community-beit-midrash-spring-2017On an average Wednesday afternoon somewhere between sixty and ninety women pour into a boardroom at Stern College for Women to hear a scholarly Torah lecture from a Yeshiva University educator, such as Rabbi Menachem Penner or Mrs. Nechama Price. The idea for this program, known as the Community Beit Medrash, grew out of the Championsgate conference when a handful of women discussed a want for high level learning programs in the community, and naturally the CJF made it happen.

Aryeh Czarka, the program coordinator, noted that the lectures are designed to each be self-contained units, incase someone has to miss a class; and of course, everyone receives recordings after the lecture. The style of learning is usually a text-based lecture and presentation, in which source sheets handed out, and there is interactive participation with engaging speakers who make sure to take questions at the end. In essence, it provides community members a great opportunity to learn a lot from amazing faculty.

The inaugural program began about 4 years ago with lectures from Rabbi JJ Schaechter and Rabbi Hayim angel. This coming semester, beginning in February will be 10th series. Participants mostly attend because they want to learn something, and because they want it to make an impact on their lives; something they can take home with them to their Shabbos table. If you walk in, in the middle of a session, you’ll be inspired to see a room full of women taking notes and discussing the content with their speakers after “class”. In addition, it brings a number of women back home to Stern, to the days they were there and builds a sense of community amongst the participants. In fact, most are usually found to be asking why there are only six sessions and why can’t it happen every week! Julie Schreier, Assistant Vice President to the Department of Institutional Advancement and office of the President is also heavily involved in ensuring the program’s success and has been a large driving force to the program.

This upcoming program beginning in February, is also open to men, and features Rabbi Hayyim Angel, discussing prophecy in second temple era, and Rabbi Daniel Feldman discussing contemporary halachic topics such as journalism, 21st century shidduchim, marketing, and intellectual property. You can register at yu.edu/stearnlearn

 

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