a stimulating week of Torah study, Jewish music, prayer, shared meals, and conversation while connecting to an incredible network of peers who are excited about learning and are working to build bolder, more ambitious, and more meaningful Jewish lives.

This seminar is designed for students and young adults, ages 18-30, with a passion for Jewish texts and an openness to learning, sharing, and growing.

This winter, we are offering two modes for learning with Hadar:

  • We will convene a Winter Learning Seminar at Holmes Camp & Retreat Center in Holmes, NY, from January 2-9, 2022, with plenty of outdoor space where we can safely live and learn together. While we will miss our home base in New York, being off-site will provide us with the opportunity to have an even more immersive experience together - sharing meals, a beit midrash, and Shabbat in a beautiful natural setting.
  • We will offer a 3.5 day virtual learning seminar the following week on January 10-13 that will include distinct learning on the same theme.

Participation is contingent on strict adherence to relevant COVID-19 safety regulations. More information about COVID-19 and safety policies can be found on the FAQ page.


This Year's Theme

Speaking Up: Courage, Care, and Community

Our words are powerful tools that can build or destroy. Yet, we often give little thought when using these tools. What values should guide us in knowing when to speak up, and how to speak? How do we discern whether silence is healing - or deadly? What makes speech "private" or "public" and is there any way in which human speech is a matter between us and God? At this year’s MWLS, we will study topics including rebuke, lashon ha-ra and verbal shaming, paying attention to how these play out in various modes and media in our contemporary moment. Our learning will draw from sources spanning the centuries and genres of Torah as we seek to deepen our understanding and expression of speech that strengthens relationships and community.




Rabbi Tali Adler, a musmekhet of Yeshivat Maharat, received her undergraduate degree from Stern College, where she majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, during her time at Yeshivat Maharat, Tali served as the clergy intern at Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim and Harvard Hillel. Tali has studied in a number of Jewish institutions, including Drisha and Midreshet Harova.


Yitzhak Bronstein is the director of Maimonides Moot Court Competition at Hadar, overseeing programming at the high school and collegiate levels. Previously he lived in Chicago as a Jewish educator for Moishe House, working with young adult leaders to strengthen educational experiences in their peer-led communities. He is a 2019 FASPE Ethics fellow (Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) and traveled to Germany and Poland with FASPE. Originally from New York, Yitzhak has studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Yeshiva University. He lives in Washington DC and is excited to be part of Hadar's growing presence in the city.


Rabbi Shai Held -- theologian, scholar, and educator -- is President, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Hadar. Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakhah at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held's first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, was published by JPS in 2017.


Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). He also received semikha from his long-time teacher, Rav Daniel Landes. Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart.


Rabbi Aviva Richman is a Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She completed a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.


Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg is faculty at Hadar. He received rabbinic ordination both from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and from his teacher, Rav Elisha Ancselovits. He also holds a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Micha’el has served as associate professor of rabbinics at Hebrew College, and as the rabbi of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center in Washington Heights. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2018), and with Rabbi Ethan Tucker, he is the co-author of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (Ktav, 2017).


Rabbi Avi Strausberg is the Director of National Learning Initiatives at Hadar, and is based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as the Director of Congregational Learning of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. Avi studied at Hadar as a year fellow, and served on our summer faculty in 2014. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston and is a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She also holds a Masters in Jewish Education. While pursuing her studies, Avi was honored to serve as a rabbinic intern at Kehillath Israel and Temple Sinai. Additionally, Avi has worked as a chaplain intern at Hebrew Senior Life and organized an anti-trafficking campaign as a rabbinic fellow at T’ruah. Energized by engaging creatively with Jewish text, she has written several theatre pieces inspired by the Torah and maintains a Daf Yomi haiku blog in which she writes daily Talmudic haikus. Avi is most grateful for her wife, Chana, and two children, Ori and Niv.


Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan also directs Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. He is the author, along with Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017). Ethan serves as a trustee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.


Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish is faculty at Hadar and a Senior Coach for Pedagogy of Partnership. She is completing her PhD in Rabbinics at Harvard University. Her interests include rabbinic approaches to gender, parenting, and education. She has published several articles, including, "Upending the Curse of Eve: Reframing Maternal Breastfeeding in BT Ketubot" (2017). Rabbi Walfish has taught Tanakh, Talmud, and Jewish Law in numerous settings including the Conservative Yeshiva, Hadar, Harvard University, Hebrew College, and the National Havurah Committee's summer institute. She revels in the process of learning Torah with and from her students.


Dena Weiss is Rosh Beit Midrash and Director of Fellowship Programs at Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash, and Hasidut. Dena earned a BA in Religious Studies from New York University and an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Mima'amakim journal of Jewish religious art.


Sample Schedule


The sample schedule below is subject to change.




Click here to learn about our outstanding faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions


Note on COVID-19 and Safety: Hadar is committed to abiding by all relevant protocols to make this a safe program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the current situation, these protocols would require all participants, staff, and faculty to stay on premises throughout the program. At this time, it is too early to determine specific details on aspects such as testing and quarantine, when so much is changing about vaccines and testing technology. We are working closely with our medical adviser over the coming months to fully update protocols and details.

Is it for me?

If you’re a student, age 18-30, looking to deepen your Jewish life through learning, prayer, music, and community, then yes!

What is it like in Hadar’s Beit Midrash?

See here for some frequently asked questions about what it’s like to study in Hadar’s Beit Midrash. In general, this program includes Talmud study in the morning, one-off elective classes in the afternoon, and evening programming such as a lecture, panel conversation, or live-podcast taping.

When is it?

Two weeks! January 2-9 & January 10-13, 2022

Where is it?

Week 1: Holmes Camp & Retreat Center in Holmes, NY | Week 2: Zoom

Are the two weeks distinct? Can I join for both?

Yes! The curriculum for both weeks is based on the same theme, but the learning will be different each week. The first week will be conducted in-person at Holmes Camp & Retreat Center and the second week will be online. Attend both to gain an even more comprehensive understanding of this year’s theme.

Can I attend part-time?

Hadar’s immersive programs are opportunities to step out of your day-to-day routine and immerse yourself in islands of Jewish content and conversation. We strongly encourage all participants to attend the totality of our programs. If you have an extenuating circumstance that prevents you from participating, please write to us at [email protected].

What precautions are you taking around COVID-19?

  • All participants must show proof of vaccination in order to register for the immersive. Unvaccinated participants will not be permitted to attend the immersive.
  • At this point in time we are monitoring the situation and reserve the right to change protocol and/ or cancel the program if it is unsafe to host as planned.

I have more questions! How can I find out more?

Please reach out to [email protected] with any additional questions.


Save the Date


Please fill out the form to save the date for the Manger Winter Learning Seminar. We will be launching an application process in the fall.