Pardes Winter Break: A Taste of Immersive Beit Midrash Learning

Program Description


Due to the current situation in Israel, we will not be running a Winter Break Learning Intensive this Dec/Jan.

Dynamic, ongoing learning continues in our Jerusalem Beit Midrash, and winter visitors are welcome to check out our classes and vibrant community! Contact to coordinate a visit in advance.

Those interested in a multi-day, thematic learning experience are welcome to join us online, January 14-16, for In the Image of God: Exploring What Makes Us Uniquely Human.

Below is an overview of last winter’s program:

Join us in Jerusalem this winter for an unforgettable immersive learning and community-building experience. You’ll learn with our dedicated, thoughtful Year Program participants, outstanding faculty, and a dynamic group of passionate students and young professionals from across the globe.

Whether you’re based in Israel, visiting for break, or somewhere in between… bring your story to the Beit Midrash!


Storytelling today often captures moments in time, shared through posts, clips and memes – yet our most powerful stories don’t start or end in the here and now.

As Pardes marks 50 years(!) of fostering many of the Jewish world’s most compelling, compassionate and creative leading voices, we celebrate the ways in which our Jewish narratives serve as anchors and wellsprings for innovative approaches to Jewish life today.

We’ll take a deep-dive into Rabbinic and Biblical tales, Hasidut, philosophy, folklore and halakha (Jewish law), gaining insight into the richness of our shared traditions and meta-narratives:

  • How do Jewish texts and traditions use narrative to create meaning and purpose?
  • How have Jewish stories been shared, interpreted, framed and reframed?
  • What is our role in the chain of transmission?

Through interactive classes, paired havruta learning, guest speakers and creative workshops, we’ll also consider: how do our personal narratives meet those emerging from the text? How do our individual and community-specific experiences impact how we interpret these stories, and write their next chapters?

This generously-subsidized program is offered free of charge to students and young professionals. We’ve created an incredible program – with classes, open mic, experiential programming and some community meals – all on us! Travel, accommodation, and (additional) meals are the responsibility of participants.

Pardes welcomes Jewish students from all walks of life, and the Beit Midrash is deeply enriched by the life experiences of those who fill it. Older learners are encouraged to consider attending our winter or summer Pardes Learning Seminars; if cost or other factors are of concern, please contact to explore possibilities.

Questions? Contact

This program is open to students and young professionals of all Jewish backgrounds. No previous experience with Jewish text study is necessary, and classes will be offered at a range of levels. Discussions will be conducted in English; texts will be presented in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, with English translations.

“Pardes has opened new doors and ways of thinking into my life, I am very grateful. This program has definitely given me so much to consider.” Lauren Lieberman (Winter 2020)

“It was a great experience. I enjoyed learning with different teachers and broader concepts. I am taking away a deeper understanding of some stories in the tanakh, and a greater appreciation for the opportunity to learn with my peers.” Haley Sklut (Winter 2020)

“Wow! So great! Learned some great thoughts about Torah that I can teach to my congregation when I go home. Met some new friends. Had fun, feel recharged. Was also really happy to be able to share some of my own skills and talents.” Cantor Kate Judd (Winter 2020)

“It was really fantastic to be in such an engaged and rigorous learning environment. The intellectual level of the classes was fantastic and the discussion was also. It reminded me how much I love learning.” Cohava Rubinstein Sturgess (Winter 2019)

“The week was really amazing. It was great to be back in the beit midrash, among peers and great teachers. I’m looking forward to developing a deeper lens for text study moving forward.” Larry Ginsburg (Winter 2019)

Previous PWB themes included:

2022: Reset, Renew, Refresh: Shabbat, Shmittah & Us
2021: “Hazak v’Ematz”: Cultivating Courage and Resilience
2020: The Many Faces of Me: Exploring Identity in a Post-Modern World
2019: Power, Privilege and Responsibility