You have been in Israel many times, or maybe it is your first visit? Perhaps you made aliyah.
You come from North America, from Europe, from Poland, fromTokyo, or maybe from Australia.
You are 20, 30, 60, or 80 years old.
You are alone or with your mom, you have a friend or maybe not.
There is one thing you have in common with the women that come to Jerusalem to attend the Jeanie Schottenstein Nishmat Summer Program. You all are burning with a passion to learn. You have a thirst that can only be quenched with a deeper understanding of our historical texts.
It is this passion that drove me to join an amazing group of women and delve into Chumash, Navi, Gemara, and Mussar with energy and joy. I was fortunate to attend the full three week at the Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women this summer.
What makes Nishmat Summer Program so special?
Extraordinary people and unique setting. From the administrator to the activities director, everyone does their best to make you feel comfortable and happy. Choice of classes in three levels is offered by some of the most fascinating Rabbanim and Rabbaniyot of our times in English and Hebrew. Discussion and questions are encouraged, and ancient texts are connected to daily practices and personal growth.
As if this is not enough, it all takes place in one of the most beautiful campuses in central Jerusalem. You can go up to the roof top to sit with a friend or just enjoy time alone surrounded by the view of the golden city. You enjoy a singing Shabbat Oneg with the backdrop of stars and city lights on Friday night. You enter the beautiful Kodesh library and Beit Midrash feeling how your soul and mind expand. Reach out and chose any Sefer or sit with your Chavruta to figure out a Sugya together holding a warm cup of coffee knowing that there is no better place in the world to be.As days pass connections are made and jewish geography starts conversations that continue into the night. Suddenly you have a group of friends from all aes, and learning partners inspire each other to go even deeper, ask more challenging questions, and get answers.
We spent a beautiful Shabbat in Kefar Etzyon full of song in view of our land. We shared meals and fasted together, painted, baked challah and did so much more. We bonded with women who live on the other side of the globe and with Rabbanim and Rabbaniyot that will continue to teach us from afar.
Something in us was awakened, an intense yearning for more. I know we will be back one day, ready to challenge ourselves with new spiritual and intellectual heights.