Midreshet Eshel

Hashkafa

Goal of Program
The mission of the Sephardic Educational Center's Eshel program is to provide students with the opportunity to explore their rich Sephardic heritage in an exciting and innovative way. Through their learning they will experience personal, spiritual, intellectual, and religious growth that will give them a solid foundation for the future.

The environment is small and nurturing, with skillful teachers and mentors, that dedicate themselves to addressing the specific needs of their students. Making the Torah come alive through traversing the ancient as well as modern sites in Israel will enhance their understanding and appreciation for their eternal homeland.

Attitude Towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
The midrasha is pro-Zionist . Classes such as “Ahavat Ha-aretz” reflect a positive connection towards Eretz Yisrael, and we hope to foster a relationship between the students and Israel also through educational and fun field trips and Shabbatons throughout the land.

Attitude Towards University Studies
Students are encouraged to continue university studies after learning with us, and may in fact receive college credit for their studies here.

Attitude Towards Extracurricular Activities
Students are encouraged to always be involved in activities, especially hesed, during their free time.

Preparation for Post Israel
We help prepare students to integrate Torah life in their future worldly pursuits.

The "Successful" Student
The student is constantly working on her midot, and has the desire to grow. She sees Torah study as a primary part of life.

Dress
Skirts up to the knees, shirts up to the collarbone and past the elbow. Dress must be tznua in and out of the campus.

Guidance Personnel
Students are encouraged to choose faculty with whom they can speak to regarding educational and personal matters, and to form relationships with these faculty by going to their house for activities such as baking challah, and being hosted for Shabbat. Students are also encouraged to speak with our head rabbi and director about any relevant issues.

Supervision
Students are supervised personally by our director and rabbi, and have the additional guidance of an on site madricha from 5 pm – 9am.

Curriculum

Besides regular Torah studies, course such as Dance, Sephardic Cooking, Yoga, and other Sephardic studies are offered at least once a week, as well as special guest shiurim, hesed projects, and tours weekly.

Makeup
Students must attend all day and night classes, from 9:15 AM – 9 PM, with the exception of one free night per week, and an hour of free time after lunch. Within the schedule are times for hesed projects, touring the old city, ulpan, and weekly guest shiurim.

Courses Offered
Halacha, Jewish Philosophy, Group Dynamics, Shmuel Bet, Hagim, Dance, Chumash, Sephardic Communities and Sages, Cooking, Ulpan, Hasnea Lechet, Mesilat Yesharim, Yoga, Kohelet, Psychology, Judaism than and now, Nashim BeTanach, Ahavat Ha-aretz, Parashat Hashavua, 13 Ikarim, Hevruta.

Daily Schedule
The schedule varies daily.

Language of Instruction
English.

Ulpan or Hebrew Class
Ulpan is taught weekly for 2 hours.

Assessment and Grading
Teachers are given the opportunity to decide how students will be assessed through projects and written or oral exams.

Shana Bet
Students are first year, but are encouraged to stay for shana bet.

Joint Program
No Information Provided.

Staff

Rabbi Bennaroch: Head Rabbi

Miriam Tawil: Director

Extra-Curricular Activities

Interaction with Israelis
No Information Provided.

Special Informal Programs
No Information Provided.

Sports Facilities
No Information Provided.

Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
No Information Provided.

Field Trips
Students enjoy weekly field trips around the Jerusalem area, as well as occasional “Tanach Tiyulim,” which combine exciting destinations with Tanach studies. Students also enjoy organized group Shabbatonim throughout the country, from north to south.

Eligibility

Students are selected based on level of motivation, academic ability, and aptitude. Sephardi and Ashkenazi students are welcome to apply.

Level of Learning Offered
Multi-leveled capabilities (depending on the student).

Hebrew Knowledge Required
Basic Hebrew knowledge required to understand text studies, although extra help is available if needed.

Religious Observance Required
No Information Provided.

Population

Type of American Student
New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles residents from both private and public schools, and strong background in Jewish education.

Total Student Population
24 students

Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
13 students

Foreign Student Percentage
None

Number of 1st Year American Students
Students are mainly all first year.

Number of 2nd Year American Students
Students are mainly all first year, but are encouraged to stay for shana bet.

Other Nationalities
The midrasha is open to receiving students of all nationalities.

Number of Students per Class
13

Accommodations

Living Quarters
Students reside on campus in the Sephardic Educational Center, located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The student’s rooms are newly renovated, with furnishings, individually controlled air conditioning, and private bathrooms. Two students reside in one room.

Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
A microwave and refrigerator are available in the dormitory.

Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
Students are allowed to stay on campus during Shabbat and holidays, and are required to stay on campus during monthly shabbatonim.

Curfew
The curfew is 12 pm, which is imposed by an on site madricha.

Security Arrangements
There is a security guard on premises during overnight hours. The dormitory building is always locked, as well as the separate wing of the students’ dorms. There is a 24 hour surveillance camera on the premises.

History

Beginning in 1980, the Sephardic Educational Center brought thousands of young Jewish men and women from all backgrounds and from around the world to Jerusalem for three to five week immersive programs of Jewish experience. There was also the one year college accredited program, "Makor" which was a partnership with Hebrew University. These Alumni returned to their respective communities such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Mexico City, Panama, and Buenos Aires, strong in their Jewish identity and committed to becoming leaders. They formed active SEC chapters offering exciting educational and social programs. Many found their spouses through SEC events and programs.

It is a core principle that the SEC be based in the spiritual capital of Israel, the Old City of Jerusalem, close to the Kotel, a historic landmark which for centuries had served as the hub of Jewish communal governance was identified to serve as the SEC Campus. In 1999, three buildings were purchased which comprise the SEC campus and renovated the dormitory facilities. Today, in addition to its signature programs, the SEC hosts youth groups from around the world so they can enhance their Israel experience by living in the Old City.

Eshel is the newest initiative of the SEC, providing a unique Sephardi education combined with an exceptional program of extra curricular activities.

Accrediting Universities

Depending on the student’s university we will try to obtain college credit for Eshel studies.

Tuition

$9,800 per semester.

Additional Information

Contact Information

Midreshet Eshel

Director Miriam Tawil:
smtawil@yahoo.com
011-972-50-709-5286 (Israel) 
718-376-0717 (USA)

Secretary:
info@sephardicseminary.org
011-972-2-966 6621 tel (Israel)
011-972-2-966 6625 fax (Israel)

Location:
Old City, Jerusalem (54 Batey Machasseh Square)