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The twice-yearly Pardes Learning Seminar brings together community leaders, professionals and lifelong learners, who wish to study classical Jewish sources either online or within the landscape of Israel. Participants grapple with ancient texts and current issues, visit historical sites (either in person or virtually) and learn from the best educators in Israel.
Click here to read the latest participant testimonials.
The Pardes Learning Seminar attracts seasoned community leaders and professionals (from all fields, Jewish and secular), and adult lifelong learners. If you are a student or young professional, you might enjoy the Pardes Winter Break, which takes place annually in early January.
Join Pardes for an inspiring week of meaningful Torah study in Jerusalem! Guided by Pardes’s acclaimed faculty, we will explore Jewish textual understandings of Shabbat and Shmittah in the modern world. Students of all educational backgrounds are warmly welcomed.
Dates: July 3 – 7, 2022
In Praise of Doing Nothing? Shabbat and Shmittah in the Modern World
Shabbat is a beloved Jewish practice and the only ritual observance instituted in the Ten Commandments. It makes a direct connection between God, who created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, and God’s commandment to rest on the seventh day as a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt, from slavery to freedom.
The founder of cultural Zionism, Ahad Ha’am, famously acknowledged, “More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” Yet in the last 100 years, many Jews have turned away from the Sabbath. Secular modernity, decreased communal pressures, and the growing rejection of organized religion compete with the meaning Shabbat can provide. Ironically, the pace of modern digital life leaves us increasingly incapable of rest. Each week, Shabbat stands as an important space, inviting us to enter and experience time differently.
Shabbat is also the conceptual foundation for the commandment of Shmittah, the Biblical Sabbatical year, which is described as a “sabbath until the Lord…a sabbath of solemn rest” every seven years. So too with the Jubilee year, which occurs every 49 years, or 7 x 7 cycles of Shmittah, in which slaves are set free. Shmittah challenges us to think about the environment, social justice and global responsibility. Like Shabbat, it can help us rest from our constant attempts to control, own and dominate the world around us. Instead, we rest, reset and renew our relationships with nature, society and our community.
The Pardes faculty’s depth of knowledge is rivaled only by their engaging teaching style and their ability to bring Judaism to life. They aim not only to teach compelling ideas, but also to give you the tools to enter personally into a conversation with your heritage.
Meaningful Jewish Study
Our renowned faculty bring together students from diverse learning backgrounds and create an educational environment that is accessible and empowering. Participants study in havruta pairs, partnering to help one another explore and gain ownership of the text. Sources are provided in their original language and in English translation.
Participants from around the world come together to create a cohort of passionate learners exploring Jewish themes that are challenging and inspiring. Through classes, touring and social events, participants have the opportunity to connect with peers and expand their personal networks.
Inspired Israel Experience
The combination of studying Jewish texts and ideas, together with exploring Israel, brings the classroom learning to life and allows you to see Israel in a whole new way.
Diverse and Welcoming
The Seminar is open to individuals of all Jewish educational backgrounds, from novice to expert.
…it is a luxury to learn in an atmosphere that empowers participants to seek knowledge and information that will enable them to make their own decisions about their spiritual and religious lives.
Read more about Stephen Donshik’s Pardes Learning Seminar experience at: www.ejewishphilanthropy.com/luxurious-learning-why-wait.
We welcome participants who have studied Jewish texts before, as well as those who have not previously encountered text study.
Summer In-Person 2022
Dates: July 3 – 7, 2022
Standard In-Person Tuition: $1,400
In-person tuition covers the cost of all sessions, materials, touring expenses, and meals during sessions. It does not cover airfare, hotel accommodations, and other meals. While air flight and hotel accommodations must be arranged individually by each participant, we will be happy to advise you in locating appropriate accommodations.
Deposit: A minimum tuition payment of $180 is due with the application to secure your spot. Tuition must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the Seminar.
To pay in US dollars, you have the following three options:
We are moving forward with planning for exciting learning experiences in the months ahead. We do so with hopes that the spread of the virus will have abated by the summer, and that travel and communal gatherings will be advisable once again. However, we appreciate the uncertainty of this moment and understand that you may be reluctant to make plans. For this reason, we will offer full refunds for the Seminar up to two weeks before the program start date. Similarly, if we are forced to move the Seminar online, we will reach out to registered participants to offer refunds or credits for the difference in tuition cost.
Guest Policy: Participants are welcome to invite a guest to experience the Seminar. Guests can join one class at no charge. For those who wish to participate in more than one class, a full day’s tuition will be charged. (When Seminars take place in person, guests can also join off-site excursions or evening meals for a fee.) Participants must check with Pardes staff before inviting guests to ensure that space is available. All efforts will be made to accommodate the friends and family of Seminar participants.
For Seminars that take place in person, the price for the program does not include accommodations. Here are some suggestions to suit all budgets.
The neighborhoods closest to Pardes are Baka, German Colony, Katamon, Talpiot (possible walking distance). A bit further away from Pardes, and closer to downtown, are Rehavia, Talbiyeh, Nahlaot.
We do have a recommendation for Tami’s B&B, 7 Hananyah St., German Colony. Tel: +972 2 5634657, cell: +972 547393592, fax: +972 2 5635348 or email.
You can also find apartments to rent short-term via Flathunting.
Sweet Inn is happy to partner with Pardes. Find luxury rental options at http://www.sweetinn.com/. You can use coupon code ‘PARDES’ to receive 10% off on all of their apartments in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Any questions, contact
Simon Ohnona at: email@example.com.
Dan Boutique Hotel Jerusalem on Hebron Road (Talpiot)
Dan Panorama Hotel (Talbiyeh)
39 Keren Hayesod Street
Inbal Jerusalem Hotel (Talbiyeh/German Colony)
Liberty Bell Park
3 Jabotinsky Street
David Citadel Hotel (Downtown)
7 King David Street
Emek Refaim Street 3
Pardes Learning Seminar participants are strongly encouraged to contact their health insurance company before traveling to Israel to learn about coverage while traveling abroad. For those interested in purchasing travel insurance, Pardes has a working relationship with a local insurance agent called Egert and Cohen, who offer “Harel” tourist insurance. Pardes students are not required to buy insurance from this company. There are many good travel insurance options available in your home country which you can contact before you travel.
Pardes suggests that participants bring an ample supply of any particular medication (prescriptions and over-the-counter items, which may be prescription in Israel) that are needed, as exact equivalents may not be available in Israel. To get US prescriptions filled in Israel one needs to get a replacement prescription from an Israeli doctor, which Pardes can help arrange. An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses may also a good idea to bring with you.