Pardes Beit Midrash B’Darom

Program Description

Building Civil Dialogue in a Fragmented World: Arguments for the Sake of Heaven – with Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield, Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy, Rabba Yaffa Epstein and Ramah Darom Faculty.

Many of us experience our civil relationships as in crisis: the seemingly impassible American political divide, the growing disconnect between diaspora and Israeli Jews, and the ironic loneliness of a hyperconnected social media world. The Jewish tradition of makhloket leshem shamayim, arguments for the sake of heaven, gives us a tool for healing as well as a lens through which to understand more deeply the many issues dividing us today.

A special Jewish Professionals track which will include tailored workshops and hands-on training!

Jewish Educators and Engagement professionals who are currently working in the Jewish community are eligible for a 15% discount. There are a limited number of discounts so apply now!

The Jewish Professionals Track will be run by Rachel Dingman, Assistant Director of Penn State Hillel. This track is designed to ensure that you are balancing your personal learning experiences and the practical applications of our studies back into your profession. The cohort of Jewish Professionals will have a debrief session each day, specialized learning from each of the educators, and a hands-on educational design workshop. We hope that you will walk away with a new cohort of colleagues, meaningful personal Jewish experiences, and tools you need to be successful in your work.

All-inclusive prices starting at $250!

Learn more at Ramah Darom online.

Pardes Beit Midrash B'Darom

Friday February 15 – Monday  February 18, 2019 (Presidents Day Weekend)

The Retreat will begin Friday around 1PM. Shuttles will be available to pick up participants from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) starting at 11AM on Friday, and on Monday after the retreat concludes.

Ramah Darom
70 Darom Lane
Clayton, GA 30525 United States

Phone: (706) 782-9300

Pardes Institute Zvi HirschfieldRabbi Zvi Hirschfield teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at Pardes. In addition, Zvi is a faculty member of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and has been training and mentoring Jewish Educators for over ten years in Tefilah in educational settings, critical issues in modern Jewish thought, and Israel education.
Zvi holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel and has rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the director of Judaica at the JCC of Cleveland and an instructor at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies for many years. He also serves as a curriculum writer and is involved in staff training for the Nesiya Institute. His wife, Dina, is a faculty member of the Hebrew University School of Public Health, and they have four children.


pardes institute meesh-hammer-kossoyRabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy teaches Talmud and the Social Justice Track at Pardes. Originally from Washington, D.C., Meesh has a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her dissertation explored the courageous manner in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a new criminal punishment system. In 2015, Meesh completed her studies at Beit Midrash Har’el and received ordination from Rabbi Herzl Hefter and Rabbi Daniel Sperber.

Meesh is also a graduate of NATIV, Pardes, Midreshet Lindenbaum, MaTaN, Drisha, and ATID. She has received many fellowships including Lady Davis, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, Memorial Foundation and ATID. She has also taught at NYU, Drisha and Midreshet Lindenbaum.

Despite having written her dissertation about criminal punishment in the Talmudic period, Meesh is known by her husband and three children as a lover of mercy and kindness.


pardes institute yaffa-epsteinRabba Yaffa Epstein serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University.

Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as the Director of the Beit Midrash at the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at Yeshivat Maharat, The Drisha Institute, The Wexner Heritage New Members Institute, Kayam Farm Kollel and Young Judaea. Yaffa has lectured at Limmud Events around the world, has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning and has created innovative educational programming for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


Pardes Alum Rabbi Keilah LebellRabbi Keilah Lebell, a Pardes alum and former Judaics teacher at Ramah Darom, was recently ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. She currently works as the Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow at IKAR, a progressive, social-justice driven community in Los Angeles. R’ Keilah met her husband Rabbi Sam Rotenberg on their first day of classes at Pardes in 2012! They are blessed with two precious children, Meir and Della.


Sinai Temple Rabbi Sam RotenbergRabbi Sam Rotenberg is an assistant rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, CA. He both grew up at Ramah Darom, and studied at Pardes for the year program, and could go on for a while about how amazing both communities are. Rabbi Rotenberg met his wife, Rabbi Keilah Lebell at Pardes, and both received ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2018. He is a musician, an Eruvin-enthusiast, and father of two.


ramah darom Rachel Dingman

Rachel Dingman is the Assistant Director of Hillel at Penn State University. Rachel grew up in Dingman’s Ferry Pennsylvania. Rachel has her B.A from Allegheny College in Philosophy and Psychology and her M.A in Organizational Leadership and Non-Profit management from Quinnipiac University. She served 2 years in AmeriCoprs with Maine Campus Compact working on service learning and community building between college campuses and local towns. Rachel spent 5 years at Allegheny College as an Assistant Director of Admissions and the Hillel Director. After realizing that Jewish education was her path–Rachel spent 2 years in Israel at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies learning Jewish texts, exploring Israel, and getting a certificate in Jewish Experiential Education. During those 2 years she spent her summer as the JCC Chizuk Fellow and Director of Jewish Life at Camp Sabra. She is a passionate educator, a lover of the outdoors, and in her free time you can find her on the roller derby track! 

Full Stay Prices
Housing Adults Kids 3-17 Kids NB-2
Cabin: Group or Multi-Family $275/per person $150 FREE
Cabin: Single Family $299/per person $150 FREE
Cabin: Single Family Deluxe $360/per person $150 FREE
Standard Hotel: Single Occupancy $540/per person $150 FREE
Standard Hotel: Double Occupancy $399/per person $150 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Single Occupancy $650/per person $150 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Double Occupancy $540/per person $150 FREE
Cottage: Double Occupancy or more $600/per person $150 FREE


One Night Only Prices
Housing Adults Kids 3-17 Kids NB-2
Cabin: Based on Availability $180/per person $75 FREE
Standard Hotel: Single Occupancy $250/per person $75 FREE
Standard Hotel: Double Occupancy $225/per person $75 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Single Occupancy $300/per person $75 FREE
Deluxe Hotel: Double Occupancy $275/per person $75 FREE

Contact: Emily Kaiman, Retreat Center Program Coordinator. Phone: (404) 531-0801 Ext. 9221. Email:

Click here for full details and to register.