Mechon Hadar is an educational institution that seeks to empower a generation of Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah learning, prayer, and service.
Mechon Hadar has two major initiatives: Yeshivat Hadar and the Minyan Project.
The first full-time egalitarian yeshiva in North America
A corps of motivated, young Jews who feel empowered to create and strengthen dynamic Jewish communities is crucial to the realization of Mechon Hadar's mission. Unlike any other program in the United States, this study program combines the following elements:
- Text study in Bible, Midrash, Talmud, Halakha, liturgy, and theology.
- A commitment to the religious and spiritual growth of the individual participants.
- The creation of a passionate and active Jewish learning community.
- Social justice initiatives that embody the values embedded in the texts.
- Intensive, all-day programming for students in an egalitarian setting.
- Individualized projects students will take home to local communities.
The Minyan Project
Resource, networking and consulting for more than 70 independent minyanim nationwide
In the last decade, thousands of unaffiliated young Jews have sought spiritual expression through new, independent minyanim. The leaders of Mechon Hadar have been at the forefront of working with these communities, including organizing a sold-out national conference in November 2008 for over 90 leaders from 32 independent minyanim, representing over 14,000 minyan participants. In addition to the 3-day leaders conference, Mechon Hadar also held a 1-day public forum on minyanim at Brandeis University. This extraordinary day attracted 120 minyan leaders and representatives from traditional Jewish institutions, and featured 8 panels and a keynote address, with scholars, minyan leaders and Jewish professionals. You can find recordings of these sessions here. Mechon Hadar continues to assist these communities in the following ways:
- Prayer leader empowerment training series.
- Halakhic consulting for pressing communal issues (gender, kashrut, etc).
- Practical guides for running complicated prayer services.
- New melody workshops and resources.
- Networking conference for leaders to connect and share best practices.
- Internet resources and email lists for cross-minyan communication.
Mechon Hadar History
In June 2006, Rabbi Shai Held, Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and Rabbi Ethan Tucker, launched Mechon Hadar: An Institute for Prayer, Personal Growth and Jewish Study. The founders of Mechon Hadar have spent years teaching and building Jewish community, and have served as founders and leaders of Kehilat Hadar, an independent, egalitarian community committed to spirited traditional prayer, study and social action.
For more information about the relationship between Mechon Hadar and Kehilat Hadar, click here.