It is already six years that the unique Beit-Midrash of the “Meeting Place” association has been active in some of the cities of Israel. It is a place where one can meet various people poring over the pages of the Tanach, Gemara or Chasidic and mystic Jewish literature. Among them we can find all sorts of people – secular and religious Zionists, Chabad and Breslov, men and women, old and young, progressive and conservative.
Our credo is to have the classes open to anyone who wants to join us and express his/her opinions. We endeavor to comprehend the texts we read both basing on their actual contents and using a wider background, including traditional commentaries by various acknowledged scholars.
Though the discussions in class are held in Russian, we study original Hebrew and Aramaic texts.
To date, several classes are functioning in the cities of Jerusalem and Lod. However, in Tel-Aviv, Modiin and Rechovot there are groups of students who are waiting for classes to be resumed as soon as the necessary funds are raised.
We have also held on-line classes, and dozens of participants took part in these test classes. But on-line classes also need technical support which means additional financing that we don’t have, so the classes had to bee stopped.
Here are some of our teachers who conduct our classes:
Yakov Sinichkin –a Talmud specialist. He has his weekly 2-hour class in Sahnedrin tractate running for the last four years in Jerusalem. Classical commentaries as well as analogies with modern situations help to understand the text. Till recently, another class in Tel-Aviv was active – Talmud for beginners. In this class, mostly Aggadic material was presented to secular people that have never before seen the Talmud.
Menachem Yaglom – a well-known specialist in Hassidic and Jewish mystic literature, translator and editor, working with some of the best publishing houses. He gives a weekly class on “Tales” by r. Nachman of Breslov.
Here are audio files of 12 of these lessons.
Esther Yaglom – a specialist on mystic literature, works at the Jewish university. She has been giving classes on Arizal teachings in Modiin and Rechovot. We are now planning to start her course on the Komarno school of mysticism, presumably in on-line format.
Moshe Garbuz – a well-known teacher of Jewish thought – starting as early as the “refuse” groups more than 30 years ago. He had worked for many years in conversion (giyur) institutions in Israel. Now he gives a very popular class in Lod on Genesis book with Hassidic commentaries, including insights from r. A-I Kook teachings.
In case more funds are found, we would like to resume Michael Kravtzov’s class on books by r. HaimVital and d-r Reuven Kipperwasser’s class on changing biographies of biblical characters through early midrash, later Talmudic and medieval sources.
The budget of one group is 10,000 NIS (2700$) per year. With on-line translation, the sum increases to 4000 $ per year.
Our fund-raising goal, is at least, 14,000$, which will give us the possibility to keep four to five groups (at least some of them with on-line translation) working throughout the year .
Meanwhile, an Israeli friend, who wants to remain anonymous, offered a 2,000$ donation . With G-d’s help, our organization will be able to earn at least 2,000$ from our“Jewish Tourism” activities and to spend it on these classes. This leaves us with 10,000$ that still has to be raised.
You can make your U.S. tax-deductable donation through Central Fund of Israel! There is no fundraising commission. Payment instructions here.
Please feel free to contact us for any details by e-mail:
Sponsor a class: in case of a $500 donation, during the full year the learning in one group will be dedicated to the memory of your loved ones, refuah shlema etc. You can also sponsor a shorter period of learning as well.