Learn with Hadar
Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Beit Midrash


Yeshivat Hadar Summer Beit Midrash

June 22-July 28, 2022

Holmes Camp & Retreat Center

Overview | Frequently Asked Questions | Apply

Note on COVID-19 and Safety: Hadar is absolutely committed to abiding by all relevant protocols to make this a safe program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All Summer Beit Midrash activities are being planned in close consultation with a medical adviser who has designed COVID-19 safety protocols for schools and is confident that the overall structure can be implemented responsibly and safely.

Based on the current situation, proof of full vaccination will be required. We are working closely with our medical adviser over the coming months to fully update any relevant health protocols.

Hadar's Approach to Jewish Identity and Status

Jewish identity is highly personal and the sovereign domain of every individual. Jewish status is subject to different working definitions in different communities and schools of interpretation. At Hadar, we try to think about these issues with sensitivity and nuance.

Hadar welcomes people from all backgrounds to study in our online and in-person classes, events, and multi-day programs, and there is never a requirement to share anything about Jewish status as a prerequisite. We aim to be an institution of learning for all who want to connect with Torah.

The Beit Midrash Fellowship is distinct from other learning opportunities at Hadar as it is designed for a cohort characterized by shared obligation in mitzvot and halakhic practice, including daily minyan. For this program, Hadar has a working definition of Jewish status that is anchored in halakhah, while being sensitive to its thoughtful application in our contemporary world. As a starting point and emerging from current convention, halakhic Jewish status is expressed through matrilineal descent and/or affirmative embrace of the covenant through formal conversion to Judaism (involving immersion in the presence of a beit din of three, and circumcision where required).

In written applications, all applicants are asked to reflect on the particularities and complexities of their own Jewish background, in preparation for a program that is intended to deepen one's sense of Jewish identity and practice. We honor and embrace the diversity of our students’ backgrounds, including families where the relationship between biology and parentage may be less straightforward and families of mixed religious heritage. Halakhic status in these cases can be more complicated, and varies significantly based on each person’s unique circumstances, sometimes requiring an affirming process in order for a person to mark the significance of their life choices and fully participate in a community of halakhic practice.

If you have any questions about Hadar's approach to Jewish status as it relates to you, please reach out to Rabbi Aviva Richman or Rabbi Ethan Tucker prior to submitting an application to begin a respectful conversation around your Jewish journey and halakhic pathways to honor your identity as a full part of a community of shemirat mitzvot.

We know that Jewish status can be deeply personal, sensitive, and sometimes painful in the contemporary Jewish landscape. Our goal is not to create barriers or close doors, nor is it possible to outline a comprehensive set of policies for every unique family story. We hope that you’ll learn at Hadar - whether you apply for the Beit Midrash Fellowship or participate in any other of our programs

[] How do I apply to Hadar? When are applications due?

The application for the full time Summer Beit Midrash has two parts: a letter of reference and a written application. Once your complete application has been reviewed, select candidates will be invited for an interview (in person or on video). By mid-February, you will be informed about whether you have been granted an interview. Interviews take place late February to mid-March. Generally, admissions decisions will be communicated by mid-April. If you need an accelerated application process, contact us at [email protected]. Late applications may be considered, space-permitting.

[] What’s the daily schedule at Yeshivat Hadar?

You can look at the weekly schedule from our 2021 summer program below. While upcoming summer sessions won't be identical to this, they will be quite similar.

[] What kind of textual proficiency do I need to study at Hadar?

Yeshivat Hadar’s summer students should know basic modern or rabbinic Hebrew. This includes knowledge of prefixes and suffixes, the ability to translate common Hebrew verbs without a dictionary and the basics of conjugation like tense, gender, and number. If you have any questions please reach out to Dena Weiss, Rosh Beit Midrash, at [email protected].

[] How much does it cost to study at Hadar?

This summer, Hadar is covering all tuition costs and providing room and board, free of charge, to support students' commitment of time and focus to a summer of learning. 

[] Who is it for?

Participants are generally ages 20-35. Students applying from America need to have been in university or the equivalent for one year. Students applying from Israel need to have completed one year of Army or equivalent.

[] I’m not a US citizen. What kind of visa can I receive to study at Hadar?

Foreign students who are not US citizens should first inquire about receiving a tourist visa to visit the United States that extends beyond the conclusion of the Hadar session you are joining. If that is not possible, Hadar can lend assistance in obtaining a visa to cover your time here, though we cannot guarantee the success of the application, which depends on factors outside of our control.

[] What is Hadar’s connection to Israel?

Hadar’s connection to Israel is strong and long-standing and there are often Israeli full-time students in our beit midrash. We have a full-time staff in Israel along with hundreds of Israeli alumni, many of whom have studied with us in person in New York City, and many of whom have participated in our Elul and Winter programs in Israel. You can learn more about those programs and see more Hebrew-language content here. Our New York-based faculty have logged a lot of time living, learning, and teaching in Israel. You will find a wide range of views and approaches to Israel among the faculty and fellow students. We approach Israel, Zionism, and the return of Jewish sovereignty with deep gratitude to live in this moment and a profound sense of responsibility around the ethics of power. The yeshiva says the prayer for the State of Israel before Musaf on Shabbat as well as Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut.

[] What is Hadar doing to be environmentally friendly?

We're glad that you asked. We generally use reusable dishes and make sure to use biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery for higher volume needs. When possible, we compost organic materials generated through our programming. We're always looking for more that we can do, and if you have any suggestions please be in touch with us at [email protected].

[] How do I find out more?

We are happy to answer any questions—please contact [email protected].