April 8, 2024
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Midreshet Lev: Spotlight on a Brand New Seminary

(Courtesy of Midreshet Lev) Midreshet Lev HaTorah is excited to announce its opening in Elul 5784. The inaugural year is set to be filled with phenomenal classes, innovative programming and a superb teaching staff. Esther Grossman, from Ramat Beit Shemesh, will be the director of the midrasha. Grossman is an educator with over 25 years of experience. Originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey, Grossman made aliyah close to 15 years ago from Boca Raton, where she taught at Katz Yeshiva High School (KYHS) and the Boca Raton Synagogue’s adult education program. Most recently she was an inspiring mashgicha and beloved teacher at Midreshet HaRova. Rav Boaz Mori, founder of Yeshivat Lev HaTorah, spearheaded the founding of Midreshet Lev and will serve as its rosh midrasha.

Enrolling in Midreshet Lev will afford a young woman the opportunity to pioneer in the establishment of a midrasha that uniquely weaves together four fundamental educational pillars:

  1. Academic excellence
  2. Warmth and personal attention
  3. Religious Zionism
  4. A lifelong commitment to Avodat HaShem

The challenging Torah classes on a variety of subjects will include a Beit Midrash component to engender independent learning. The rosh beit midrash is Penina Bernstein (formerly the campus rebbetzin at Stern College for Women and faculty member at SKA), currently a curriculum developer for The Lookstein Center at Bar Ilan and a teacher at MMY. Almost every slot boasts an assortment of choices that will enable each student to personalize her learning schedule.

The emphasis on the “heart” distinguishes Midreshet Lev by providing personalized care by the staff (most of whom live locally), as well as the community of Neve Shamir, a suburb of Ramat Beit Shemesh. Students will always be able to stay in for Shabbatot and chagim, with meals provided by the midrasha or as guests of the staff/community members. During the week there will be three home cooked-quality meals every day. There will be Sunday night chaburot at community homes and a chavruta program with local women and older teenagers. The students will not be in a Chutz La’Aretz bubble, rather they will enjoy a real immersion in an Israeli suburban community.

This experience dovetails with Religious Zionism with a profound focus on Eretz Yisrael, Medinat Yisrael and Am Yisrael, through classroom learning, experiential touring and community living which will foster a genuine and meaningful connection with our land and our nation. Following the inaugural year, post Shana Aleph young women doing Sherut Leumi will have the opportunity to join the midrasha in conjunction with their National Service.

The seminary will emphasize a lifelong commitment to Avodat Hashem that goes beyond academics, cultivating a continuous journey of spiritual devotion and growth, and uncompromising commitment to Halacha. One way the midrasha seeks to accomplish this is through incorporation of the following six themes throughout the year:

  • Teshuva
  • Shabbat
  • Tefilla
  • Kedusha
  • Eretz Yisrael
  • Torah

These themes will be the subject of the *Rakezet shiur (*the teacher who coordinates special weekly classes and individual student meetings). In addition, there will be fascinating Yemei Iyun, and entertaining, exciting trips that will further highlight these themes.

Recruiting has already begun with trips to England, Canada and throughout the US. Grossman and Yael Gelernter (educator extraordinaire, formerly co-principal at Ulpanat Orot in Toronto and various seminaries in Israel) are covering close to 40 high schools of diverse backgrounds. The common denominator among the students will be young women who are seeking the midrasha’s four core pillars and are motivated to be inspired.

Grossman compared the opening of Midreshet Lev to the exhilaration of bringing the first fruits, the bikkurim, to the Beit HaMikdash when the choicest produce was selected. “The four guiding principles that will serve as the essential pillars of Midreshet Lev will ensure that we will not compromise on the goals we have fashioned for our excellent students.”

Rav Boaz Mori emphasized that “we want to bring the best of the best to our students at Midreshet Lev.”

The midrasha is determined to expose the students to academic excellence. A few examples are:

Dina Schoonmaker, who founded the Women’s Mussar Vaad, and is a sought-after inspirational speaker internationally, has been a successful teacher in Michlalah for many years;

Rav Amos Azizoff who will teach Tanya, is a Chabad shaliach in Ramat Beit Shemesh and has an impressive, prestigious educational Torah background in the UK and Israel;

Dr. Tamar Halpern will teach Torat HaNefesh using her extensive Torah knowledge combined with her doctorate and clinical experience in psychology, giving her expertise on the subject of combining personal growth with spiritual development and Avodat Hashem.

In addition, many well-known educators have approached the school to be a part of what promises to be a remarkable midrasha.

The schedule of classes will include several that are obligatory (Hilchot Shabbat, Kashrut, Women and Mitzvot), with the option of choosing which teacher to take for the required subjects. There will also be a variety of courses from which the student will have the freedom to choose which she prefers.

Every Thursday afternoon will be dedicated to an assortment of chesed programs in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Students may choose to volunteer in hospitals, schools, as companions to senior citizens, helping local families or running food drives or carnivals.

Enrolling in Midreshet Lev is not just joining a seminary; it means embarking on a holistic journey that integrates intellectual rigor, personalized care, a profound connection to Israel, and a lifelong commitment to Torah and mitzvot. The midrasha is guided by the verse in Tehillim

בכל לבי דרשתיך” תהלים קי”ט:י”

With all my heart I have sought You

Midreshet Lev aspires to motivate its students through the analysis and interpretation of texts as well as the examination and illumination of our hearts.

The website for Midreshet Lev is: https://midreshetlev.org/

Follow them on IG @midreshetlev

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