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 Online learning with the Conservative Yeshiva

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Posts : 43
Join date : 2012-01-08
Age : 32
Location : Frederick, MD

PostSubject: Online learning with the Conservative Yeshiva   Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:46 am

I got this e-mail because I once thought of traveling to Israel for a couple of weeks to go to the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. I thought I would forward it along. Moderators, if this is too much like spam, feel free to delete it. Why do they CHARGE $200 instead of GIVING $200 like Aish gave me when I did their JOU Max program which had a similar time commitment?

Dear usuario,

Register now for Conservative Yeshiva Online Learning beginning the week of October 14, 2012. Students of all Hebrew levels and Jewish learning backgrounds are welcome. Students should be self-motivated and willing to devote 1-2 hours per week to study. Hevruta - study with a partner - is strongly encouraged for all students including those with no prior experience in hevruta study. Conservative Yeshiva Online students have set up hevruta study in person, by phone, and even via Skype. The Conservative Yeshiva’s course management system makes online learning easy and fun!

Two eight-week courses will be offered (running through the week of December 2):

All Around Abraham

Vered Hollander-Goldfarb

Eight More Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein

Complete course descriptions are found below.

Registration: To register for the class, please copy the URL below and paste it into your browser

Tuition: $200 for each course. A 10% discount will be given to Hevruta partners who sign up together for the class. Alumni of the Conservative Yeshiva receive an additional 10% tuition discount. Students from Asia, South Africa, Eastern Europe and other developing nations will receive a 50% tuition discount. Full time students - register for the classes at no charge!

Please share this announcement!

For more information about the course or about on-line learning with the Conservative Yeshiva, please contact Rabbi Gail Diamond at yeshiva@uscj.org.

All Around Abraham

The Abraham narrative in Bereshit (Genesis) focuses, naturally, on Abraham. But around the father of the monotheistic faiths are several secondary characters, illuminating him and fascinating in their own right. Let’s take a look at the family that he leaves behind, the nephew that joins and leaves him, the wife that does not bear children and the wife and child he is forced to give up. We will consider the local political and cultic powers that he deals with. What does a close reading of the Tanakh tell us about these people? How do later traditions understand them?
Instructor: Vered Hollander-Goldfarb received her M.A. in Judaic Studies and Tanach from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University and studied at Bar-Ilan University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Before making aliyah, she taught at Ramaz School and Stern College in New York. She teaches Advanced Tanach.

Eight More Theologically Provocative Talmud Sugyot

It is a popular assumption that the Talmud is a book filled exclusively with legal dialectic and debate. Truth be told, the Talmud contains much more non- legal material than legal material and the same rabbis who vigorously debate legal issues, are equally energetic in their discussions about what makes up their theological universe. This course will focus on a number of these debates. Among the topics to be discussed: When Is Man Judged; Are We Really Inscribed in a Book of Life; Is God Really Merciful; What Human Qualities Are Rewarded; What Divine Qualities are We Intended to Emulate; What Is Teshuva Good For; Why Be a Part of a Religious Community.

Instructor: Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein received Rabbinic Ordination from both the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Yeshiva University. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Talmud at Hebrew University. He teaches Talmud, Poskim and Advanced Midrash at the Conservative Yeshiva.

Please share this announcement!
We look forward to your participation and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Rabbi Gail Diamond
Associate Director
Conservative Yeshiva of United Synagogue
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Debbie B.


Posts : 373
Join date : 2011-09-05
Location : Chicagoland

PostSubject: Re: Online learning with the Conservative Yeshiva   Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:33 pm

usuario wrote:
I got this e-mail because I once thought of traveling to Israel for a couple of weeks to go to the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.... Why do they CHARGE $200 instead of GIVING $200 like Aish gave me when I did their JOU Max program which had a similar time commitment?
Unlike Aish, the Conservative movement does not have major benefactors who give large donations. I'm pretty sure that like Chabad, the major benefactors of Aish HaTorah are not observant Jews themselves. The donors are usually secular Jews who want to give money to support Jews in general and are impressed with the outreach efforts of these kind of organizations.

It may be cynical, but I think it doesn't hurt that these Jews tend to look like what people expect "real Jews" to look like: you know, the black coats and hats, beards and peyos. They "look" religious, so secular Jews who feel guilty about not being at all religious feel like they can support these Jews who can be "pious Jews by proxy" for them.

On the other hand, to their credit, these groups do an amazing amount of outreach, so donors can feel that their money helps many other less religious Jews like themselves.

Meanwhile the Conservative movement is so cash strapped that they recently proposed to shut down KOACH, its college outreach program. At this very moment, KOACH is trying desperately to raise enough money in the next few months to continue. [I'm glad that since my daughter is at Brandeis University {non-sectarian, but Jewish-sponsored with over half Jewish students}, the wide variety of non-Orthodox Jewish programming at her university isn't likely to be noticeably decreased if KOACH is shut down.]

Also, I would guess that the Conservative Yeshiva charges a fee in part because it wants to ensure that its students are serious and committed rather than doing it "for the money". Their website shows that students from less wealthy countries get a 50% discount.

But the question is a little like asking why Cooper Union gives a full scholarship to every student, while Harvey Mudd College, another excellent small engineering college of similar rank, costs over $40K/year tuition and only half of the students receive need-based financial aid.

Usuario, rather than asking why the Conservative Yeshiva doesn't pay its students instead of charging tuition, you might think about whether you care enough about there being non-Orthodox institutions of Jewish learning that you would consider supporting it. At $200, I can assure you that these courses are not a major income-producing activity for the Yeshiva.

[side note: A number of members of my minyan have studied at the Conservative Yeshiva, ranging from shorter programs to a full year or more of advanced study (post-grad for two who were grads of Orthodox Jewish high schools and had BAs in Jewish Studies). One of the advanced studies people told me that Rabbi Silverstein was his favorite teacher. I myself enjoyed learning at a session taught by R. Silverstein at Limmud two years ago when R. Silverstein was in the Chicago area for a year to substitute for a rabbi who was taking a year sabbatical leave. My husband and I harbor a hope that we may have time to study at the Conservative Yeshiva when we are retired.]

Last edited by Debbie B. on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: Online learning with the Conservative Yeshiva   Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:42 am

This sounds interesting but I will be out of town the week it starts. Perhaps I could do something later.
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Join date : 2012-10-07

PostSubject: Re: Online learning with the Conservative Yeshiva   Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:03 am

We welcome new students for Conservative Yeshiva online learning beginning next week, as described above. The courses are great for students who are already committed to Jewish learning and are looking for a framework to inspire them to regular learning times and topics. Tuition for the eight week courses is $200 as mentioned, but we offer financial aid and the courses are FREE for full time students. Anyone who wishes to learn is most welcome - we encourage you to sign up with a hevruta/study partner. For more information, feel free to email me at yeshiva@uscj.org or check out the course descriptions at http://www.conservativeyeshiva.org/distance-learning/distance-learning-courses. We hope you will join us! Rabbi Gail Diamond
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