2016-2017 Program Highlights

Ma’ayan had a busy and fruitful year with guest speakers from near and far. Among the highlights were Dr. Yael Ziegler’s presentation of the annual Rosalie Katchen Memorial Lecture, and Deb Kram and Prof. Jay Berkowitz’s inspiring morning learning program in memory of long-time student and teacher Lois Morgan z”l. Some of our other outstanding educators included: Rabbi David Fohrman from Aleph Beta, Rabbi Alex Israel from Pardes, Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses, Rabbi Richard Hidary from Yeshiva University, and Dr. Avivah Zornberg.


Returning teachers as well as new educators offered a full slate of courses. Students delved into studies in Devarim, Shoftim, Melachim, Pirkei Avot, and Talmud. Our parenting class was especially popular, focusing on text study and open discussions to guide mothers in developing their parenting styles through a Jewish lens. In the summer we prepared for Tisha b’Av with an in-depth look at the Kinot of the First Crusade and a study of Mishnayot related to the preservation of texts on Shabbat.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Ma’ayan’s 2017 Yom Iyun presented a study of Jerusalem through different lenses. The morning began with Elisheva Levi, a professional architect, leading participants on a tour of Biblical architecture, and ended with Dr. Lindsey Taylor-Gutharz of the London School of Jewish Studies expounding on the female personification of Jerusalem throughout the Tanach. In between, students explored Jerusalem in prayer, took an in-depth look at Second Temple Jerusalem, and viewed Jerusalem in the 1920’s through Shai Agnon’s writings, the latter presented in Hebrew.

Ma’ayan’s second cohort of Me’ah, co-sponsored by Young Israel of Brookline in partnership with Hebrew College, was oversubscribed. Students began their two-year commitment of 100 hours of in-depth learning about Jewish History with Ma’ayan master teachers Rabbi Benjamin Samuels and Rabbi Reuven Cohn. They will continue their second year this fall.

We look forward to another year of high-caliber, text-based learning to nourish the mind and soul!