Midreshet Eshel women's leadership program sephardic seminary
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The Rich History of Sephardic Jewry

Everything you could want from
a seminary and more . . .

Learning, growing, touring, Chessed, meeting new people, and interacting with well respected
leaders from the Jewish world.

Tanakh, Halacha, Sephardic studies, Chassidut, yoga, psychology, touring Israel and making friends for life!

Course Descriptions


Jewish Philosophy

We will explore some of the classic concepts discussed by Medieval Jewish philosophers including the relationship between man and G-d, free choice vs. G-d’s foreknowledge, Divine providence, reward & punishment, the theodicy, Olam Haba (the world to come), and the end of days.


Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics covers the process of getting to know oneself within a group. Students will gain effective communication skills to help in reaching their identity, gaining trust, and learning how to give and receive advice and criticism, all in a non-threatening and respectful way. Skills learned in this course will help students build healthy relationships throughout life.


R. Yosef CaroShabbat and Kashrut: Why?

Shabbat and Kashrut are two central pillars in Judaism. In this course we will explore the philosophical foundation of these pillars. It’s not just the halacha, it’s a way of life.


Shmuel Bet On Site – The Prophets

In this course we will travel back in time to the era of the Prophet Shmuel, King Saul and King David. With the Tanakh in our hands and the City of David at our feet, we will follow in their footsteps and learn aboutour rich history and the heritage they bequeathed.


Daily Prophets From Navi

In this class we aim to learn about the events and experiences that have occurred to the Jewish people in Israel during the time period of our prophets and kings. In the light of this history, we can learn and make comparisons to our own times and current governments. Thus, past and present share an insightful destiny through the eyes, ears and imagination of our students. The emphasis in class will be on pshat (the simple meaning of the text) with the intention of acquiring skill based learning without losing the fervor of the text content.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)

In Megillah Kohelet we are going to examine various topics that are discussed throughout the Megillah such as:

  1. The power of wisdom: who is wise, what are the benefits the wise has over the Ckesil (Fool).
  2. Simcha (happiness), its benefits and challenges.
  3. The value of time and its limitations.
  4. The meaning of life. Life is short – focus on what to concentrate on and what to ignore.
  5. The value of hard work /the farmer’s great value.
  6. Wealth and its meaning.
  7. The power of a woman: comparing the Perek of Eshet Chayil from Mishlai.
  8. Good advice that everyone should embrace.
  9. Human development (comparing youth and old age).
  10. Final summary and Epilogue.



Many people think that yoga is just stretching. While stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance the body and centering the mind. This is done through the performance of postures, each one has specific physical benefits and instruction on breathing. The benefits of yoga extend to both the body and the mind.


HumashHumash Bereshit/Shemot (Books of Genesis/Exodus)

This course is an in – depth examination of the first two books of the Torah: Bereshit and Shemot. In order to explore and understand the deeper meaning of the text, Midrash, Talmud, and major commentaries will be studied. To strengthen the necessary skills needed in understanding the Hebrew text, students will be given guided independent study.


Ahavat HaAretz (Love of the Land)

In this course we will explore the development and establishment of the land of Israel. We will focus on the last 100 years of Zionist history, focusing on the wars, emigration, and personalities who contributed to the states’ founding and formation, such as Theodor Herzl, Rav Kook, . The course will include multi- media dimension and select trips. Prepare to be inspired!


Hilchot De’ot

An in depth study of Maimonides Hilchot Deot comparing his
teachings to other commentaries. The class will involve textual study as well as discussion.


R. LevyHalacha (Law)

Complete overview of the practicalities of Jewish law throughout the yearly cycle, based on the teachings of Rav Yosef Karo. Topics to be covered include prayer, blessings, Shabbat, and dietary laws.


Women in Judaism

This course covers the topics relevant to women regarding their unique power and role in Jewish society and relationships. The laws and philosophy of yichud (unity of genders) and negia (touching between genders), the Jewish view of love, dating, and marriage, and the concept and laws of tzniut (modesty) will be explored and studied, in a relatable, open and thorough fashion.


Nashim B’Tanakh – Women in Tanakh

In this course we will learn about some of the prominent women role models found in Navi and Ketuvim. We will explore their role and impact during the time that they lived as well as what we can learn from them today. We will focus on the primary text and explore relevant commentaries.


Ben Ish ChaiSephardic Communities and Sages

This class emphasizes the positive impact of Sephardic Jewry on the world. It will examine the lives of great Torah scholars and other Sephardic personalities and the various communities pre and post the expulsion of 1492, including the Chida, Ben Ish Chai and the Baba Sali. We will also study major events that affected the Sephardic world. For the Sephardic student especially, this course helps to solidify their Sephardic identity with the knowledge of their glorious past.



CookingWe will learn the basics of Sephardic cooking, from scooping squash and fluting sambousak to Syrian pastries. Even though the emphasis will be on Syrian dishes, some classes will have an international flair, where students will learn to roll their own sushi and try their hand at different Italian pasta sauces. Since Kady is addicted to chocolate, there will be lots of delicious desserts involving that magical cocoa bean, from hot chocolate soufflés to chocolate truffles. Throughout the classes students will learn kitchen shortcuts and other handy food prep techniques.

Parsha Hashavua – Weekly Torah Portion

Once per week, the students will delve into the lessons dealing with the Torah portion for the coming Shabbat. The class will explore themes of the Parsha and relate it to contemporary issues, allowing the students to integrate these ideas into their lives.


Neviim Rishonim Ve-Ahronim – The Early and Later Prophets

This class is designed to learn the Prophets in – depth. Students will be given independent study time to analyze the text. Classes will utilize Midrash and commentaries to gain a deeper understanding of the text.


Taamei HaMizvot – The Study of te Mitzvot

This course is an in depth analysis of various Mitzvot through classic and contemporary commentaries. The course will explore the significance of each Mitzvah its philosophical significance and relevance to modern life.


Ulpan – Learning Hebrew

This intensive language course focuses on Hebrew comprehension and spoken language skills. It will involve an applied approach to learning Hebrew through class trips to the mall, the religious neighborhood of Jerusalem, the marketplace, and more. The course material will also include the study of Israeli films in order to better understand the Israeli culture and mentality.



The Jewish Woman

This course offers the philosophical underpinnings and halachic sources for many of the areas of Jewish law pertaining to women. Especially emphasized are topics regarding relationships between men and women in Judaism, love, dating and marriage, gender differences, the Jewish view of sexuality and the laws of tzniut. Engaging discussion is a crucial element of the class, and questioning is encouraged.


Matriarchs and Marriage

This course examines the marriages of the 4 matriarchs (to the 3 patriarchs:) and attempts to use these examples in the Torah as a springboard for  learning relevant, contemporary lessons for dating and marriage in today’s society . Topics vary from personality differences and dynamic between the spouses, shared goals and values, communication, middot, respect, trust, healthy interaction and conflict management, and even touch upon parenting techniques and the importance of prayer and emunah in family life.

The Secrets of the Aleph Bet

The letters of the Aleph Bet are the foundations of all of Creation! Each letter has its own Kabbalistic and spiritual significance, its own message, and many fascinating fun facts that most of us have never learned! So each week we dive into the secrets of different letter, its form (and sometimes even its corresponding yoga pose!), its sound (and sometimes meditative sounds connected to the letter), and its role in our lives (as we explore how having the different letters in our names can even influence our personalities!)…. Who knew?!

Middot and Menschlechkite

In Middot and Menschlechkite we learn about a different middah or way to live life like a mensch. Each middah class is either expanded upon by a psychological exploration of the middah or an experience to deepen the learning. Hot topics have included, “Seeing through the Eyes of Reb Shlomo; On Compassion,’ ‘Anger, the Inner Teacher,’ and ‘How to Wake Up Like a Mensch,’ which includes designing pillow cases to remind us of positive affirmations and goals for the day.

Hippie Trippy Dippy Torah: Parsha and way-out-Midrashim

In this experiential learning class we review the funkiest Midrashim on the Parashat Hashavuah that we can find, see how they apply to our own modern lives, and do some sort of exercise to make the learning come to life. How else can we understand Adam and Eve if we don’t take a moment and dream about the possibilities of their romance? How else could a girl understand the joy that Miriam and the women had when dancing out of Yam Suf if they don’t make their own tambourines?! Yallah! Let’s get personal with some trippy Torah!