The most remarkable aspect of the first full-time co-ed learning program just ending at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a pioneer in advanced Torah study for women, is how unremarkable it felt.
I visited the experimental program for college and graduate students spending the month of June in a “student immersion program” that combined Talmud and philosophy in examining “the relationship between spirituality and community involvement and action,” according to the program description.
Jerusalem — What do Israelis make of the crisis over conversions that has bitterly divided American Jews? While many are still unaware of the Reform and Conservative movements and what they stand for, there are indications that the issue, which has simmered for about a year, is finally making an impact here.
The media this week devoted more attention than ever to the issue. The mass-circulation dailies, which rarely referred to the conversion crisis, have been brimming with articles on the so-called “conversion bill crisis” for several months now.
Jerusalem — Nine students are sitting around a table in a sunny classroom near the Old City, studying verses from the Midrash. Their bearded teacher, a knit kipa on his head, leads them in a discussion of the passage’s biblical roots and some possible interpretations.
Sounds like a typical yeshiva scene.
But most of the students are wearing blue jeans. The class includes bareheaded men — and several women.
Not a typical yeshiva scene.