By the time you finish high school, you’re probably pretty familiar with the usual staples of learning, halacha and hashkafa. But that doesn’t mean you’re ready to step out into the world as a confident Jewish adult.
At Eretz, we empower you to personally develop your learning, observance, and beliefs. We expose you to the depth and breadth of different Torah disciplines so you can discover your own interests and passions in all that Judaism has to offer. We encourage you to grapple with complex issues and support you with all the scholarship and experience at our disposal.
We welcome all questions and take them seriously, no matter what they are. In fact, we believe that it’s a good and necessary aspect of learning to grapple with complex issues and to resolve them to your own satisfaction. Whether your questions relate to science, morality, politics, philosophy, history, or your own personal life and relationships, we want to be there for you.
We encourage students to direct their own progress without strict oversight from us. This isn’t thirteenth grade, where we mark down every absence and cajole you into participating. We allow you to arrange and manage your own schedule because we want you to find your passion and learn how best to become the driver of your own success. Of course, we’re always here to support you as you discover your interests and delve into the serious questions.
Learning at Eretz doesn’t just happen in the classroom. We also provide plenty of active, hands-on, up-close-and-personal opportunities for growth. Here are a few examples to give you a sense of our program’s broad and varied curriculum.
Guest speakers: It’s a point of pride at Eretz that we host an exceptionally well-rounded and thought-provoking collection of guest speakers. These are a valuable vehicle for introducing students to aspects of Jewish life and thought that may be outside their experience or cutting-edge scientific discoveries with interesting implications from a Torah perspective. Past events include a yom iyun focused specifically on women’s issues across the religious spectrum; academic discussions of Jewish poetry and Midrash; legal discussions of Israeli vs. Jewish law; and scientists from BIU discussing the work at the Brain Research Center in the context of understanding free will. We look forward to many more exciting speakers!
Tiyulim: We know you didn’t come to the Holy Land just to spend the whole year on campus. Every 3-4 -weeks, we take the whole student body out to explore some of the gorgeous scenery, historical sites, or modern spectacles available all around. In the past, we’ve gone one three-day trips to Eilat and Yam L’Yam; visited Chevron, Tel Aviv, and Gush Etzion; toured Ir David, the Supreme Court, the Knesset, Har Herzl, and the Old City; and even just spent a day at the beach.
We also offer courses designed for study outside the classroom, such as a weekly tour of Jerusalem and an advanced Israel educational seminar run by Makom, which takes students on weekly tiyulim and meetings with speakers from across the political spectrum.
Israeli immersion: We give you the chance to interact more closely with various groups around Israel. We take students to celebrate Sigd with the Ethiopian community and on shabbatonim to Bnei Brak and Tzfat. We also arrange for students to spend Shabbat with different alumni families across the country.
Volunteering: At the same time that we introduce you to so many different flavors of Jewish learning, we expose you to different acts of service that we hope will also become meaningful to you. This is one of the founding principles of the yeshiva and is given a permanent place in the weekly schedule. We believe that taking ownership of your Jewish identity isn’t just about your personal interests but also your investment in the community. This is why Eretz alumni are often leaders on their college campuses and beyond.
We provide every student with a placement for their weekly volunteer hours and also run projects for the whole yeshiva together, such as packing parcels for Leket Israel, helping out at a Bar Mitzvah celebration held by the deaf community, and, more recently, packing hazmat, PPE, and COVID-19 testing kits for Magen David Adom.
In the end, our goal is to help you enter the real world on your own two feet: thoughtful, knowledgeable, and self-aware.