Beginning this coming Elul (August), Shir Hadash will add a new arrow to its Torah and programming quiver by hosting, guiding and teaching in the innovative and inspiring women’s Midrasha, Amudim. Previously, Shir Hadash hosted this relatively new seminary for overseas’ students studying for the year in Israel one day a week — as part of their experience Jerusalem day. The video below shows this endeavor.
But now Amudim is making aliya to Jerusalem permanently and will become an integral part of the Shir Hadash family on a daily basis. Together, we believe this partnership will allow Shir Hadash and Amudim to soar to new heights of Torah, Ahavat Am and Eretz Yisrael, Scholarship, Hesed and Community … and ultimately, impact on the entire Jewish world.
To learn more about Amudim watch the below video and read on afterwards:
AN INTELLECTUAL ADVENTURE
In a world which allows for unprecedented encounters and exchange on a global scale, Amudim is a new kind of Shana ba-Aretz experience that opens exciting intellectual and spiritual horizons by offering:
- An innovative style which empowers each student to bring her own voice to Torah learning.
- Seamless harmonization of traditional and modern scholarship.
- A derekh ha-limmud, the necessary toolbox for lifelong independent Torah study.
- The Land of Israel itself as a Beit Midrash, with classes regularly taking place off-campus—at the Bible Lands Museum, the National Library and in the Old City.
- Special weekly seminars which introduce students to the eclectic world of Jewish scholarship that exists exclusively in Israel.
- Honest conversation about essential and existential issues such as the existence of God, free will, the afterlife, the problem of evil and suffering, the composition of Torah texts, and the interaction between Judaism and modern values and ethics.
- One-of-a-kind tiyulim, internships, and extracurriculars that bring the values of Amudim to life.
- A warm thoughtful environment that inspires steadfast Shmirat ha-Mitzvot and love of Torah.
With the understanding that students today enter a classroom with much broader exposure to information and appetite for knowledge than they did even a decade ago, Amudim’s approach is:
It is one thing to read a Rashi; it is another to read it in historical context, compare and contrast it to other texts, ascertain how the ideas in it unfolded over time, analyze authorial decisions and, in general, dialogue with it. Amudim’s classes take a higher perspective, looking beyond the content of Jewish texts to processes: How do these texts work and how are they meant to be understood?
Catering to the most inquiring minds, Amudim, in addition to traditional sedarim and shiurim, offers out-of-the-box courses and activities led by world renowned scholars and artists, geared toward in-depth exploration of fundamental questions of religion and Torah and an appreciation for the thought processes and complex negotiations that have taken place within Jewish thought and culture throughout the ages.
Learning at Amudim is based on the premise that the Jewish religious experience begins and ends with text, that all conclusions must be textually-justified. Utilizing classical sefarim, visual, audial and other types of texts, the process of interpretation stands at the core of how we learn. In this way, Amudim students are simultaneously empowered to advance their own understandings while situating themselves within the mesorah.
Amudim promotes independent thought and decision-making, asking students to interact personally with texts and even on tiyulim—observing, summarizing, inferring, critiquing, questioning and challenging. Teachers are facilitators rather than knowledge-dispensers and, with an eye towards experiential learning, students are asked to engage in peer-review, intellectual exchange and team-teaching.