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Office of Torah Studies and Spiritual Life

shoshana-schechter
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A Message from the Dean

Dear Talmida or Future Talmida,

Stern College for Women is the premier college for Orthodox women, offering the largest and most diverse undergraduate Jewish studies program in North America, along with a committed community of students, grounded in the richness of Jewish tradition and scholarship.

On the Beren campus, the spirit of Torah learning reaches far beyond our classrooms and batei midrash. Central to our students鈥 lives, it defines their daily experience, fostering their spiritual and intellectual growth and connecting them to a vibrant Torah-inspired culture that carries through to the rest of their lives.

The Office of Torah Studies and Spiritual Life serves our student body in three distinct ways:

鈻 Torah Shiurim and Learning

鈻 Spiritual Guidance

鈻 Engaging Programming

Throughout the school year, students can engage in spiritually and socially focused programming purposefully integrated into university life, from on-campus Shabbatot and off-campus Shabbatonim to uplifting shiurim and animated chavruta learning, to enriching events organized by community leaders, including on-campus rabbinic couples.

On campus, we strive to build community and advance our students' love and knowledge of Torah. Please read on to learn more about our Jewish Studies program and the Torah-centered community we proudly offer.

Shoshana Schechter
Dean Shoshana Schechter
Associate Dean, Torah and Spiritual Life

In and Out of the Classroom
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Torah and Spiritual Programming

On Beren, Torah learning extends well beyond the classroom. What should students expect?

Close to 20 optional weekly shiurim and chaburot in Beren鈥檚 beit midrash; on-campus and off-campus Shabbatonim; informal in-home gatherings with Beren鈥檚 resident rabbinic couples, teachers and community leaders; uplifting events with notable rebbeim; and a wide range of annual extracurricular activities.

鈻&苍产蝉辫;Torah with Roshei Yeshiva: On Monday nights from 8鈥9 p.m., notable and revered Roshei Yeshiva from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) come to our beit midrash to deliver shiurim that engage, enlighten and enrich our students鈥 Torah learning; discussing its relevance to their lives, and connecting one generation to the next. Past speakers have included such esteemed rebbeim as Rabbis Herschel Schachter, Mordechai Willig, Assaf Bednarsh and Baruch Simon.

Club Hour Shiur: Every Wednesday during Club Hour (2:45鈥3:30 p.m.), students gather in Koch Auditorium to learn Torah and deepen their spiritual growth. Speakers vary weekly and have included respected figures such as Rabbis Aaron Ciment, YY Jacobson and Moshe Tzvi Weinberg; Dr. Erica Brown (Director, Sacks-Herenstein Center); and Sivan Rahav Meir (renowned Israeli journalist).

Challah Bake: Led by Campus rebbetzins, Beren Campus鈥 monthly Challah Bake is a celebration of heritage, community and the bonds that unite our students.

Camp Shabbaton: Fostering a spirit of unity, our annual Shabbaton is a vibrant blend of inspiration, prayer, camaraderie and celebration: a place to connect to faculty, rebbeim, mechanchot and fellow students outside the classroom. Bringing together the Stern College student body, a diverse group of women hailing from around the world, the Shabbaton offers a unique opportunity to forge friendships in a beautiful and inspiring setting while learning from today鈥檚 Torah leaders.

JS department

The Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies

The Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies offers a rich curriculum focused on five disciplines: Tanach (Bible), Judaic Studies (Halacha and Torah Shebe鈥檃l Peh), Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and the Hebrew language.

Learn more about the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies.

 

Our goal is to ensure students advance their level of learning throughout their undergraduate years and emerge with a fundamental understanding of the questions that lie at the core of each discipline.

Course work in each discipline is offered at five different levels: elementary, lower intermediate, intermediate, advanced and honors. Regardless of focus, students engage with the textual analysis of Jewish works in the Hebrew and Aramaic originals through hachana, chavruta and shiurim. Students are not only exposed to critical research methods but also to rewarding opportunities to pursue independent study.

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Mechina Pathways Program

A specialized two-year program tailored for those who are new to Hebrew language and textual study. Over the course of four semesters, students are on an immersive journey into Jewish studies, enriched by thought-provoking classes, dedicated teachers and engaging extracurricular activities. Our objective is to elevate the skills, knowledge and commitment of our students.

Learn more about Mechina Pathways.

A weekly chavruta program pairs participants with more advanced students. Learningtakes place within a beautiful beit midrash, fostering a genuine Jewish learning atmosphere. We actively encourage students to ask questions, cultivate independent thinking and chart their personal paths to Jewish knowledge and observance.

The Mechina Pathways curriculum is organized into three key subject areas: Bible, Judaism/Jewish Law and the Hebrew language. Courses are at the introductory level.

Shabbat on Campus

Shabbat on Campus

Shabbat offers a unique opportunity to relax with your peers, participate in exciting social programming, and gain insight from guests. Hundreds of students take part in the Shabbat programming each week. If you're looking for a one of a kind Shabbat experience, with great food, insightful speakers, interactive programming and uplifting ruach, then on campus is the place to be for Shabbat!

Sample a Shabbat Schedule

Semester at a Glance

Camp Shabbaton: Fostering a spirit of unity, our annual Shabbaton is a vibrant blend of inspiration, prayer, camaraderie and celebration: a place to connect to faculty, rebbeim, mechanchot and fellow students outside the classroom. Bringing together the Beren campus student body, a diverse group of women hailing from around the world, the Shabbaton offers a unique opportunity to forge friendships in a beautiful and inspiring setting while learning from today鈥檚 Torah leaders.

Mechina Pathways Shabbaton: Exclusive to Mechina Pathways are regular off campus Shabbatonim that are designed to bring students to communities around the tri-state, creating a warm Shabbos experience with home hospitality.

The Beren Campus is home to two rabbinic couples: Rabbi Azi and Rebbetzin Ellie Fine and Rabbi Avrumi and Rebbetzin Michal Schonbrun.

Both couples play a crucial role in fostering a welcoming Torah-centered atmosphere while building relationships with our students. Each day, they arrange morning and afternoon sessions of optional Torah programming in our thriving beit midrash. This provides students with the chance to explore a diverse range of subjects and texts that might not be part of the standard curriculum, which in turn enriches their learning and personal growth. Additionally, our rabbinic couples invite students to their campus homes, where they build connections and serve as mentors during this crucial phase of our students鈥 lives. Their presence on campus every Shabbat helps create a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere for our entire community.

Spiritual Guidance, is dedicated to providing personalized support to students to help them maximize their religious and spiritual growth while guiding them in this new stage of their lives. This includes via madrichot, upper-level students who offer peer support to new students as they transition from high school and seminary to college and campus life.

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