July 25 & 27, August 1 & 3
A Day in the Sixteenth-Century Venetian Ghetto with Mrs. Rivka Maron:
Since its inception in 1516 the ghetto has been associated with segregation, persecution, and exclusion. The early modern ghetto, however, also pulsed with color and vitality. It housed some of the most dynamic communities in Jewish history and produced some of the most colorful figures and influential works Judaism has ever known. In this course, we will take a tour of the Sixteenth-century Italian ghetto. Our sources will allow us to study the unique personalities and minhagim that distinguished Venetian Jewry, as well as participate in varied aspects of Italian Jewish life by catching glimpses of a child’s first day of school or a mother’s joy at the birth of a daughter. The ghetto walls were indeed exclusive, but they also produced and contained a rich and dynamic chapter of Jewish history.
Rabbanit Shani Taragin received her B.A. and M.A. in Tanakh and Talmud from Bar-Ilan University and is a graduate of Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Program for certification as a halachic advisor (yoetzet halacha) in issues of family purity law. She is the educational director of Matan Eshkolot – Tanakh teachers’ education program and of the Morot l’Halacha program in Matan Renana. Shani serves on the advisory committee for the Mizrachi Olami Shalhevet program for shlichim and lectures throughout Israel and North America on topics of Tanakh, Jewish Education, and Jewish Law. She is a senior lecturer in Matan and is the curriculum coordinator for the Matan – Bnei Akiva program (MTVA). In addition, Shani is a Ra’mit Tanakh in Midreshet Lindenbaum and teaches at Migdal Oz, the Women’s Beit Medrash of Efrat and Gush Etzion and in Matan Ramat Shiloh. Shani has presented many shiurim at the OU Women's Initiative, including, introduction shiurim to each sefer of the Torat Imecha Nach Yomi Program, Weekend of Inspiration and Selichot Night Shiurim, ALIT Summer Learning Program courses in Israel and in the USA, and Rosh Chodesh shiurim. Together with her husband, Reuven, she serves as Rosh Beit Medrash for the Beit Medrash Program in Machaneh Moshava Pennsylvania during the summer and as Educational Director of Mizrachi Olami-RZA. Shani lives with her family in Alon Shvut, Gush Etzion-Israel.
Do I say Tefillat Haderech on a cruise? If I have said a bracha for thunder and then I hear thunder again a few hours later, should I repeat the bracha? Can I say a bracha for lightning if I only saw a flash of light and not an actual lightning bolt? Do I have to see the full rainbow to make a bracha? If I live near the beach, do I say a bracha every time I see the Sea?
Delve into Rabbinic sources and study the concepts, details and intricacies of phenomenal brachot. Discuss the significance of these halachot, their various applications and the hashkafic lessons behind these laws.
July 26 & 28, August 2 & 4
Mrs. Sarah Lipman is the Founder and CTO of Power2B, and inventor of its 3D touchscreen technology. In two decades as a User Interaction professional, primarily in mobile and telecoms, she has authored numerous patents and published pieces, innovating new technologies years ahead of the state of the art. Sarah is a sought-after speaker and panelist at international industry events, including Mobile World Congress (MWC), MobileMonday Global Summit, the Israel Mobile Association and the Jerusalem College of Technology, and is the winner of the Mobile User Experience Competition (Professional Category) 2008. She was a NCWIT Hero in 2011, and a member of IWEI (Israel Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative), a project of the U.S. State Department. Sarah has been profiled prominently in the American and international press – in Forbes, Mishpacha, The Jerusalem Post and Yated Ne’eman, among others. While living in Jerusalem for 16 years, she founded the Kishor Women's Professional Network and The Jerusalem Hub (both now projects of Temech), for which work she received the prestigious Boneh Yerushalayim award in December 2010. Sarah has been giving shiurim on Chumash, Navi, Tefillah and Jewish thought since 1990. Now residing in Los Angeles, she teaches Chumash and the history of Jerusalem at Bais Yaakov Machon Los Angeles (girls’ high school.) At the OU Women’s Initiative, Sarah taught Sefer Mishlei as part of the Torat Imecha Nach Yomi program and Themes of Sefer Bereishit Through the Commentary of Rav Hirsch, as part of the ALIT Summer Vitrual Beit Midrash 2021. She is active in communal affairs, serves as a mentor to mid- and top-level executives in the UX-design and education industries, and is an advisor on Tech Ed and the impact of technology on youth for several local schools.
Understanding our eternal relationship with Jerusalem, and the unquenchable Jewish thirst for the Holy City. We will look to the words of the Torah and the words of Chazal to illuminate the character of Jerusalem and the role it plays supporting us in our daily lives, no matter where we may be. Topics include:
- ״Jerusalem, Center of the Universe״: Creation of the universe and of humanity at the place where Heaven and Earth meet
- ״ירושלים של האבות״ — Jerusalem of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov
- לשכנו תדרשו״— Seeking His Presence״: The search for holiness
- ״Turning to Yerushalayim״: Lessons from Daniel, the first Jew in exile
Mrs. Michal Horowitz holds a Bachelor of Science from combined studies at York University, Toronto, and Brooklyn College, NY. She holds a Master of Science from Brooklyn College, NY. She offers weekly shiurim in her home community of the Five Towns, NY, and in the greater NY area. Michal is a speaker at Yeshiva University's Midreshet Yom Rishon and has been a featured speaker for the last four years at the RIETS Shavuos Yarchei Kallah program. At the OU Women’s Initiative, she inaugurated the Torat Imecha Parsha program presenting weekly Parsha shiurim on Sefer Bereishit. Michal taught Sefer Yehoshua, Sefer Tehillim 36-41, and Sefer Divrei Hayamim II to over 5,000 women across the globe as part of the Torat Imecha Nach Yomi program. Michal presented Rosh Chodesh, Selichot Night and Nach Yomi Siyum shiurim and taught in-depth courses at the ALIT Virtual Summer Learning Programs of 2020 and 2021. She has been a guest lecturer and scholar in residence in schools and communities, both nationally and internationally. Selections of her recorded shiurim are posted on YUTorah.org and TorahAnyTime.com. Michal lives in Woodmere, NY with her husband and children.
In the fast paced world in which we live, with obligations and demands of family, work, and community, it is often difficult to take a step back and focus on one’s self. However, it is this very much sought-after-focus, and contemplation, that can be the impetus for change and improvement. Through recognizing our strengths – and weaknesses – we can become better women, better people and ultimately, better ovdei Hashem. Tikkun HaMiddot is the integral obligation upon every Jew, as we strive to improve who, and what, we are.
Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger, a beloved mentor and experienced teacher, is a graduate of Stern College for Women and holds a B.A. in mathematics. Rebbetzin Neuburger brings a wealth of diversified experience to the classroom, including adult education at Lincoln Square Synagogue, where she taught kallah classes for twenty five years. At Manhattan High School for Girls, Rebbetzin Neuburger teaches Nosim B’Chumash to Grade Twelve. At the OU Women’s Initiative, Rebbetzin Neuburger presented shiurim for the Rosh Chodesh and Three Weeks Inspiration programs, presented to Mikvah Attendants as part of the Covid Support efforts and participated in the Women’s Initiative Educators Thinktank. Rebbetzin Neuburger is the Rebbetzin of Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, NJ.
The shiurim in this course will begin with a survey of the classic sources in Sefer Bereishit which introduce this fundamental principle, and move on to a number of Tanach narratives where the similarities to the life events and actions of the Avot and Imahot are more subtle, but the discerning reader can find them.