Sunday, August 09, 2020

Yeshivat Maharat and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, both based in Riverdale, N.Y., have teamed up to launch a new program for Jewish professionals who are, or expect to soon be, between jobs in the Jewish communal sector. “Mind the Gap: A Mini Sabbatical” seeks to deepen these professionals’ knowledge of Jewish content and strengthen their leadership skills. Fully funded tuition and stipends are being made available, and participants can opt for fall, winter or spring sessions, or all three. The program will allow these individuals to gain exposure to Jewish values and tradition while also obtaining resume building experience.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, co-founder and president of Maharat, noted, “The pandemic has disrupted many of our lives and professional aspirations. Many are opting out of the important work they did in Jewish organizations. During this time of crisis, it would be tragic to lose the creative energy that these professionals bring to organizations. Maharat and YCT want to invest in their future.


“As people are looking to rejoin the workforce,” she continued, “the Mind the Gap program is designed to give them the space to learn what Judaism has to say about the world around us. Real world issues that many of us are confronting, such as race, health and immigration, will be examined through a Jewish lens. The curriculum will help strengthen the skills and ideas of people who are committed to serving the community.”

YCT’s president and Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Dov Linzer explained, “The grant that made Mind the Gap possible was given to us so that we could inspire and promote initiatives that really respond to the current moment. Leaders from Chovevei and Maharat got together to discuss what we could do in order to draw on our strengths and make a meaningful contribution during this time. Rabba Sara [Hurwitz] came up with this idea to include the people who are not working, but who want to be and can’t due to the economy.”

Rabbi Linzer added, “Mind the Gap is geared toward Jewish professionals and those seeking to become Jewish professionals, with an eye toward deepening these individuals’ connection to Judaism and Torah in order to make them better professionals and leaders.

“We have amazing graduates out in the field who are engaged in a whole range of Jewish leadership. Mind the Gap will give participants the opportunity to draw on those alumni and to explore what kinds of innovative and new areas are available to them in terms of work,” he concluded.

Mind the Gap is generously sponsored by the Aviv Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Maimonides Fund through the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund.

For more information, visit www.yeshivatmaharat.org/mind-the-gap.

By Anne Grant