Mechon Hader
What Our Students Say... What Our Students Say...

“This summer has let me grow in a way that I never thought possible. I never went to day school…and I never had a chance to actually learn, lishma or otherwise, before. Giving me the opportunity to really think about the kind of Jew I want to be and I want to become has been an incredible experience. I am a Jew who wants to live a vibrant and engaged Jewish life, and I want to do the work necessary to make sure its there.”


“Thank you for changing the trajectory of my life. Thank you so, so, much.”


“What an honor to be here, and to be entrusted with perpetuating the exquisite vision of the institution.”


“I have been profoundly changed by the sense of community I felt at the yeshiva, and by the deep mutual respect and investment in one another that I experienced at Hadar. I would really like to be part of communities like this in the future, and I hope to make steps to make my home communities some how reflect these values.”


"I think I've realized that spirituality does not necessarily have to be at the expense of intellectualism. This kind of growth is not linear in the way that skills-building is, but I do feel like I've "progressed" on the journey to be able to balance the two of them."

Summer 2014 Classes Summer 2014 Classes

Talmud 1: Introduction to Rabbinics in the Original (June 16 - Aug. 7)

Instructor: Devorah Zlochower

MTRF, 9:15-12:45 (6 credit course, non-credit tuition $2000*)


This course is an introduction to the study of the founding document of Rabbinic Judaism, the Mishna, in the original Hebrew. It is intended for students with basic Hebrew language skills. Each unit of Mishna will be analyzed as a textual unit, with particular attention to the vocabulary, syntax, and conceptual universe of the text. For each unit, a comparison will be made with associated rabbinic material - Tosefta, midrash, or Talmud - to paint a fuller picture of rabbinic thought.

To apply for this course, email Dena Weiss.

Talmud 2: Structure of the Sugya/Talmud with Rashi (June 16 - Aug. 7)

Instructor: Yedidah Koren

MTRF, 9:15-12:45 (6 credit course, non-credit tuition $2000*)


This course is an introduction to the study of two canonical Rabbinic texts: the Mishna and the Babylonian Talmud, and is intended for students with strong Hebrew language skills but little experience with the study of Talmud. Each unit begins with close linguistic, literary, and conceptual analysis of a section from the Mishna, with an emphasis on both the concrete positions and open questions presented by the material. Analysis of the attendant Talmudic material will focus on extensive support in developing reading skills and will touch on more abstract conceptual and theological questions. Students completing this course will be able to independently parse and translate passages from the Mishna using dictionaries and other tools, follow the standard citation techniques in classical printings of Jewish texts, identify common conceptual and structural patterns of the Babylonian Talmud, and translate simple Talmudic passages with minimal assistance.

To apply for this course, email Dena Weiss.

Talmud 3: Talmud with Tosafot (June 16 - Aug. 7)

Instructor: Aviva Richman

MTRF, 9:15-12:45 (6 credit course, non-credit tuition $2000*)


This course, intended for students comfortable with learning Talmud with Rashi, will build skills for comprehending the Talmud more thoroughly through the use of Tosafot. In addition to learning the Talmudic sugyot with care, we will focus on strategies for decoding Tosafot, gaining a basic understanding of their literary and legal project, and developing the use of Tosafot as a window into deeper issues in the text of the Talmud itself. By the end of the summer, as student in this class will be able to offer independent interpretations of the thematized conceptual and literary aspects of a given section of the Babylonian Talmud.

To apply for this course, email Dena Weiss.

Talmud 4: Talmud with Rishonim (June 16 - Aug. 7)

Instructor: Ethan Tucker

MTRF, 9:15-12:45, (6 credit course, non-credit tuition $2000*)
This course is an in-depth study of a section of the Babylonian Talmud and its commentators. Students learn the Talmudic passage in depth, with special attention to the difficulties and challenges present in the text. Medieval and modern commentators provide an additional level of analysis, as these authors pinpoint historical and literary disjunctures in the text. Manuscript evidence, parallels in rabbinic literature and scholarly literature on the passage are consulted extensively, as students aim to reconstruct the history of the Talmudic passage and to reflect on its later relevance in medieval and modern codes.

To apply for this course, email Dena Weiss.

What it Means to Be Human (June 17 - Aug. 7)

Doing Theology with Tanakh, Hazal, and Modern Jewish Thought

Instructor: Shai Held

Tuesday 2:30-4:00pm and Thursday 2:30-3:45 pm (3 credit course, non-credit tuition $300*)

This class will take on the big questions, including: What does it mean to be created in the image of God? What are human beings capable of achieving, and what are they not? What is the Torah's view of human nature? How much are human beings worth? What would a Jewish approach to self-worth and self-esteem look like? Just how far does the Torah go in valuing individual life and dignity? What is Judaism's approach to the human body?  

We'll approach these questions through extremely close and careful readings of Biblical, Rabbinic, medieval, and modern Jewish philosophical texts, with an especial focus on Genesis 1-11. Along the way, we'll learn how literary cues in traditional sources yield often stunning moral and theological insights. We'll discover new texts from thinkers like Rambam, R. Hasdai Crescas, R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, R. Joseph Soloveitchik, and R. Yitzhak Hutner, and uncover surprising new layers of meaning in text from Humash and Hazal.

Register for this course.

The Siddur: A Deeper Analysis (June 16 – Aug. 4)

Instructor: Elie Kaunfer

Monday 2:30-3:45pm (tuition $150*)

Together we will look closely at a number of prayers in the daily and Shabbat service with an eye to the following goals:

1) Investigating primary sources (biblical and Rabbinic) that serve as background and inspiration for various prayers;

2) Building an interpretive methodology that you can apply to your own tefillah exploration;

3) Investing prayers with more personal meaning.

Register for this course.

Introduction to Practical Halakhah (June 16 – Aug. 4)

Instructor: Miriam-Simma Walfish

Monday 2:30-3:45pm (tuition $150*)

Questions about what it means to keep Shabbat? The basics of Kashrut? This class is designed as an introduction to the major areas of Jewish law for those who are new to observance or to learning halakhah. No prior background is necessary.

Register for this course.

Reading Halakhic Midrash (July 3 – August 7)

Instructor: Amit Gvaryahu

Thursday 4:00-6:00pm (tuition $150*)

In this class we will focus a group of early rabbinic texts known as the Halakhic MIdrashim, which expound Rabbinic teachings from each verse of the Torah. We will focus on the sections of the Torah which discuss the cities of refuge—which the entire yeshiva will be learning during the summer—and examine the different techniques and assumptions which a halakhic reading of the Torah entails in each work of Halakhic Midrash. We will also gain a better understanding of the non-interpretive rabbinic texts, the Mishnah and Tosefta, which were created in the same schools and cultural millieu. This class requires a good command of rabbinic Hebrew.

Register for this course.

Rabbinic Stories: An Advanced Introduction (June 30 – August 7)

Instructors: David Goshen or Avital Campbell Hochstein

Monday, Thursday 4:00-6:00 pm (3 credit course, non-credit tuition $300*)

In this class we'll enjoy and investigate the world of the Rabbinic story. Using literary approaches we will look at theological, psychological and philosophical aspects of the Rabbinic world. We will study some very well-known Talmudic stories, and some largely unknown ones. We'll ask how stories function in Talmudic discourse in general, we'll see how Rabbis criticize themselves and their culture through stories, and we'll explore how theological questions and quandaries get played out through narrative. Although we'll make use of contemporary scholarship, our focus will be on close, careful readings of Talmudic narratives.

Register for this course.

Scholarships Scholarships

 *Some scholarships are available for students and those in need of financial assitance.

For more information, to apply for Talmud, or to inquire about academic credit, please contact Dena Weiss.

Evening Classes Evening Classes

Watch this space for upcoming information about this summer's evening classes.

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