Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin
The main goal of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin is to create a space for the holistic development of Jewish wome—focusing on the mind, the body and the soul. We utilize traditional teaching methods such as chevruta and shiurim, as well as creative methods such as drama, music, art, movement and agricultural cultivation. Our courses cover a wide range of topics, from Tanach to Halacha to Chassidut, as well as both Ashkenazi and Sephardi practice. We encourage our students to discover the hashkafa that is right for each of them.
The main goal of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin is to create a space for the holistic development of Jewish women – focusing on the mind, the body and the soul. We utilize traditional teaching methods such as chevruta and shiurim, as well as creative methods such as drama, music, art, movement and agricultural cultivation. Our courses cover a wide range of topics, from Tanach to Halacha to Chassidut, as well as both Ashkenazi and Sephardi practice. We encourage our students to discover the hashkafa that is right for each of them.
Attitude towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
Midreshet AMIT @ Beit Hayeled is part of the network of AMIT schools and is founded upon the ideals of Tzionut. Both formal and informal learning allow a student to absorb the Zionist spirit as our year is highlighted with the celebration and commemoration of Yom Hashoa, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim.
Attitude towards University Studies
Many of our students have already attended university or some other secular institution of higher learning, and bring to our midrasha a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds. We encourage university study for those students who wish to further their secular education, particularly in an environment where Jewish traditions and values are nurtured.
Attitude towards Extracurricular Activities
We encourage our students to be involved in the Bat Ayin community outside of learning time, especially community service and volunteering with Bat Ayin families. Many of our students spend their free time practicing their talents in dance, music, drama, art, gardening or other areas of creative interest.
Preparation for Post Israel
We counsel students based on their individual needs.
The "Successful" Student
A successful alumna will be a spiritually fulfilled Jewish woman. Many of our alumna are building Torah-observant homes in Eretz Yisrael and abroad, while at the same time integrating their creative interests into a Torah-observant lifestyle. Some are now pursuing successful careers in the expressive arts, leading the way for Jewish women to re-establish their unique role in the Jewish world.
Students are expected to dress modestly in accordance with local custom (skirts below the knee, high neck line and sleeves below the elbow). Nevertheless, Bat Ayin is known to be a very "colorful" community, where self-expression in dress within the parameters of halacha is valued.
Rebbetzin Chana Bracha, Rabbanit Elana Benarroch, all of the rabbeim and the teachers are available for the students, as well as the em bayit and the madricha. Students are paired with an adoptive family, allowing for a reciprocal chesed relationship and personal support outside of the midrasha environment throughout their year. Our staff makes a point of meeting with students individually and as a group on a regular basis, and assisting in the event of problems in any way that is possible.
We feel that it is the student’s responsibility to make appropriate decisions about her actions. The learning is intensive and students are expected to attend all classes. If a student will miss a or will not be at the midrasha for any reason, she is expected to make a request from the staff and to provide contact information while away. The environment is warm and friendly, so no one goes unmissed and the students feel a responsibility toward one another.
Heavy emphasis is placed on Tanach, Hashkafa and Chassidut (about 50% of the curriculum), as well as tefila and Halacha (about 35%) and creativity and self-discovery (about 15%). Separate classes are offered in the morning for beginner and advanced students in Tanach, Chassidut, and Halacha, while the afternoon and evening classes are joint Beginner-Advanced classes in the remaining subjects. Once a week morning classes are held in the Old City in Jerusalem.
Chumash, Women in Tanach, Halacha, Tefilah, Tanya, Jewish History, Haskafa, Teachings of Rav Kook, Teachings of Rebbe Nachman, Chassidut and Nigunim, Jewish Meditation, Creative Movement, Rambam: Herbology, Nutrition & Health, Agricultural Workshop, Torah and Art Workshop, Inner Song Workshop, Individual Study Projects, Hebrew Ulpan and many more.
9-1 chevruta/shiurim in Tanach, Chassidut and Halacha (separate classes for Beginner and Advanced students), 1-2:30 lunch, 2:30-5 shiurim/creativity (joint classes), 5-8 dinner break, 8-9 shiur. One a week, classes are held in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Language of Instruction
English and Basic Hebrew.
Ulpan or Hebrew Class
Hebrew language skills are developed during chevruta time with tutors. We also offer additional individualized Modern Hebrew Ulpan. More formal ulpan is organized if there is enough demand. A creative summer ulpan is offered to help beginner students to start the Elul session with basic Hebrew skills.
Assessment and Grading
Students do not receive grades.
We offer an Advanced Program and a special Student-Madrichot Program for students with two years of previous learning in midrasha.
Chana Bracha Siegelbaum, a native of Denmark, is Founder and Director of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin. She holds a Bachelor of Education in Bible and Jewish Philosophy from Michlala Jerusalem College for Women, and a Masters of Art in Jewish History from Touro College. For more than a decade, Chana Bracha has taught Bible studies with special emphasis on women’s issues in Israel and the United States. She creates curricula emphasizing women’s spiritual empowerment through traditional Torah values. Chana Bracha lives with her husband and youngest of two sons on the land of the Judean hills, in Israel. She has just published her first book, "Women at the Crossroads: A Woman's Perspective on the Weekly Torah Portion."
Rabbi Mechael Siegelbaum, MD – Rabbinical Advisor / Halacha / Jewish Meditation
Rabbi Dr. Siegelbaum holds a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Yale University, and an MD from Rutgers Medical School, New Jersey. Rabbi Mechael has learned Talmudic Studies and Jewish Law at several yeshivot for ten years and received his rabbinical ordination from Toras Zekeinim, Jerusalem in 1987. Rabbi Mechael has lectured extensively in various universities about Jewish meditation. He currently serves as the Rabbi of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin and practices medicine at the TEREM Emergency Clinic in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Joel Zeff – Hashkafa / The Teachings of Rav Kook
Rabbi Zeff holds a BA in Hebrew from UCLA, and an MS in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. He studied in various yeshivot in Israel, including Yeshivat Har Etzion, and received semicha from Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Zeff lived in Los Angeles for nine years, where he served as rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla and was on the faculty of Yeshiva of Los Angeles. Since moving to Israel, Rabbi Zeff has been on the faculty of Yeshivat Darche Noam/David Shapell College of Jewish Studies. Rabbi Zeff is currently the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Torat Yosef-Hamivtar in Efrat. Rabbi Zeff lives in Alon Shvut with his wife, Donna, and their eight children.
Rabbi Yosef Benarroch –Halacha / Parsha / Perkei Avot
Rabbi Benarroch studied at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Israel and at the Yeshiva University Kollel (Gruss). His rabbinical ordination is from Machon Harry Fischel, in Jerusalem. Rabbi Benarroch received an education degree from the University of Manitoba, Canada and a Masters in history from Touro College. He served nine years as the Rabbi of the Sephardic Synagogue Beth Hamidrash in Vancouver, Canada. During that time he was a member of the Bet Din and head of the Rabbinical Association. Currently, Rabbi Benarroch is the Rabbi of the Sephardic Educational Center in Jerusalem. He lives in Efrat with his wife Elana and their seven children.
Rabbi Daniel Kohn – Chassidut / Ein Yaacov
Distinguished as the Rav of Yishuv Bat Ayin, Rabbi Kohn holds a BA in Comparative Religion from Columbia University. He studied at Yeshivat Netzach Yisrael, Jerusalem and received his ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Rabbanit Batya Kohn – Tefillah / Relationship Counselor
Rabbanit Kohn is the Rebbetzin of Bat Ayin. She is certified as a family purity instructor and has a degree in Social Work from the Orot School of Social Work.
The community in Bat Ayin is mostly Israeli, so the students interact with Israelis on a regular basis. Several of our tutors are Israeli. Some of the teachers for our Advanced Program are also native Israelis and teach in Hebrew. Our students participate in the community celebrations and Rosh Chodesh parties together with the Israelis. We do not encourage students to be involved in Israeli politics, but do not discourage them either.
Special Informal programs
We have many special programs, Shabbatonim and seminars for chagim throughout the year: Some examples are: Tu B’Av: Soul Connections Seminar, Let My Essence Praise You: Torah and Creativity Seminar, Sukkot Seminar: Rejoice in the Land, Tu B’Shevat Seminar, Pre-Pesach Seminar: Freedom and Cleansing.
There is a fully-equipped gym (including swimming pool) in nearby Alon Shevut (about a 5-min. drive/30-min walk). Students can become members at a discounted rate. Separate women’s hours are available.
Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
We have an in-Shabbat about once a month and special programs and seminars for almost all of the holidays. Many yamim tovim are celebrated at the midrasha. For out-Shabbatot and chagim, host families invite the students who need to be hosted for meals. Davening at Bat Ayin Shul is melodious and inspirational.
We organize tiyulim such as nature hikes and visits to sites in different parts of Israel from the Dead Sea to Kibbutz in the north several times a year. The goal of the tiyulim is to expose the students to the beauty of the Land of Israel, to teach them about the history of the Jewish people and to connect them with their heritage.
Our program caters to the learning needs of each student. Students in our advanced program generally have a Jewish high school education, or several years of learning in other programs, and have developed a high level of textual skills. Students in our beginner program sometimes come with no prior learning at all, but more often come with one year of prior formal or informal learning.
Hebrew Knowledge Required
Advanced students should be able to read and comprehend Hebrew texts and understand easy spoken Hebrew. Beginner students with no or little Hebrew knowledge will be able to develop their skills in study-groups with appropriate tutors.
Religious Observance Required
A commitment to Torah observance is required while in our program. Beginner students who have not previously been immersed in a halachically observant environment are sensitively guided in mitzvah observance.
The American students are from all over the U.S. The kind of students we are looking for are seeking to delve into textual study and creative spiritual expression. They want to grown fully as Jewish women and to connect to the Torah of our Mothers intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically. What is especially unique about Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin is our holistic attitude toward growth in Torah. Our faculty and courses address the whole woman – body, mind and soul – as well as reflect a wide variety of topics in Judaism. Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin is the ideal place for the woman seeking a more spiritual path to Torah learning.
Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
Foreign Student Percentage
Number of 1st Year American Students
Number of 2nd Year American Students
England, France, Holland, Sweden, Hungary,Australia, South Africa
Number of Students per Class
Beginner classes generally have 10-15 students; advanced classes generally have 5-10 students.
Students live in simple accommodations. Each student has her own room, sharing a bathroom with shower with one other student. Some of the dormitories have been newly renovated.
Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
The communal kitchen is accessible to all students and includes all the necessities (refrigerator, freezer, oven, stove, microwave, food-processor, cooking and eating utensils, etc.). Students are expected to purchase much of their own food and use the kitchen to prepare their own meals. 1 daily hot lunch is provided by the midrasha.
Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
We have scheduled In-Shabbats, but students are of course free to stay on campus during Out-Shabbats as well. The kitchen is communal and is open to students as they need it, but meals are not provided on Out-Shabbats or during bein haz’manim. Meals for Yamim Tovim are provided if there is a special seminar. Host families invite students for Out-Shabbatot and Chagim.
We do not have a curfew, but students are required to let us know when they plan to be away from campus.
The yishuv of Bat Ayin is well-protected by the I.D.F. and by local volunteer guards. This is a close-knit rural community, outside of the busy cities.
Personal expenses such as use of the laundry machine, cell phones, health insurance, toiletries, groceries, personal travel and other personal expenditures are additional. Most of our students spend $150-200 per month for their personal needs.
We offer full- and partial-scholarships, loans and work-study opportunities for those who qualify. Preference will be given to long-term students who learn with us for five months or longer. Long-term students between the age of 18-30 have the opportunity to receive very favorable MASA grants. Please note that MASA Scholarship Applications must be submitted two months prior to the beginning of the program. We do our utmost to help students find other scholarships and travel subsidies through other channels.