Midreshet Yerushalayim in Israel, the Ukraine and Hungary
Midreshet Yerushalayim at the Schechter Institute sponsors Jewish education in the Ukraine, in Hungary and in Israel for large Russian-speaking Jewish populations and veteran Israelis looking to enrich their Jewish knowledge.
More than a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union have immigrated to Israel since 1990. Close to 700,000 Jews still remain in the former Soviet Union. Unable to practice Judaism under Communist rule, most arrived in Israel with no connection to Jewish life and culture. In response, Midreshet Yerushalayim-Israel in 1991 established a national network of Jewish studies centers. At the same time, Midreshet Yerushalayim-Europe opened TALI schools and family education centers in the Ukraine, a bi-annual teachers’ seminar and Ramah-Ukraine summer camps for children and families. In Budapest, students at the University of Jewish Studies are taught by visiting Schechter faculty.
Midreshet Yerushalayim has struck a positive chord among Russian-speaking Jews with its intellectually open and rigorous approach to Jewish education. Inclusive, pluralistic, and non-coercive, Midreshet Yerushalayim opens up a new world of Jewish Law and communal life to a Jewish population which has been culturally estranged for three generations, suffering from high levels of intermarriage.
Midreshet Yerushalayim in Israel and Eastern Europe is directed and staffed by a growing group of dedicated men and women, graduates of Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies academic and rabbinical programs. Themselves immigrants who found their way to Jewish heritage through Schechter and Midreshet Yerushalayim, they constitute a core of open-minded Jewish educators and spiritual leaders that will ensure continued growth and dynamic creativity in the future.
Midreshet Yerushalayim in Israel
NEW! Midreshet Yerushalayim adult education has expanded to include Batei Midrash for veteran Israelis in partnership with Masorti congregations. Pilot Batei Midrash operated this year in Karmiel and Haifa. Looking ahead: New Batei Midrash are schedule to open in Beersheva and Tel Aviv (Neve Zedek) in 2010-11.
Reconnecting Russian-speaking Jews to their Jewish Heritage, Midreshet Yerushalayim was established by the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in 1991 to meet the needs of large numbers of Russian-speaking Jews who were deprived of Jewish education and a connection to Jewish life for two generations by Communist regimes. Now in Israel, these new immigrants, who today number well over one million, seek to learn about their Jewish heritage.
Offering Intellectual and Cultural Experiences
The Midreshet Yerushalayim approach to Jewish learning is intellectually rigorous, geared toward the high level of education that most individuals and families received in the FSU. Steeped in general culture, they want to be addressed on a serious academic level as they conduct their search for meaning as Jews. The unique integration of traditional and critical academic study, appeals to the Russian-speaking population who enjoy learning in an intellectual and cultural atmosphere.
Midreshet Yerushalayim in Ukraine
Midreshet Yerushalayim is effectively rekindling the flame of Jewish life in the Ukraine through its comprehensive program of pluralistic Jewish education. Through a growing network of Jewish schools and summer camps for both children and families, Midreshest Yerushalayim is meeting the demand for an open and tolerant approach to Jewish learning.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the intellectually open, inclusive approach to Jewish tradition and communal life stressed by Midreshet Yerushalayim has been offering Jews in the Ukraine a path to reconnect to their people. A day school, nine Sunday schools, Camp Ramah-Yachad, a family camp and family educational programs currently serve some 800 children and their families. Midreshet Yerushalayim provides pedagogical support and teacher training to all its schools, as well as to additional Ukrainian Jewish schools. Many program graduates have made aliyah or have emigrated to the West, while many other Midreshet Yerushalayim pupils and campers are building their lives in the Ukraine. All have developed a strong sense of commitment to Jewish education and to passing on their Jewish heritage to the next generation through their involvement in Midreshet Yerushalayim programs.
Midreshet Yerushalayim in Hungary
Midreshet Yerushalayim brings visiting faculty to the University of Jewish Studies in Budapest to conduct intensive seminars in Jewish Education and Rabbinic Literature - subjects germane to the professional development of Hungary's future educators, rabbis and community leaders.