Pardes Community Batei Midrash

Program Description

The Pardes Community Batei Midrash initiative creates empowering, hands-on and deep Jewish learning in local communities across North America. The aim is to create sustainable and transformative adult Jewish learning in the these cities.

Pardes is uniquely positioned to achieve this by:

  • Utilizing our 5,000+ alumni on the ground
  • Empowering people to learn independently through havruta study
  • Allowing entry at every level: co-educational, inter-generational and inter-denominational
  • Working with communities to tailor programming to their specific needs


Current Pardes Community Batei Midrash:

The Bonds That Bind Us
A Study of Biblical Relationships
In many ways, the Bible is a study of familial relationships. Right from the start, we are met with powerful tales of sibling rivalry, spousal discord, and heartbreaking parental choices. What lessons can be derived from these challenging stories? How might these ancient texts help us navigate our own relationships with those most dear to us? Join us for a thought provoking class taught by international faculty from the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.

Dates: Sundays, November 24 & 17; December 8 & 29; January 12 & 19; February 2 & 23; March 1 & 15, 29
Time: 10-11:30am, Central Time
Location: Gordon Jewish Community Center

Founded by alumni of the Pardes Year Program and Pardes Pittsburgh Lishma Program, the Kulam Beit Midrash aims to create an
open, stimulating and inviting learning community in Pittsburgh that convenes Jews of varied backgrounds to study issues fundamental to Jewish life and tradition through ongoing, respectful, and serious dialogue and text study.

In January 2017, Kulam launched a Jewish Wisdom and Eternal Human Dilemmas course with Rabbi William Friedman, adjunct faculty of Pardes. Participants met once a month for lectures and havruta study and in addition, online sessions were open for those who wished to dig deeper into the text.

Kulam was created with the generous support of independent donors, the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, the SteelTree Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, and the Jewish Life and Learning Department of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

The Brooklyn Beit Midrash was founded by five locals, including four Pardes alumni, who wanted to recreate their deep and intensive, yet warm, open and relevant Pardes Torah learning experience in Brooklyn.

Since April 2016, Brooklyn Beit Midrash has met monthly with 30-40 people from all backgrounds. Pardes helped to incubate this beit midrash, sharing resources, content, Pardes faculty and best practices, and now the Brooklyn Beit Midrash is an independent entity creating rich co-educational and cross-communal learning for the community.

For the last three years, Pardes together with partners from Mechon Hadar, Drisha Institute, Yeshivat Maharat, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and the Jewish Theological Seminary, have been involved in organizing the Community Beit Midrash of Manhattan.

Every month faculty members from a different institution lead the learning evening, which is open to the broader Manhattan community.

For more information about these programs or to find about creating a Pardes Community Beit Midrash in your area, contact Shani Gross, Pardes Director of North America Programs via or +1 212 447 4333.