Students began their regular zman this week, with the Beit Midrash students learning Kesuvos, and year 1 and 2 students learning Pesachim. Year 3 and 4 students are learning either Hilkhot Niddah or Baba Mezia. The learning in the Beit Midrash has been intense and inspiring. And this zman, we extended the morning seder to 2:45 PM (with a break in the middle for lunch and mincha), and there is now powerful, intense learning of Gemara and Halakha well into the afternoon.
This zman also sees the beginning of the first year of our full-scale Educators Program. Year 3 and 4 students now select between a focus on Pulpit or on Education (with Hillel-bound students adopting a hybrid of the two). In a Yoreh Deah - Kashrut year, all students learn Yoreh Deah in the morning. This year, when the morning learning is devoted to Hilkhot Niddah, students who are in the Educators track are learning Gemara with Rabbi Katz in the morning, and having classes by Ruth Fagen on Wednesday evenings to teach content-specific pedagogy, here focusing on Gemara, and building off of Rabbi Katz's shiurim in the morning. Those students will do a more bottom-line hilkhot niddah after Pesach.
Educator students are also doing mentored internships at SAR and Heschel, and those focusing on Hillel are doing internships at NYU, Columbia, and Yale. All educator students are taking classes on Wednesday on pedagogy, teaching and classroom skills, campus educator skills, and a practicum seminar based on their internship experience. We are very excited about this new program and look forward to seeing great things!
And in yet another wonderful development here at the yeshiva, this zman we also began a Kollel program. Students who participate in this program commit, on top of all their other learning, studies, and obligations, to continued beit midrash learning here at the yeshiva for two nights a week. We currently have 10 students in the program, and the learning is going strong!
The Kollel program is distinct from Lishma, which we began in Elul and which is continuing this zman. Lishma is a program for community members two mornings a week to learn in our beit midrash and hear shiurim on Gemara, Halakha and Tanakh, and there are currently 6-8 community members who participate each week.
On the more personal level, we have had some simchas and some losses in our community since the last email. First, the good news. Rabbi Yonatan Berman (YCT 2007) is engaged to Rachel Stein!! Mazel Tov - we look forward to dancing at the wedding! And talking about dancing at weddings... we are eagerly anticipating the wedding this Sunday of Gabe Greenberg (class of 2012) to Abby Streusand in Baltimore. Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov.
On the sad side, Nissa Harris, wife of Mordechai Harris (class of 2012), lost her grandfather over yom tov, and the funeral was this last Sunday. And, finally, my aunt, Gertrude Linzer, oldest member of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, passed away this week at the age of 103. This week's parsha thought is dedicated to her memory. My aunt Gertie lived every moment of her long life with vigor, passion, steadfast commitment to family and steadfast commitment to family and yahadut, and with honesty a wonderful sense of humor. May her memory be for a blessing.
Our dear beloved Ruthie Simon fell the other day and suffered a serious spraining of her foot. She is in a lot of pain, and we all wish her a very speedy recovery. Refuah Shleima.