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Mechina Pathways Program


Mechina Pathways—a track within the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies—is a two-year program designed for women students at Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business who are new to Hebrew language and textual study. Over four semesters, students receive a comprehensive introduction to Jewish studies through stimulating and intellectually challenging classes, teachers and extracurricular program. Our goal is to enhance our students' level of skills, knowledge and commitment.

A weekly chavruta program pairs women in the program with more advanced students. Learning takes place in a beautiful and new beit midrash [study hall], where students benefit from a true Jewish learning environment. Yemei iyun [festive days of learning] are among the many special offerings that keep the focus on Torah, fellowship and growth. We encourage students to ask questions, think for themselves and develop their own paths to Jewish knowledge and observance.

The program brings together students from across North America and around the globe. Women participate in inspirational Shabbat celebrations and enjoy hospitality in the homes of mentors, teachers and community leaders. Students also visit sites of Jewish and general interest in New York, one of the world's great centers of Jewish life.

The curriculum for Mechina Pathways is divided into three primary components: 

  • Introductory Bible courses focus on textual and analytic skills combined with traditional Jewish philosophy and values. Courses include Personality Development in the Book of Genesis and Birth of a Nation: Introduction to the Book of Exodus.
  • Introduction to Judaism and Jewish law courses allow students to gain an overview of basic Jewish law, customs and culture, as well as the values and philosophy they contain. Topics include Shabbat, Jewish holidays, Kashrut and lifecycles. 
  • Introduction to Hebrew provides a primer on Hebrew language—conversational Hebrew as well as biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew—to deepen students' understanding of Jewish textual studies.

After the first two years on campus, students are integrated into the regular Jewish studies courses of Stern College for Women or Sy Syms School of Business. These offer all levels of study.

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