Midreshet Torat Chessed
At Midreshet Torat Chessed, we believe in the power of a multi-faceted Year-in-Israel experience. Our program combines serious Torah learning with meaningful and intensive chessed in a way that is life altering, as each aspect mutually enhances the other. Our students spend their mornings and evenings immersed in Torah learning, and then devote their afternoons as counselors to the amazing children at Bet Elazraki children’s home. We believe that these two elements go hand in hand- that the Torah learning provides a spiritual framework for the chessed in the afternoons, just as the chessed adds significance and unique meaning to the Torah learning being done in the morning. Each student in the program is thereby able to recognize her own singular talents and strengths within the context of Jewish life and the Jewish land, and learns, in the most concrete way, the power of her ability to give. This combination arms our students towards a life of learning and giving, all within the context of Avodat Hashem.
Goal of Program
The goal of MTC is for our students to grow in their Torah observance and commitment, while also gaining a deep appreciation for the role that chessed and giving can play in their lives as Jews. Our program seeks to help students recognize their unique talents and strengths- and to have the opportunity to express those talents within the context of the Jewish community. We also hope to cultivate a love for, and appreciation of, Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael- through the daily interaction with Israeli children as well as the wide array of tiyulim and Shabbatonim that we offer throughout the year.
Attitude Towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
Yom Hazikaron/Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim are celebrated at MTC. Our program not only conveys a deep love for Eretz Yisrael but an appreciation for Medinat Yisrael and for our ability to live in, govern, and protect our own land.
Attitude Towards University Studies
Students in our program are encouraged to attend university, and time is devoted to planning for life after seminary and to discussing various options. We convey the blessing and privilege of being able to attend a Jewish university when possible, and we discuss the importance of seeking out appropriate and meaningful Jewish resources when in secular environments.
Attitude Towards Extracurricular Activities
Aerobics and/or Zumba is offered on campus once a week, and students are encouraged and assisted in finding local classes and chugim that interest them (art, dance, water sports).
Preparation for Post Israel
MTC recognizes the challenges that students face after leaving their year in Israel – whether it’s going off to college or returning back home after an intensive and growth-filled year. We provide various Yemei Iyun (special lectures) about these topics and try to help our students anticipate various hurdles and feel capable to overcome them.
The "Successful" Student
The successful MTC student is one who views the year as an opportunity to grow and to give, and not solely as an “I” experience. She is a person who is interested in personal and religious growth, and is someone wants to connect more deeply with Am Yisrael, Torat Yisrael, and Eretz Yisrael.
We appreciate that students come from different backgrounds with regard to tzniut/modesty, but we enforce a standard of tzniut for all students because we believe that the laws of tzniut help create a more serious and respectful atmosphere to allow for learning and growth.
The mental health of our students is of utmost importance to us. Our Assistant Director is a trained social worker, and she lives next to campus in order to be available at all times. In addition, each student is assigned a Mechanechet, a staff member who oversees their year and is there to "check in" with them to help them process their seminary experience. Our students all know that they can always reach out to our staff members, whether for help, for a discussion, or for a Shabbat meal.
Student safety is of great importance to us. Both the Menahel and Assistant Director live near the student dorms, and each villa has its own madricha. Students are able to travel for out-shabbatot, but must submit all details for where they will be staying and provide an emergency contact number.
Midreshet Torat Chessed offers a wide variety of Torah and Judaic classes in the mornings, and then switches to a full afternoon of chessed with the kids in Bet Elazraki children’s home. In addition, students have night seder twice a week, a weekly social work course to help in their chessed work, and a special weekly seminar on Israel Advocacy staffed by the organization StandWithUs.
We offer a wide range of classes, including Tanach, Jewish law, Jewish philosophy, Jewish history, and Gemara. Each hour offers multiple class options, allowing students to build a schedule that suits their interests. In addition, we offer Open Beit Midrash for students who also want some time to pursue their own learning. Please check our website for a more detailed schedule.
After davening, students have classes from 9:00-13:00. There is then a lunch break until 3pm, when students can partake in the hot lunch served in the campus dining room. The students then go to their assigned children’s groups within Bet Elazraki and remain with their kids until dinner at 7pm. The evenings vary per day, but consist of either night seder, a social work course, Israel advocacy seminar, special programming, or free time.
Language of Instruction
Our program and classes run in English, but the afternoon chessed done in the children’s home is primarily in Hebrew. However, knowing fluent Hebrew is not required to attend MTC.
Ulpan or Hebrew Class
Ulpan is a required class, and students are placed by level. Through their daily interactions with the children and staff of Bet Elazraki, our students grow tremendously in their Hebrew abilities.
Assessment and Grading
At the end of each semester, teachers assign assessments as an opportunity to help our students process the semester’s material, and in order to determine their final grades. Students receive a transcript at the completion of the program.
MTC welcomes interested students to stay Shana Bet, in order to continue to strengthen their connection to Torah learning and daily chessed. We are happy to accommodate them by creating a program- the nature of the specific program each year depends on the number of students.
MTC participates in Yeshiva University’s Joint Israel Program. Students can obtain a full year of American academic college credits for their studies in our program.
Please see our website for the full list and bios of our wonderful staff.
Interaction with Israelis
Students at MTC have many interactions with Israelis on a daily basis. Through their work at Bet Elazraki each afternoon, our students have the privilege to spend wonderfully quality time with the children, Bnot Sherut and head staff at Bet Elazraki. Working hand in hand over 40 bnot sherut that work at the Home gives our students the wonderful window into daily life and culture in Israel.
Special Informal Programs
Informal educational program is a major aspect of the MTC experience. Thursday evenings are dedicated to our "bayit cham" program, where our students have the opportunity to visit the house of a staff member and leard together in an informal way. Thursday night preceding an In-Shabbat/Shabbaton. In addition, throughout the year we hold regular Yemei Iyun and special programming to enhance our students' year.
Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
We have approximately two in-Shabbatot a month, either on campus or away in communities throughout the country. On out-shabbatot, students have the option of staying on campus if they choose. For some chagim, MTC is “in” and provides programming, while for others, students are put up at homes and are able to celebrate in various communities. Our staff will always assist students looking to be set up for Shabbat or chag.
Tiyulim are a major part of the MTC experience- to our students the breadth and beauty of their Land. We offer several multi-day trips throughout the year – to the Golan, Galil, Negev and Eilat. We also offer many day tiyulim in order to introduce students throughout the year as well.
Level of Learning Offered
Students come to MTC from varying backgrounds and levels- and our classes span a wide range of levels and topics, in order to accommodate the needs of our entire student body.
Hebrew Knowledge Required
Minimal. Higher level Hebrew is helpful with the chessed work with the kids, but not necessary.
Religious Observance Required
Students come from various backgrounds, but our program requires a commitment to Torah and Shemirat Mitzvot.
Type of Student
Our students come mostly from United States and Canada, with some coming from England.
Overall Number of Students
Approximately 25-28 students
Foreign Student Percentage
100% (we do not have an Israeli program)
Number of Students per Class
Average class size is 10 students, but it varies widely as students are allowed to choose their own classes.
Our campus in located in Netanya, and is a 10 minute walk from the beach. Students live in two beautifully furnished villas right next to the Bet Elazraki campus. In addition to the bedrooms, each villa has a spacious living room, large kitchen, and outdoor area. Each room houses 2-4 students.
Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
Each villa has a large kitchen that students can use to make their own food if they choose. In addition, they are provided cereal and milk and two hot meals a day in the Bet Elazraki cafeteria.
Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
Students have the option to stay in during out shabbatot and almost all holidays. On the rare occasion that the facility is closed, MTC will help accommodate any students needing a place.
We have a curfew which is strictly monitored- on most nights it is at 12am, and on Monday evenings and Motzei Shabbat it is 1am. Students must provide us with the name and phone numbers of the family or friends they are with when they leave for vacation times.
The villas are kept locked, and have a gate (with a code) in order to enter. All school trips follow standard security procedures.
Midreshet Torat Chessed was started four years ago by our director, Rav Yossi Goldin. The mission was to create a year-in-Israel program housed in the Bet Elazraki children’s home in order to provide an alternative seminary experience for girls who are looking to be involved in chessed in addition to their Torah learning. Our students understand that seminary is not a selfish year to solely focus on oneself, but is an opportunity to grow through the act of giving to others. The goal of the program is to not only strengthen students’ Torah knowledge, but their confidence and ability to be leaders, team players, and contributing members of Am Yisrael.
Midreshet Torat Chessed is a member of the Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program, as well as the Touro College Israel Option.
Our tuition for the 2017-18 year is $23,500
Midreshet Torat Chesed
Rabbi Tarfon 7
Netanya Israel 42448
american line- 856-393-4749
American Friends of Midreshet Torat Chessed
C/O Mrs. Sarah Struhl Packer
585 West End Ave. Apt. 1H
New York, NY 10024