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Gemara Boot Camp

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

Winter 2021–2022 Registration is Now Open!

While many Torah Jews spend much of their lives attending shiurim, participating in learning programs, setting chavrusos, even completing several cycles of Daf Yomi, and even having learned in Jewish days schools and Israel yeshivos, many still do not feel confident in their ability to learn Gemara without the assistance of some external resource – be it an online shiur, Shteinsaltz, Artscroll, or Sefaria.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to devote just a month or two developing the skills necessary to be able to open to any daf in Shas and attain clarity without external resources?

Having brainstormed with master educators and carefully studying the Kumon Method, Khan Academy, and other skill-building programs, R’ Yitzy Radner began to develop Gemara Boot Camp.  After several months of curriculum development, as well as reviewing the course with RIETS Semikha Director, R’ Aryeh Lebowitz, YU/RIETS launched Gemara Boot Camp as part of the YU/RIETS Summer Classes in 2020. 

Gemara Boot Camp seeks to provide the skills to be able to master any daf in Shas without an Artscroll!  Within just a week or two of opening RIETS Summer Classes registration to the public, over 100 people from across the globe – ranging from high school students to retired professionals – registered for the 4-week Gemara Boot Camp course.  Given the realities of COVID as well as the day-to-day plethora of responsibilities any adult Jewish male juggles, the class meets for 1 hr. 15 minutes, only 2 times each week.

After running the course for two summers, the feedback RIETS received from the range of people enrolled in the course was heartwarming, inspiring, and encouraging.  High-school-age students, college-age students, working and retired professionals were taken by R’ Schrier’s and R’ Radner’s contagious excitement and passion for Gemara, and were overly appreciative for their engaging, stimulating, and crystal-clear teaching styles.  People saw their Gemara skills improve in a short time and were anxious to grow in Torah even more, requesting that RIETS make this summer course available throughout the year, as well.    

With Hashem’s help, the program should continue to have much success, and more members of Klal Yisroel should be able to gain clarity in the words of the Sages and in the holy words of the Torah.

Please email Rabbi Yitzy Radner at radner@yu.edu with any questions.

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