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

“This is my best bet for the future of the Jews.”

 

"I have a completely renewed sense of commitment to my Judaism, and I have been reminded that while it can be a difficult endeavor to maintain this commitment and keep it a central part of my life, Yeshivat Hadar has reminded me how beautiful a life committed to Torah can be, and I have resolved to make sure that learning stays a large part of my life."

 

"Having spent the past year learning at Yeshivat Hadar, the first halakhic and egalitarian yeshiva outside of Israel, I can attest to the spirit of openness and respect that pervades such a holy space.  This was the best learning and davvening I've experienced consistently in my life, learning from excellent teachers both men and women.  Learning Torah and growing in emotional and creative intelligence should be informed but never bounded by our gender identity."

 

“I feel privileged, honored and inspired to have been a part of the Hadar community and am certain that the positive reverberations of this experience will continue to emerge throughout the course of my life. With deepest sincerity and gratitude, thank you!”

 

“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 now feel responsible and empowered in a way that I did not before.”

Yeshivat Hadar - Summer Beit Midrash and Year Fellowship Yeshivat Hadar - Summer Beit Midrash and Year Fellowship

Here you'll find information on Hadar's:

  • Summer beit midrash: June 15 - August 9, 2014
  • Year program runs from September 3, 2014 - May 7, 2015.

Yeshivat Hadar’s two flagship programs - the summer beit midrash and year fellowship - are a unique opportunity for a select group of young Jewish students and professionals to live in a Jewish community that combines the intellectual openness of academic study with the personal and spiritual rigor of yeshiva life. Participating in immersive study at Hadar is a unique investment in your Jewish identity, one that will enrich and guide your Jewish life for decades to come. In a summer or year at Hadar, students gain:

  • the skills to independently approach the classic texts of Torah
  • a mature, intellectually rigorous approach to the fundamental questions of Jewish life
  • broad knowledge of Jewish content - both practical and intellectual
  • spiritual and personal growth that comes from tefillah, Hesed, and shared communal life
  • for the year - real work experience as an educator and communicator, with extensive mentorship and responsibility

Part of the power of Hadar is the integrated, holistic aspect of life and study here. Hadar students and faculty daven together, share meals, study together, visit the sick together, and sing together. Those activities are not independent - our learning takes on the personal and soulful tones of davening, and our commitment to compassion to the elderly informs conversations within the yeshiva’s walls. Being a member of the Hadar community is not just about your time in the beit midrash; it’s a way of life for a summer or year.

Over the past seven years, over three hundred students have studied at Hadar, and are now pursuing careers in fields from medicine to economics, social work, and Jewish education. Hadar isn’t just about a summer or a year; it’s about joining a community that is working to create a new kind of Jewish community, one that will welcome you as a colleague and friend in the fullest modes of Jewish life. To apply to Yeshivat Hadar’s summer and year programs, visit http://www.mechonhadar.org/apply/full-time-application. For more detailed information, see the Frequently Asked Questions below:

 

How do I apply to Hadar? When are applications due?

What’s the daily schedule at Yeshivat Hadar?

How are the year and summer programs different?

What Is Hadar’s Policy on Students Keeping Mitzvot?

What kind of textual proficiency do I need to study at Hadar?

What is Hadar’s policy on patrilineal Jews and other questions of Jewish status?

How much does it cost to study at Hadar? Are there scholarships?

Will I get a degree? Will I have to pay back student loans?

What will I study at Hadar? Do I have freedom to choose my own topics?

Where do Hadar students live? What do Yeshivat Hadar students do for meals? For Shabbat?

What are the different placements in the year fellowship?

Is Hadar for only laypeople? Do rabbis and rabbinical students also study there?

Can friends and family visit me and sit in on classes while I’m at Hadar?

I’m not a US citizen. What kind of visa can I receive to study at Hadar?

How do I find out more?

 

How do I apply to Hadar? When are applications due?

 

Yeshivat Hadar's application has three parts: a letter of reference, a written application, and an interview. The first two can be found at http://www.mechonhadar.org/apply/full-time-application, and can be completed in either order.

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis, through April 1, 2014. Within a month of the submission of your application, you will be informed about whether you have been granted an interview. Generally, admissions decisions will be communicated within a month of your interview.

 

What’s the daily schedule at Yeshivat Hadar?

A sample schedule for the year - which is largely similar to the summer - is below:


How are the year and summer programs different?

The summer beit midrash is an eight-week whirlwind. About forty students come together for an experience - one built of Torah, ideas, and conversation - that will ultimately shape and elevate your expectations of what’s possible within Jewish community. Students come from a wide diversity of backgrounds, some who’ve long known that Hadar is exactly what they’ve been looking for, others curious and exploring - but by no means committed to halakhic egalitarian life after the summer. Part of the energy of the summer is the coming-together of very different kinds of people in the matrix of Torah and mitzvot. The year program is a leadership development program: it deepens an already-present passion for Torah and mitzvot with fuller experiences and concrete skills that will help students create the empowered, lay-led, and dynamic communities they have come to expect. Over the course of eight months of the academic year, students write and deliver divrei Torah under the guidance of Hadar’s faculty; develop and teach classes to their peers - again in consultation with their teachers. Generally, this means that students studying at Hadar for the year have significant experience living an observant life, and expect to continue doing so.

 

What Is Hadar’s Policy on Students Keeping Mitzvot?

Yeshivat Hadar is committed to the integration of Torah and mitzvot in daily life. Students in the full-time program create religious community by participating in all of the yeshiva's tefillot (prayer services), shiurim (classes), and hesed projects as well as by being shomrei mitzvot (observant of mitzvot). The latter includes Shabbat, Kashrut, respect for others’ dignity, etc. We are committed to the multiple traditionally authentic expressions of each of these, and embrace these standards. Hadar is a normative, but non-coercive, environment: we aim to set standards that bind the community together and allow students and faculty to trust one another and discuss the questions they face in the shared language of halakhah. Out of respect for our students and ourselves, we do not act as religious police who seek to discover non-conformance. The yeshiva accepts students from all backgrounds and patterns of observance, honoring each student's religious journey and making no assumptions about religious commitment prior to one’s time in the Yeshiva. While the yeshiva hopes its students will exemplify the vision of observant egalitarian life modeled here, we have no formal expectations or requirements regarding one's ultimate religious journey.

 

What kind of textual proficiency do I need to study at Hadar?

Yeshivat Hadar’s students span from those who have spent multiple years in post-college yeshivot and midrashot to people who can read the bulk of the siddur for comprehension. Over the past seven years we have learned that below this level of Hebrew proficiency, the weight of the language is simply too great to engage in all-day learning and tefillah. For Talmud classes, students are grouped by level; for afternoon classes materials are available in both Hebrew and English. These requirements describe our immersive programs that feature Talmud study as their central component. The College Winter Learning Seminar and Singing Communities Intensive are designed to be accessible to students of every background.

 

What is Hadar’s policy on patrilineal Jews and other questions of Jewish status?

Classes and tefillot at Hadar are open to students of all religious backgrounds and identities. At the same time, full participation in Hadar’s immersive programs - and public participation in Hadar's tefillot - requires that students bear a solely Jewish religious identity, and Jewish status conferred either by matrilineal descent or by conversion involving immersion and beit din for both women and men, and circumcision for men. We are aware that the above does not describe everyone drawn to study at Hadar, and further that questions of personal status are uniquely diverse and sensitive. As such, we invite inquiries to further discuss questions both personal and abstract, which should be directed to Rabbi Jason Rubenstein.


How much does it cost to study at Hadar? Are there scholarships?

Tuition at Hadar is $4,000 per semester (summer, fall, or spring), and can be pro-rated for students taking a only individual classes.

Acceptance into the full-time summer and year programs includes a scholarship for tuition (and shared meals). This scholarship reflects the intensive commitment required by the program and the contributions that full-time students make to the institution through their presence.

Additionally, a limited number of living stipends are available for both the summer and year program for exceptional candidates. All accepted applicants are automatically considered for them. The value of these fellowships is $2,500 for the summer; or for the year - $1,500/month for Hesed and Peer-Education Fellows, and $2,000/month for Day School Education Fellows.

 

Will I get a degree? Will I be able to defer student loans during my time at Hadar?

Hadar is not an accredited educational institution, and as such we do not offer degrees. As a result, most students will have to begin repaying student loans while studying at Hadar. One exception to this is students pursuing graduate Jewish studies for whom their time at Hadar is a supplement to their graduate education. College credit is available for specific classes, to individuals matriculated in a college or university.

 

What will I study at Hadar? Do I have freedom to choose my own topics?

Hadar’s curriculum includes a Talmud, Jewish thought, Tanakh, and Halakhah. The exact balance of these varies from one session to another, though Talmud is always four mornings weekly. All classes other than Talmud are in principle electives, and students have the choice of pursuing their own studies - ideally in havruta - during that time.

 

Where do Hadar students live? What do Yeshivat Hadar students do for meals? For Shabbat?

Hadar students find their own housing for the duration of the program. Hadar does aid students in finding housing by connecting them with housing opportunities. Though the process of finding housing is rarely pleasant, it has never prevented a student from joining us. We are happy to provide vegetarian breakfast and lunch most days of the week. We have some capacity to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, and will do our best to do so.

 

What are the different placements of the year program?

All students in Hadar’s year program take on a portfolio for enriching the New York area Jewish community. These contributions are closely supervised by Hadar faculty, and constitute an important aspect of the learning that fellows experience over the course of the year. Fellows will be placed in one of the following three tracks:

  1. Peer Education Fellows. Peer Education Fellows will work regularly with college-age and slightly older students to create engaging, relevant, and intellectually sophisticated adult education. Placements may be at local Hillels, Avodah or Moishe Houses, JCCs, in living room salons, etc. Frequency of teaching ranges from weekly to monthly.
  2. Day School Education Fellows. Day School Education Fellows will visit a local Jewish day school twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons), supporting Judaic Studies classrooms. While the character and responsibilities vary based on the capacities and cultures of each school, the general goal of these placements is to create a more empowered, beit midrash-style classroom environment.
  3. Hesed Fellows. The Abe Getzler Hesed Fellowship matches Hadar students with an intensive placement at the Jewish Home, a local nursing home. Hesed fellows not only spend more hours visiting the elderly than do other Hadar students - they also receive intensive supervision in pastoral care from both a Jewish and general perspective, culminating in their teaching to their peers within the yeshiva community.

Is Hadar for only laypeople? Do rabbis and rabbinical students also study there?

Yeshivat Hadar welcomes future Rabbis or Jewish educational professionals to learn in our beit midrash and encourages them to enroll in classes at the Yeshiva. (Your home rabbinical seminary or Jewish educational institution may be willing to help defray some of the costs). Rabbinical and Jewish Education students may choose to apply to be full-time students in our immersive program. If you feel that you could be a force for Yeshivat Hadar's vision in your professional future and are interested in being a full participant in the summer session, please fill out the application below. As a full-time student, you will be a fully integrated member of the student community and will be expected to participate fully in all aspects of life at the Yeshiva. Accepted students will receive tuition remission.

 

Can friends and family visit me and sit in on classes while I’m at Hadar?

Yes. Hadar is an open place where the vast majority of programs and events are open to the public - and especially to your friends and family. Before inviting someone to a class (or dropping in yourself, if you’re not a student), please obtain the teacher’s permission.

 

I’m not a US citizen. What kind of visa can I receive to study at Hadar?

Qualified foreign students applying to Hadar will be considered for a stipend to facilitate travel to the United States. Due to the difficulty and uncertainty of obtaining visas, Hadar can only extend admissions to students for a length of time less than or equal to the length of the automatic travel visas they are able to receive in their country of residence.

 

How do I find out more?

We are happy to answer any questions - please write Rabbi Jason Rubenstein, Dean of Students.

 
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