April 16, 2024
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Women’s Learning Opportunities in Greater Teaneck

Teaneck is a community that is replete with learning opportunities. On any given day or evening there is learning taking place. Some of these opportunities take the form of a shiur while others use the chevruta (learning with a partner) model. Many are open to men and women but there are a number of learning opportunities available to women only. Recently, we featured Lamdeinu’s fall courses which include some courses for women only. This week we feature three other women’s learning programs.

Chumash and Mishnah

Long-time Teaneck residents know that Rabbi Yosef Adler of Congregation Rinat Yisrael has been giving two weekly women’s shiurim at Rinat for over 25 years. Both are given on Wednesdays. The 12:30 p.m. shiur is a Chumash shiur and the 8 p.m. is a Mishnah shiur.

Rabbi Adler told JLBC that you do not need to be a member of Rinat to attend nor do you need to have a serious yeshiva background to attend the Chumash shiur, but it does help. They are currently at the beginning of Sefer Bereishis. The Mishnah shiur is an in-depth shiur where exposure to Talmud is helpful but not necessary. This class is currently learning Kiddushin. Both shiurim will resume right after Sukkot.

Various Topics

In 2010, Sara Olshin and Ria Levart, mothers of Ma’ayanot students, launched a series of mini-series by various high school faculty. Pam Ennis, Director of Community Relations at Ma’ayanot, said, “We wanted to help the community benefit from the amazing treasure trove of educators we have with the community so we opened up their classes to the community. The times of the classes vary since they are given when the teachers’ have a free period.”

One of the nice things Ennis has observed is that “We have a lot of women who are bringing their mothers with them to learn.” She also notes that the classes have attracted women from the greater Teaneck community but also as far away as New Rochelle, Riverdale, Monsey and West Orange. To accommodate the Highland Park community, Mrs. Leah Herzog, Director of Israel Guidance and Tanach teacher, took her shiur on the road this past summer and drove to Highland Park once a week for six weeks to give her shiur on “Family Systems in Bereishis.”

Ma’ayanot’s 2014-15 Continuing Education series began September 11th with Dr. Oshra Cohen, Guidance Counselor, presenting on “The Psychology of Teshuva.” The series will resume after Sukkot with a series given by Ms. Elana Flaumenhaft, Assistant Principal and Tanach Teacher, on “Ezra, Nechemya, Chagai & Zecharya: The Forgotten Neviim; this series will meet on October 23 & 30, November 6, 13 & 20. Rabbi Zev Prince, Director of Religious Programming and Talmud & Halacha teacher will give the next series on “K’tav V’Kabbalah: The Story of the Sidrah as Told by the Sages of the Talmud” on December 4, 11, 18 & 31, January 8 & 14.

Nach

For women who are interested in a more hands-on approach to learning Nach, there is a chaburah (study group) led by Rebbetzen Mirel Stavsky of the Beis Medrash of Bergenfield (BMOB) every Monday morning at 10:00 a.m., in a private home. The chaburah is part of Matan’s Al HaPerek program in which participants learn two perakim a week with the goal of finishing all of Nach in 6 ½ years. Once a week, participants receive an emailed sheet containing the weekly Al HaPerek material as well as other places in Tanach to go to help in understanding context or themes in the perakim being studied. According to Stavsky, “Everyone prepares at home and then I lead a lively discussion and analysis of what we have learned independently.”

As has become an annual tradition, Ma’ayanot once again invites the entire community to attend its annual Yom Iyun on Sunday, September 28 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The event will begin with a keynote address by Mrs. Leah Herzog that will be followed by two break-out sessions where participants choose from among numerous shiurim offered by the Ma’ayanot faculty. For more information about Ma’ayanot’s Continuing Education program, please contact Pam Ennis at [email protected].

The shiur is open to all women in the community. You do not need to have a yeshiva background to attend, but you do need to feel comfortable reading perakim in a Tanach (Hebrew or English) on your own. The group is now finishing up Sefer Shoftim. For more information and to register, contact Rebbetzin Stavsky at [email protected] or Blanche Buchwald at [email protected].

Stavsky said, “It is very important for women to find time to learn. It is essential for me spiritually to have a way to connect to Torah. Each week through our learning, I am able to find deeper levels of beauty to the Torah that I had not appreciated before. It is also important for me, as a role model, to demonstrate the value of Torah learning for my family.”

By Sara Kosowsky Gross

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