Communal Leaders. Professionals. Lifelong Learners. You." />      

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.



See full details below.


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.



Pardes Learning Seminar

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Seminar Overview

A Seminar unlike any other, in celebration of Pardes’s 50th year! We’ll explore Jewish storytelling in our texts and the diversity of media employed throughout history — the arts, music, and film — to better understand the most elemental aspects of who
we are. Plus Special Celebratory 50th Anniversary Programming!

Students of all educational backgrounds are warmly welcomed.

Pardes 50th Anniversary Celebration Summer Dates: June 25 – 29, 2023

והגדת לבנך ובנותך : We Are the Stories We Tell

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l wrote, “If we are the story we tell about ourselves, then as long as we never lose the story, we will never lose our identity. To be a Jew is to see yourself as part of that story…”  

“In the beginning,” there was a void and unformed world from which, through God’s words alone, both we and our world were born. And thus began the epic narrative of the Jewish people, recorded collaboratively through the hands of both humans and God, and compiled to form our foundational text, the Tanakh (Bible); the stories found therein become ours to own, tell, retell, embrace, reject, interpret, reinterpret and to pass on. 

Our stories are varied in style, voice, content, and perspective. We have origin stories of ancestors who embraced God and Torah and established us as a nation and religion. We have stories of hope in the face of exile and stories of rebirth following destruction. And we have stories about individuals, families, communities, God, and connection to a sacred land.

Despite our expansive library of legal, philosophical, theological, and practical works, we always return to our stories as reminders of who we are. They represent a collective memory of survival against all odds that connects us despite our differences and enables us to stand as one.

In celebration of Pardes’s Jubilee year, we will explore the evolution of Jewish storytelling as told through biblical, talmudic, historical, halakhic, philosophical, and practical texts, while also exploring the diversity of media employed throughout history — texts, the arts, music, and film — to better understand the most elemental aspects of who we are. 

Central questions that we will explore include:

  • What motivated our authors to tell their stories? 
  • Why is storytelling a necessary part of Jewishishness?
  • What are our master narratives? Can they coexist with external opposing narratives?
  • How do we make sense of the stories that cause us discomfort and pain?
  • When and to whom do we tell our stories?
  • How do stories help us make sense of our identity?
  • Do we have a responsibility to pass them on?

Summer In-Person 2023

Dates: June 25 – 29, 2023

Standard In-Person Tuition: $1,500

Early Bird 20% Discount Until October 31st, 2022: $1,200

Early Bird 15% Discount Until January 31st, 2023: $1,275

Early Bird 10% Discount Until March 31st, 2023: $1,350

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, Suite 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 1 month 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.

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:

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: Pardes complies fully with Israel Health Ministry regulations. 

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 Prima Hotels (10% off) for the Winter and Summer Seminars. For the promo code please contact Pardes’s Director of Special Projects Rabbi Michael Emerson at

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

Tel: +972-3-9533400

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

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.

If you do choose to use Egert & Cohen, please read the following details:

1. For students up to age 49: There is a special Egert & Cohen link for Pardes students/participants under the age of 49. Also to note that there is an extra policy for coverage for worsening of pre-existing conditions for those under 49. Please contact Egert & Cohen to learn more. The cost of this Pardes student policy is not fixed, but is subject to change according to the Consumer Price Index. It is currently approximately NIS 7/day. The price is fixed on the date of purchase.

2. For students above the age of 49: Students/participants above the age of 49 have the option to sign up for standard Tourist Insurance via Egert & Cohen. The cost and maximum number of days for the policy is based on your age and is fully explained on the website. Also to note that there is an extra policy for coverage for worsening of pre-existing conditions for those over 49 called the Gold Plan. The cost and maximum number of days for the policy is also according to age. The cost of this policy is not fixed, but is subject to change according to the Consumer Price Index. The price is fixed on the date of purchase.

Medication: 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