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Pardes Learning Seminars
Communal Leaders. Professionals. Lifelong Learners. You.

Program Description

The twice-yearly Pardes Learning Seminar brings together community leaders, professionals and lifelong learners, who wish to study classical Jewish sources within the landscape of Israel. Participants grapple with ancient texts and current issues, visit historical sites and learn from the best educators in Israel.

Click here to view the Winter 2019 brochure.
Download the 2019 winter schedule.

Click here to view the Summer 2020 brochure.

Passionate Educators

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.

Warm Community

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.

…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 Winter 2015 Pardes Learning Seminar experience at:

Apply Now For Winter 2019        Apply Now For Summer 2020

Seminar Details

Dates: December 29, 2019-January 2, 2020

Tuition: $1,400 or (15% discount before October 31)
After October 31, Pardes is pleased to offer a discount for immediate family members attending together. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Participant #1 $1,400, Participant #2 $1,100.

$180 non-refundable deposit is due with application.

The Seminar takes place at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.


View the Winter Schedule

Seminar Overview

In the description of creation, at the outset of the Torah, G-d declares: “It is not good for the Adam to be alone.” By creating a spouse, G-d firmly plants the need for relationships at the epicenter of the human experience. But relationships are complicated. In the words of the Midrash: “If a man and woman merit, the Divine Presence dwells in their midst; but if not – they are consumed by fire!” Relationships can bring joy, intimacy and a feeling of wholeness and completion; but they can also lead to anger, alienation and destruction.

The Torah, Talmud and later Codes, examine and set the legal parameters of a wide range of relationships – husband and wife, parent and child, teacher and student, leader and nation, G-d and people. Not only do they explore the unique challenges inherent in each type of relationship, but they discuss and offer solutions to the inevitable conflicts that result from competing relationships.

In today’s world, we are faced with a further complication. While technology has facilitated and expanded our ability to connect with people, bridging the chasms of space and time, it has also limited and complicated the nature of our communication by having it mediated through a machine. Meaningful interaction has been replaced by sound bites, buzz words and emoji that create pseudo or “virtual” relationships. In some cases, our preoccupation and fixation with the technology has become a substitute for serious engagement with people and God, leading to a profound sense of existential loneliness

Each day of this seminar, we will examine a different area of relationship – to self, to family, to community, and to G-d, from the vast literature of Jewish sources – Biblical, Talmudic, Codes of Law and Responsa. We will study and analyze complex situations where relationships clash; we will explore possible solutions alongside ways of living with tension. By the end of the seminar, we will be in a better position to navigate the different relationships in our lives, which impact us all so deeply.

Topics of Study

  • Can I love others if I don’t love myself?
  • Who comes first – my parents, my children or my spouse?
  • What is the balance between giving of myself and protecting myself?
  • Does the “will of G-d” take precedence over my moral sensibilities?

Seminar Details

Dates: June 28-July 2, 2020

Tuition: $1,400 (15% discount before January 1)
After January 1, Pardes is pleased to offer a discount for immediate family members attending together. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Participant #1 $1,400, Participant #2 $1,100.

$180 non-refundable deposit is due with application.

The Seminar takes place at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

Seminar Overview

Prior to the modern era, the response to the question “Who am I?” was quite straightforward and determined at birth. Family, religion, nationality and gender were a given and were rarely challenged or altered during the course of one’s life. Social structures were very rigid and authoritarian. Questioning, and certainly changing, one’s identity could be isolating and even perilous. Conflicting identities, such as being a Jew in a non-Jewish state, were resolved by the denial of one or the other. With the advent of Emancipation and the granting of personal liberties, opportunities presented themselves to make choices of identity regarding nationality, peoplehood and religion. Advances in technology allowed for greater mobility and opened up a wider world to which we could be connected. As a result, our options for how we shape our identities were greatly expanded. In more recent years, we have witnessed huge social changes that have redefined classic understandings of what constitutes a nuclear family and questioned the binary definitions of gender.

Today we are faced with a dramatically growing number of people with hybrid and/or multiple identities, which often may be at odds with each other and are sometimes extremely difficult to reconcile. Each day of the Seminar, examine a different area of identity: individuality, family and community, gender and sexuality, and nationality and universality, from a variety of Jewish sources – Biblical, Talmudic, philosophical and spiritual. Study and analyze complex situations where identities clash. Explore possible solutions alongside ways of living with tension. Our learning will enable us to navigate and balance the multiple identities in our lives.

Topics of Study

  • How much of my identity is determined for me and how much can
    I determine for myself?
  • How has the global community impacted the definition and structure of family?
  • What place does politics play in defining my identity?
  • What can Israel and Diaspora Jewry do to enrich each other’s identities?

We welcome participants who have studied Jewish texts before, as well as those who have not previously encountered text study.

Winter Seminar 2019: $1,400 or (15% discount before October 31)
After October 31, Pardes is pleased to offer a discount for immediate family members attending together. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Participant #1 $1,400, Participant #2 $1,100.

Summer Seminar 2020: $1,400 or (15% discount before January 1)
After January 1, Pardes is pleased to offer a discount for immediate family members attending together. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Participant #1 $1,400, Participant #2 $1,100.

A minimum tuition payment of $180 is due with application to secure your spot.

To pay by US dollars, you have the following three options:

  • Online: Click here and enter in the amount you would like to pay.
  • By phone: Call 212-447-4333 and ask for Simon.
  • By mail: Send a check addressed and payable to Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies / 404 5th Avenue Suite 7013 / New York, NY 10018. Include “Seminar tuition” in the memo.

Tuition must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the Seminar. Tuition is fully refundable if Pardes is notified of a cancellation more than two weeks prior to the program start date. If a cancellation is made within two weeks of the program start date, the $180 is retained by Pardes and can either be held towards a future tuition payment or credited as a donation. The remainder of any tuition payments made will be refunded.

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.

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. 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 friends and family of Seminar participants.

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.

Bed & Breakfasts

An inexpensive resource is the wide array of bed & breakfast rooms; Baka Rentals and The Home Accommodation Association of Jerusalem are both good sources.

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.

Little House

Many Seminar participants stay at one of the three inns of A Little House chain. They are situated in Baka, the German Colony and Rehavia. Email or call +972-2-673-7944, or visit the website.

Luxury Apartment Rentals

Sweet Inn is happy to partner with Pardes. Find luxury rental options at 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:


Dan Boutique Hotel Jerusalem on Hebron Road (Talpiot)
Tel: +972-2-568-9999

Dan Panorama Hotel (Talbiyeh)
39 Keren Hayesod Street
Tel: +972-2-569-5695

Inbal Jerusalem Hotel (Talbiyeh/German Colony)
Liberty Bell Park
3 Jabotinsky Street
Tel. +972-2-675-6666

David Citadel Hotel (Downtown)
7 King David Street
Tel: +972-2-621-1111

Emek Refaim Street 3
Tel: +972-2-569-9090

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.

USA: +1 212-447-4333
Israel: +972-2-673-5210 ext 229