• Guide to Israel Schools

  • Midreshet Yeud—S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program

  • Goal of the Program

    Midreshet Yeud is a one-year program in Jerusalem catering to modern-Orthodox girls who want to make a significant contribution to Israeli society, while devoting themselves seriously to Jewish studies.

    Hashkafa
    Goal of Program
    Many girls, who have spent a year of Torah learning in Israel, feel that something important was missing in their overall experience. "I had a great year of learning, but I can't say I know what Israel is really all about... If I could have only been integrated with 'the real' Israel --- that would have made the difference!"

    At Yeud, we integrate with Israeli students on campus and with the larger Jerusalem community via the Sherut Leumi volunteering program

    Our goals are:
    -To inspire you to live a fully balanced life as a Jew. This we accomplish by reaching out to our fellow Jews: Yeud allows you to grow spiritually within a Beit-Midrash atmosphere, while giving of your time and talents to help your brothers and sisters in Jerusalem.
    -To prepare you for the challenges which await you in universities and in adulthood, by giving you the skills you need to further your Torah studies on your own.
    -To help you improve your Hebrew language skills, as you interact on a daily basis and form friendships with Israeli girls your own age.
    -To enhance the love of our people and our land, and the respect of the state of Israel, while touring the country on monthly field trips to historic and nature sites. With Midreshet Yeud's strong modern-Orthodox Zionist Hashkafa, we instill in our students a deep sense of love and respect, and a sense of responsibility towards our State, our Torah and our People alike.

    Attitude towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael

    We deeply appreciation that we have the opportunity to live in Eretz Yisrael. We recognize that this gift has been given to enable us to create a community based on Torah in our land. But we also recognize the staggering personal sacrifices through which this gift has come, often by people who are not aware of our purpose in being here. We treat their views with the utmost understanding and respect without wavering on our commitment to our understanding.

    Attitude towards University Studies

    Midreshet Yeud students are encouraged to attend Stern College, or any other University with a strong body of Jewish students. We believe in the Torah and Mada ideal, and in the Torah and Derech Eretz way, as taught by Rav Soloveitchic zt"l, and as represented at Yeshiva University and Stern College.

    Attitude towards Extracurricular Activities

    Midreshet Yeud is all about taking the Torah we learn, and through it reaching out to our brothers and sisters who need us. We spend 2 workdays every week (Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30am up to 3:00pm) at various Sherut Leumi locations, bringing light into the lives of blind kids, terror-victim-families, mentally or physically disabled kids, schools, hospitals, soup kitchens and a variety of other organizations. We view the Extra-curricular activities as an integral part of our educational program. We feature weekly guest speakers. We also travel the country, and partake in main events in Israel, such as the ceremony at Har Hertzel on Yom Hazikaron, or dancing on the streets on Yom Yerushalayim.

    We have a Holocaust education program, including a weeklong trip to Poland. Another specialty of Midreshet Yeud is our weekly walking tours, every Sunday morning - led by midrasha staff or students - to different parts of greater Jerusalem. These tiyulim have a strong educational value, as we learn about Jerusalem throughout the ages -- from ancient to modern days -- through texts from Tanach, Midrash and Halacha.

    Preparation for Post Israel

    We prepare our students by giving them the learning skills they need in order to further their Torah studies on their own. In addition, Midreshet Yeud students take the David Project Israel Advocacy seminar on a college level, preparing them to stand up for what they believe in while on college campus.

    The "Successful" Student

    Our vision is to build a stronger, more complete Jew - one who will live a full Torah life. We try to create a mature, focused individual who is not concerned only with "what can I get", but also with "what can I give back". Equipped with lots of ruach and with true leadership potential, our successful student is equally motivated to learn Torah and to volunteer.

    Dress

    Skirts down to the knees; shirts down to the elbows, and which reach the top of the skirt; proper neckline.

    Guidance Personnel

    An Em Bayit [dorm mother], as well as 2 madrichot are available for schmoozing, help and guidance. We chose our entire teaching staff based on their ability to connect to the students on an "eye to eye" level, and to maintain open communication throughout the year. We have a full-time social worker in the midrasha. She speaks to all students several times during the year as a matter of routine, and she specializes in matching the students with the right Sherut Leumi choice for them.

    Supervision

    Our students are not allowed to sleep away from school unless special permission is granted by the dorm mother.

    Curfew is at midnight, and at 12:30am on Motsaei Shabbat.
    Attendance is taken in class on a regular basis.
    We have a "Zero tolerance" policy regarding any use or possession of drugs or alcohol, or any kind of smoking.
    Going into, or "hanging out" near pubs, bars, disco or clubs of any sort [even without drinking] is strictly prohibited at Midreshet Yeud and may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
    Curriculum
    Makeup
    Blend of advanced Torah studies [3 days a week] with Sherut Leumi volunteer projects [2 days a week]. Basic track, and an advanced "Beit Midrash" track (pending acceptance) – where the girls complete the entire TaNaCh during the year, learn a full Masechet in Gemara and much, much more. Even on Sherut Leumi days there are classes in the afternoon and evening hours

    Courses Offered
    Jewish Philosophy
    Intro to Oral Law
    Chavruta with Israeli Girls
    Rational for Mitzvot
    Tough Stuff in Tanach
    Rav Soloveitchic
    Esther and Ruth
    Kabalah
    Weekly Parasha
    Tours in Jerusalem
    Tefilah
    Middot Workshop
    Talmud
    Women in Tanach
    Hebrew Ulpan
    Rav Kook's Writings
    Midrash on Bereshit
    Kashrut
    Bein Yisrael L'amim
    Current Events
    History of Holocaust
    Tanach Bekiut
    Chassidic Thought
    Rambam's Writings
    Women in Halacha
    Modern Israeli Dilemmas
    Hilchot Shabbat
    Medical Halacha
    Halachot from the Parasha
    Melachim
    Converts & Converting
    The world of our Kings
    Kuzari
    Bein Adam La'chavero
    Jewish Philosophy
    Building our Middot
    Jewish monetary lawsuits
    Secrets to success
    Tanaim and Amoraim
    Controversial topics in Halacha
    Men Women and the space between them
    Judaism, Christianity and Islam
    Why Judaism

    Daily Schedule
    No Information Provided

    Language of Instruction
    Most classes are in English, some are in Hebrew, with an option to join the Israeli group which learns all classes in Hebrew.

    Ulpan or Hebrew Class

    Hebrew Ulpan once a week (optional). However, the best Ulpan proves to be the fact that our students spend 2 days a week at the Sherut Leumi workplaces, and share the dorm on a daily basis with a group of Israeli girls their age.

    Assessment and Grading

    Students are given transcripts based on attendance, participation and a project / test for some courses.

    Shana Bet

    Though we have yet to have had a Shana Bet program, we will be happy to provide it to any interested students.

    Joint Program

    We are part of the YU S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program
    Staff
    Rav Yaakov Shapira- Founder and Head of Midreshet Yeud: Rabbi Shapira is a graduate of the Har Etzion and Merkaz Harav Kook yeshivot. He holds an MA in Jewish history from Meit Morasha in Jerusalem and from Touro College. In 1994, Rabbi Shapira founded Midreseht Yeud, and he serves as Rosh Midrasha ever since.

    Rav Hillel Van-Leeuwen- Head of Yeud Overseas Program: Born in Chicago and raised in Israel, Rav Van-Leeuwen is an insightful and vibrant educator, who believes in personal growth through discussion and thought. A former paratrooper in the I.D.F, he perceives problems as a challenge and an opportunity to grow, and is always open to new ideas. Rav Van-Leeuwen encourages his students to question everything, inspiring them to pursue the answers they need in order to be "Jews by choice". Rav Van-Leeuwen has recently returned to his home in Ofra, after a successful 3-year shlichut in Toronto, Canada, where he taught at the Community Hebrew Academy [CHAT] while being actively involved in several Jewish education projects and summer camps in North America.
    Rav Van-Leeuwen and his wife have six children. [Rabbinical Ordination - Israel's Chief Rabbinate; B.Ed in Tanach and Oral Law; B.Ed in Educational Counseling- Herzog College, Alon Shvut; M.A. equiv. - Oral Law].

    Rav David Abrahamovitz: Mashgiach Ruchani. Rav David is a native of Toronto, Canada. He spent two years studying at Yeshivat Shilo in Israel after high school and continued with his education at Yeshiva University in New York where he received his B.Sc.
    R’ David worked for NCSY for a number of years as the Director of Informal Education and the Director of Outreach in Toronto. R’ David is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Jewish studies, majoring in Tanach. R’ David’s passion lies in the realm of halacha. He currently teaches a number of classes at Midreshet Yeud.

    Ms. Lea Taragin - Head of Beit Midrash Track. Lea made Aliyah from Highland Park, New Jersey in 1993. Since then, she has been living in Ramot Aleph, Yerushalayim. Lea finished Ohr Torah Stone high school with honors. For her Sherut Leumi (national service) she worked with special-needs children in Kiryat Shmona. After that, Lea spent two years studying Torah at Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. Currently, she is on the Dean's List of the Hebrew University and finished her BA with honors majoring Sociology and Anthropology combined with Jewish Philosophy and Folklore.
    She has recently started her Masters Degree also in Sociology and Anthropology.
    At Midreshet Yeud Lea is Head of the Beit Midrash Track and at Hebrew University she teaches a course for the BA program in Social Theories Studies.

    Aliza Abrahamovitz: Dorm mother. Aliza Abrahamovitz, a native of Toronto, Canada, spent one year studying at Michlelet Orot’s overseas program. She returned to Toronto where she received a B.A. and a B.Ed from York University. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Jewish Studies at Lander College. Aliza has served as Midreshet Yeud’s Em Bayit since September 2005, and learns with many students one-on-one and in small groups. She lives at Midreshet Yeud with her husband, R’ Dovid, and two children, Moshe Chaim and Akiva.

    Esther Hammer: Social worker and Educational guide. Esther Hammer has a BA in psychology from Yeshiva University and an MA in counseling from Montclair University. She made aliya in 2000 and lives in Chashmonaim. Prior to making aliya she worked as a guidance counselor at Frisch High School in New Jersey. She also spent 4 years during that time as a guidance counselor at Mays High School also in New Jersey. In Israel, Esther also worked for the Israeli education system in Bet Shemesh. Esther has spent the past 12 summers in Camp Moshava, where she works as a camp mother.

    Rav Yaacov Don: Rav Don of Alon Shvut is a thought-provoking teacher and an inspiring mentor. A graduate of the Har-Etzion Yeshiva [Gush], Rav Don has been teaching in various programs, formal and informal- including programs with overseas students - since 1990. He also spent 4 successful years as a shaliach at CHAT - the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. Upon returning to Israel he taught at Midreshet HaRova in the Old City of Jerusalem. He also served as principal of NOAM - a veteran elementary day school in Jerusalem. Rav Don received his smicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and earned an M.A. at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. At present, he teaches at the Ohr Torah High School in Efrat. Rav Don has 4 children.

    Chana Deutsch: With years of Tanach study under the tutelage of world-renown teachers, and as a practicing Kallah teacher certified by the Israeli Rabbinate, Rabbanit Chana Deutsch brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to Tanach and women’s issues. Chana’s educational approach is to make learning practical, always with a focus on how one can incorporate the lessons of the classroom into one’s daily life. Over the years, Chana has inspired Jews of all backgrounds to a new-found love of learning, and has helped many women find their place in Judaism and Jewish family life. Chana made aliyah to Israel from Toronto in 2000 and currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem where she serves as a Temple Institute scholar, and opens her home to host inspirational Shabbat meals for hundreds of students and travelers each year.

    Rav Eli Deutsch: For the past 10 years he has been working to educate and inspire Jews of all backgrounds to take a fresh look at their Jewish heritage from the perspectives of Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah. With a plethora of parallels and explanatory precision, Reb Eli succeeds in communicating abstract ideas in a clear and meaningful way to the well-read student and the newcomer alike. Reb Eli’s world-renowned lectures and writings have captured the minds and hearts of many, and have helped to open the door for those looking to integrate truth and spirituality into their lives in a down-to-earth manner. By dealing with the whys of Judaism in a sophisticated yet practical way, Reb Eli’s teachings are a breath of fresh air for anyone searching for happiness, love, fulfillment, wholeness, or themselves, as he breaks Jewish stereotypes and misconceptions along the way. Reb Eli made aliyah to Israel from New Jersey in 2001 and currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem where he, along with his family, hosts hundreds of Jewish travelers and students for inspirational Shabbat meals each year. Books authored include Shabbos Insights of the Maharal (Targum), Looking Inward: Kabbalistic Self-Help (MW), and The Trees In The Forest: Jewish Living In The Context Of Kabbalah (National Light).

    Rabbi Eli Ozarowski: Rav Eli Ozarowski teaches a number of halacha shiurim at Yeud. He has also taught at a number of other yeshivot & seminaries in Israel, including Shaarei Mevaseret, HaKotel, & Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY). Rav Ozarowski received his smicha from RIETS (Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary) and Masters in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School, & subsequently studied in Yeshiva University's Kollel Elyon. Rabbi Ozarowski has served as scholar in residence and guest lecturer in numerous communities in the U.S. as well as in Israel, often lecturing on contemporary halachic topics, such as medical & business ethics. He also served as Assistant Rabbi at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. Rav Eli lives with his wife and four children in Yad Binyamin, where he also gives frequent shiurim.

    Rav Pinchas Langer: Born in New Orleans and raised in Chicago, Rav Langer made aliya in 1973. He lives in Neve-Daniel, and is a proud father of 6 and new grandfather of one. Rav Langer received his Smicha from the Itri yeshiva in Jerusalem. Over the course of the years, Rav Langer has taught at OJ, Machon Gold, Midreshet Moriya, Netiv Aryeh, Orot and more. He served in the IDF with the artillery corps. Rav Langer also holds a B.A. [History and Literature] and an M.A. [Jewish Philosophy] from Touro College. Rav Langer teaches Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Law at Yeud.

    Mrs. Ilana Sober: I graduated from Yale University in 1992. I spent four years at Nishmat, where I graduated as part of the first class of yoatzot halacha; I have a teudat hora'ah from Michlala and have also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Neve Yerushalayim. I am an editor and writer for Nishmat's yoatzot halacha websites (www.yoatzot.org). Before coming to Yeud, I spent eight years in Toronto, where I taught Torah privately and for Mekorot. I live in Yerushalayim with my two daughters.

    Mrs. Ahuva Balofsky: Ahuva Balofsky grew up in Toronto, Canada. She attended Ulpanat Orot Girls' High School before obtaining her B.A. Hons. and B.Ed. at York University. She taught Tanach, Rabbinics and English at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto. She made Aliyah in 2004 with her family and is currently completing a Master's degree in Tanach at Bar Ilan University. Mrs. Sara Wolf: Has completed her masters in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught in both informal and formal educational settings for over ten years including: Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, the Shalom Hartman Institute's High School in Jerusalem and Westchester Hebrew High School in Mamaroneck, N.Y. where she taught Hebrew Language and Jewish History. She is known for her great enthusiasm for teaching, and for her love for her students. A bogeret of Bnei Akiva’s Hachshara program, Sara is a graduate of Brandeis University, where she studied Political Science and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Sara and her husband made aliyah in 1994 to Beit Shemesh. She is a mother of four wonderful children.
    Extra-Curricular Activities
    Interaction with Israelis
    This is really our "flagship": our students are genuinely exposed to all walks of life in Modern-day Israel through the Sherut Leumi and through the current events classes. In addition, our weekly guest speakers come from a wide spectrum, from the Ultra-Orthodox to the secular. We challenge ourselves to criticize what we hear.

    Special Informal programs
    Midreshet Yeud students have messibot on various chagim - Chanuka, Purim, Yom Ha'azmaut festivities, Se'udat Yom Yerushalayim, Lag Ba'omer Bonfire etc. Special seminar days are conducted prior to some chagim.

    Sports Facilities
    We have a small gym at the Midrasha. Aerobics class is an option.

    Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
    We have a group Shabbat once a month, either at the Midrasha in Kiryat Yovel, or somewhere else as a group. We visit Tzfat, the Old City in Jerusalem, a religious Kibbutz, a settlement, and a southern town for these Shabbatot. On "off" Shabbatot, students can remain in the Midrasha, though no food will be served and no programs provided. Our students are often hosted by their Israeli Yeud peers, or by the families of our staff members for Shabbat or chag.

    Field Trips
    Tiyulim [many short ones and 3 overnight trips], shabbatonim, special programs, and a week-long trip to Poland (optional).
    Eligibility
    Level of Learning Offered
    Intermediate and Advanced - we have both levels, as well as an Ivrit Kala track. In addition, all of our Israeli students' classes are open to our overseas program.

    Hebrew Knowledge Required
    Intermediate-and Advanced - shiurim are partly in English and partly in Hebrew, While the Israeli classes are given only in Hebrew.

    Religious Observance Required
    We are an Orthodox program. A full commitment to shmirat Torah U'mitzvot is a prerequisite.
    Population

    Type of American Student
    Yeud students come from a wide variety of cities and countries; we don't base our recruitment only on the tri-State area. Other than the USA and Canada, our students come from the UK, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, South Africa and Australi.

    Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
    No Information Provided

    Foreign Student Percentage
    No Information Provided

    Number of 1st Year American Students
    Each year, Midreshet Yeud enrolls approx 30-35 American girls in its Beit Midrash. 

    Number of 2nd Year American Students
    No information provided

    Other Nationalities

    Israeli – 25

    French – 25

    British/Dutch/Swiss/Belgium – 10

    Number of Students per Class
    10-25

    Accommodations

    Living Quarters

    Every Shabbat at Yeud now includes the "Western Wall on Friday Night" experience! Our students make it a regular habit to walk to the Kotel for Mincha on weekdays during lunch break – it's a 12-minute walk! Located across the street from the David Citadel Hotel, diagonally from the Mamilla Mall and side-by-side with the spectacular Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and with easy access by foot to trains, busses, shops, cafes, banks, doctors etc, our new location will allow us live & breath Jerusalem to its fullest.

    The beauty of Beit Gesher lies in its integration of modern and traditional Jerusalem architectural styles. Founded in the 1860's as one of the first Jewish buildings outside the Old City's walls, and renovated in 1995, the modern part of the building looks as though it has “grown” from the original building!

    The dorm has 39 modern rooms [with 3 or 4 beds each] on three levels, overlooking a courtyard designed in the traditional Jerusalem style. All rooms have showers and bathroom facilities, AC, wall-to-wall carpets, and are fitted with a Shabbat clock system. We have a beautiful lobby, a Beit Midrash, a spacious dining room, 6 classrooms and an auditorium with 100 seats. Our dorm mother and family live on site. There’s also good security – one entrance to the entire campus, where our guard is posted

    We provide 3 meals daily. We have 2 madrichot assigned to the dorms. Each room is equipped with a mini refrigerator and a sink. Students must bring their own linens


    Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
    Yes, though we provide 3 meals a day.

    Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
    Our students may use the dorms throughout the year.

    Curfew
    Midnight, and 12:30 on Saturday nights.

    Security Arrangements
    Due to the matzav - the security situation in Israel, travel out of the Midrasha requires expressed permission. Before leaving for Shabbat, or on nights off, all students are required to leave exact contact information as to their whereabouts while away from Midreshet Yeud.

    An armed security guard sits at the entrance to Midreshet Yeud, and patrols the area from 5:00pm to 7:00am daily. There is only one entrance to the midrasha – we have a code-lock on the main door. The Jerusalem Police and other forces [army and Magen David Adom] are also in the immediate area on a permanent basis. In the event of a terrorist incident in Israel, all students are contacted immediately to verify their well-being. Parents are then contacted by email to relay any relevant information to them.

    History
    Established in 1995, the Israeli Midreshet Yeud program has since been inspiring its Israeli students to contribute to Jewish life in Israel through Torah study, spiritual growth and chessed projects. The Midreshet Yeud Overseas program, established in 2005, allows overseas students to integrate with Israeli Yeud girls by studying, living, dining and touring together.
    Accrediting Universities
    Midreshet Yeud is a part of YU/Stern College in New York, Touro College and many other universities give our students up to 32 transfer credits for the year.
    Tuition

    For the school year 5775 [2014-2015] tuition is 90,500 shekels. This includes the full academic program, 3 meals a day, Sherut Leumi training and transportation, tiyulim, siyurim, Shabbatonim and special programs, as well as weekly guest speakers. The trip to Poland is optional and is currently priced at approx $1900. MASA scholarships available. Visit the Scholarships page on our website for more info.

    Additional Information
    Midrehset Yeud's unique philosophy:

    At Midreshet Yeud, we believe in education through independent growth.

    Our students are not always fed with a spoon – but are rather expected to make a real effort to grow as a result of hard work. This, we trust, is best achieved by taking on two tasks: learning Torah and extending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in need. We therefore spend 3 days a week learning in the beit midrash, and 2 full work-days volunteering at sherut leumi workplaces.

    In class we make our students think. We challenge them to understand why they do the things they do, and why they believe in what they believe in.

    While we are committed to create the environment which allows the students to grow to be more spiritual, dedicated Jews who are able to carry on their lives with a stronger commitment and a deeper Jewish identity, we expect them to practice self-discipline as they are given some freedom and more space to make decisions.

    Our students need, therefore, a certain amount of maturity and consistency in order to succeed here, since we do not "chew the food for them". They also must have patience: instant gratification and "inspiration" is usually short-lived.

    The results we aim for are harder to achieve, but they last longer, and we deeply believe that this is the best way to spend one's year in Israel. Rather than living within a bubble of English language, or of any familiar mentality – we help these young ladies burst the bubble and prepare themselves for what awaits them in university and further on in life, by showing them the route to become independent learners and by letting them experience leadership within the community.

    We also help our students feel at home in Israel by exposing them to the real Israel – the one outside the classroom walls, too. They integrate with Israeli girls at school and with the greater Jerusalem society via sherut leumi.
    Contact Information

    Midreshet Yeud

    Israel:

    Rav Hillel Van-Leeuwen / Mr. Shmil Atlas

    10 King David Street, Jerusalem 941022

    Phone: (02) 644-9010

    Fax: (02) 644-9920

    Email: office@midreshet-yeud.org.il

    www.midreshet-yeud.org.il/eng

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