Communal Leaders. Professionals. Lifelong Learners. You." /> Jewish Study Program for Executives & Professionals | Pardes

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 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.


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.

Apply Now for In-person Summer 2022!

Seminar Overview

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.

  • What themes that can be extracted from Biblical and Rabbinic texts about Shabbat?
  • What does Judaism have to say about the treatment of animals?
  • If we are created in the image of God, why is there inequality and injustice in the world?
  • What can Shmittah teach us about the importance of a “reset” mode, our responsibilities towards each other and to the earth?
  • What halakhic issues are at play with modern Shmittah in the land of Israel?

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.

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:

Download the Summer Schedule

Or view it in a new window by clicking here!

Jews of all backgrounds who want to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Jewish tradition and texts are invited to apply. We welcome participants who have studied Jewish texts before, as well as those who have not previously encountered text study.

COVID-19: All participants will need to be fully vaccinated. Pardes complies fully with Israel Health Ministry regulations. 


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:

  • Online: Click here and enter 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 / 228 Park Ave S, PMB 35858, New York, NY 10003-1502. Include “Seminar tuition” in the memo.

Cancellation Policy: 
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.

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:


**Special promotional rates for PLS participants are available at Jerusalem Ramada (5% off) and Jerusalem Prima Hotels (10% off) for the Summer 2022 Seminar. For the promo code please contact Pardes’s Director of Special Projects Rabbi Michael Emerson at

Ramada Jerusalem**
Ze’ev Vilnay 6 Street Jerusalem, 91033, Israel
Tel: +972-2-6599950

Jerusalem Prima Hotels (Multiple Locations)**
Prima Kings, Prima Royale, Prima Palace, and Prima Park

Tel: +972-3-9533400

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