Beit Midrash Elul

Elul is the Israel we dream of – pluralistic, educated and equal. Elul rejects the status quo and promotes Jewish pluralism across diferent borders in Israeli society using Jewish texts. We work with the most diverse group of Jewish Israelis possible to impact and change society.
Location: Jerusalem , Israel
Year founded: 1989

Description

Elul is the Israel we dream of – pluralistic, educated and equal. Founded in 1989, Elul has been an alternative to the Jewish status-quo in Israeli society by promoting Jewish pluralism across various borders in Jewish Israeli society, including religious observance (secular, reform, conservative, reconstructionist, orthodox, ultra orthodox, non affiliated, etc.), age, gender, economic status, geographic location, political affiliation and more. Our programs use the study of traditional and modern Jewish texts that give us a common language, a base that unites us all. Through this study we promote diverse Jewish identities and understanding and mutual respect towards this diversity - among Jewish Israelis and ultimately towards all peoples in Israeli society and beyond our borders.
Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash

About

Background: Gender, body and motherhood are empowering issues for Jewish women that pose various questions and challenges. These issues also unify us regardless of background. Orthodox or secular, reform or conservative, left or right, Jewish women share in a long tradition expressed in our common sources that still, today, can serve as guides and inspiration for understanding these very important aspects of modern life.

Action: In response, Elul started a pilot in 2015 for new mothers from diverse Jewish backgrounds to explore issues of gender, the female body and motherhood through traditional and modern Jewish sources. In a series of 25 sessions (2 hours each), the participants engage in:

  • Modern beit midrash learning on gender in traditional and modern societies, our bodies, childbirth and motherhood.
  • Creative writing by each woman inspired by the sources and her personal experiences.
  • Babysitting is provided.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The purpose of the program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", is:

  • To raise awareness among and empower Jewish women of gender issues and equality using traditional and modern Jewish sources as inspiration.
  • To promote Jewish pluralism among Jewish Israeli women.
  • To provide answers to the questions and challenges that arise in the life of Jewish women.
  • To provide new mothers with a chance to study and interact with other women.

Back to Top

Program Description

New mothers in all societies, including Israel's Jewish society, face daunting questions and challenges that they usually lack the tools to answer. These questions and challenges include being a mother, raising Jewish children and picking from the many opinions and tracks on raising children, being a modern mother in today's world, balance between work and motherhood, issues of body and self esteem, the feeling of loneliness and isolation after birth and so on.

Our traditional and modern Jewish sources provide answers to many of these questions and starting points for influential discussions about other questions. Doing this in a group provides much needed support, new opinions and ideas and, of course, a chance for new mothers to socialize, get out of the house and network.

Elul's program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", empowers 12-15 new Jewish Israeli mothers from diverse backgrounds (socio-economic status, geographic region, religious background/identity/non-religious identity, age, etc.) by dealing with these questions and producing more confident, better informed and enlightened new moms.

Each group meets weekly for five weeks, 2-3 hours with a professional facilitator trained in using modern and traditional Jewish texts to create dialogue and educate. Each session focuses on a different subject/question/challenge as a mom/woman and selected texts. The women study the texts together, discuss them from different perspectives and spend time writing their personal experience and interpretation through creative writing.

And, best of all, our program offers free on-site babysitting while the mom's study so that they can truly grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually by focusing exclusively on themselves.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As stated above, the program serves the following needs:

  • The need to give women the tools to cope with challenges and questions that arise after childbirth about motherhood, her body and role in society.
  • The need to promote pluralism among Jewish Israelis.
  • The need to connect contemporary Jewish Israeli society to develop Jewish culture, sources and diverse identities and interpretations to religion.
  • The need among new moms to socialize, network and receive mental stimulation.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

In one pilot year, our
program managed to empower 20 Jewish Israeli women. We hope to increase this to
30 in the 2016-17 academic year. Since we only accept new moms into the
program, the women inspired next year will be different than those from the
pilot year. Further, the overall success of the pilot project is making it
possible to repeat the project and add it to our list Elul projects. We now
turn our attention to ensuring its sustainability.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The program started as a pilot in 2015. During that pilot, and as with all of Elul's programs, we use two methods to measure success: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measurements include tracking the numbers of participants, attendance, the number of course sessions, etc. Quantitative measurements focus on questionnaires and collecting feedback from participants and project staff.

Based on the data collected to date, we believe the pilot program was successful. We attracted two groups of 10 women each (and their babies) for a total of 20 empowered women! Feedback and questionnaire results were also positive - showing that the experience and the content was useful in achieving our goals.

Next year we hope to operate three groups of 10 women each to influence 30 women total.

Back to Top

Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash

About

Background: Gender, body and motherhood are empowering issues for Jewish women that pose various questions and challenges. These issues also unify us regardless of background. Orthodox or secular, reform or conservative, left or right, Jewish women share in a long tradition expressed in our common sources that still, today, can serve as guides and inspiration for understanding these very important aspects of modern life.

Action: In response, Elul started a pilot in 2015 for new mothers from diverse Jewish backgrounds to explore issues of gender, the female body and motherhood through traditional and modern Jewish sources. In a series of 25 sessions (2 hours each), the participants engage in:

  • Modern beit midrash learning on gender in traditional and modern societies, our bodies, childbirth and motherhood.
  • Creative writing by each woman inspired by the sources and her personal experiences.
  • Babysitting is provided.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The purpose of the program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", is:

  • To raise awareness among and empower Jewish women of gender issues and equality using traditional and modern Jewish sources as inspiration.
  • To promote Jewish pluralism among Jewish Israeli women.
  • To provide answers to the questions and challenges that arise in the life of Jewish women.
  • To provide new mothers with a chance to study and interact with other women.

Back to Top

Program Description

New mothers in all societies, including Israel's Jewish society, face daunting questions and challenges that they usually lack the tools to answer. These questions and challenges include being a mother, raising Jewish children and picking from the many opinions and tracks on raising children, being a modern mother in today's world, balance between work and motherhood, issues of body and self esteem, the feeling of loneliness and isolation after birth and so on.

Our traditional and modern Jewish sources provide answers to many of these questions and starting points for influential discussions about other questions. Doing this in a group provides much needed support, new opinions and ideas and, of course, a chance for new mothers to socialize, get out of the house and network.

Elul's program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", empowers 12-15 new Jewish Israeli mothers from diverse backgrounds (socio-economic status, geographic region, religious background/identity/non-religious identity, age, etc.) by dealing with these questions and producing more confident, better informed and enlightened new moms.

Each group meets weekly for five weeks, 2-3 hours with a professional facilitator trained in using modern and traditional Jewish texts to create dialogue and educate. Each session focuses on a different subject/question/challenge as a mom/woman and selected texts. The women study the texts together, discuss them from different perspectives and spend time writing their personal experience and interpretation through creative writing.

And, best of all, our program offers free on-site babysitting while the mom's study so that they can truly grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually by focusing exclusively on themselves.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As stated above, the program serves the following needs:

  • The need to give women the tools to cope with challenges and questions that arise after childbirth about motherhood, her body and role in society.
  • The need to promote pluralism among Jewish Israelis.
  • The need to connect contemporary Jewish Israeli society to develop Jewish culture, sources and diverse identities and interpretations to religion.
  • The need among new moms to socialize, network and recieve mental stimulation.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

In one pilot year, our program managed to empower 20 Jewish Israeli women. We hope to increase this to 30 in the 2016-17 academic year. Since we only accept new moms into the program, the women inspired next year will be different than those from the pilot year. Further, the overall success of the pilot project is making it possible to repeat the project and add it to our list Elul projects. We now turn our attention to ensuring its sustainability.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The program started as a pilot in 2015. During that pilot, and as with all of Elul's programs, we use two methods to measure success: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measurements include tracking the numbers of participants, attendance, the number of course sessions, etc. Quantitative measurements focus on questionnaires and collecting feedback from participants and project staff.

Based on the data collected to date, we believe the pilot program was successful. We attracted two groups of 10 women each (and their babies) for a total of 20 empowered women! Feedback and questionnaire results were also positive - showing that the experience and the content was useful in achieving our goals.

Next year we hope to operate three groups of 10 women each to influence 30 women total.

Back to Top

Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash

About

Background: Gender, body and motherhood are empowering issues for Jewish women that pose various questions and challenges. These issues also unify us regardless of background. Orthodox or secular, reform or conservative, left or right, Jewish women share in a long tradition expressed in our common sources that still, today, can serve as guides and inspiration for understanding these very important aspects of modern life.

Action: In response, Elul started a pilot in 2015 for new mothers from diverse Jewish backgrounds to explore issues of gender, the female body and motherhood through traditional and modern Jewish sources. In a series of 25 sessions (2 hours each), the participants engage in:

  • Modern beit midrash learning on gender in traditional and modern societies, our bodies, childbirth and motherhood.
  • Creative writing by each woman inspired by the sources and her personal experiences.
  • Babysitting is provided.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The purpose of the program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", is:

  • To raise awareness among and empower Jewish women of gender issues and equality using traditional and modern Jewish sources as inspiration.
  • To promote Jewish pluralism among Jewish Israeli women.
  • To provide answers to the questions and challenges that arise in the life of Jewish women.
  • To provide new mothers with a chance to study and interact with other women.

Back to Top

Program Description

New mothers in all societies, including Israel's Jewish society, face daunting questions and challenges that they usually lack the tools to answer. These questions and challenges include being a mother, raising Jewish children and picking from the many opinions and tracks on raising children, being a modern mother in today's world, balance between work and motherhood, issues of body and self esteem, the feeling of loneliness and isolation after birth and so on.

Our traditional and modern Jewish sources provide answers to many of these questions and starting points for influential discussions about other questions. Doing this in a group provides much needed support, new opinions and ideas and, of course, a chance for new mothers to socialize, get out of the house and network.

Elul's program, "Gender, Body and Motherhood Beit Midrash", empowers 12-15 new Jewish Israeli mothers from diverse backgrounds (socio-economic status, geographic region, religious background/identity/non-religious identity, age, etc.) by dealing with these questions and producing more confident, better informed and enlightened new moms.

Each group meets weekly for five weeks, 2-3 hours with a professional facilitator trained in using modern and traditional Jewish texts to create dialogue and educate. Each session focuses on a different subject/question/challenge as a mom/woman and selected texts. The women study the texts together, discuss them from different perspectives and spend time writing their personal experience and interpretation through creative writing.

And, best of all, our program offers free on-site babysitting while the mom's study so that they can truly grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually by focusing exclusively on themselves.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As stated above, the program serves the following needs:

  • The need to give women the tools to cope with challenges and questions that arise after childbirth about motherhood, her body and role in society.
  • The need to promote pluralism among Jewish Israelis.
  • The need to connect contemporary Jewish Israeli society to develop Jewish culture, sources and diverse identities and interpretations to religion.
  • The need among new moms to socialize, network and recieve mental stimulation.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

In one pilot year, our program managed to empower 20 Jewish Israeli women. We hope to increase this to 30 in the 2016-17 academic year. Since we only accept new moms into the program, the women inspired next year will be different than those from the pilot year. Further, the overall success of the pilot project is making it possible to repeat the project and add it to our list Elul projects. We now turn our attention to ensuring its sustainability.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

The program started as a pilot in 2015. During that pilot, and as with all of Elul's programs, we use two methods to measure success: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measurements include tracking the numbers of participants, attendance, the number of course sessions, etc. Quantitative measurements focus on questionnaires and collecting feedback from participants and project staff.

Based on the data collected to date, we believe the pilot program was successful. We attracted two groups of 10 women each (and their babies) for a total of 20 empowered women! Feedback and questionnaire results were also positive - showing that the experience and the content was useful in achieving our goals.

Next year we hope to operate three groups of 10 women each to influence 30 women total.

Back to Top

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