Pardes Institute Of Jewish Studies
Pardes is an institute of Jewish learning, focused on primary sources, that is open to post-college men and women. It was founded in 1972 and is located in the neighborhood of Talpiot, Jerusalem.
Pardes offers various programs, including an MA track (partnered with Hebrew College) for Jewish Education. The dominant programs though do not offer a degree, but are Torah lishma (learning for the sake of learning). The background level in the Pardes Beth midrash ranges from elementary Hebrew to Semicha (orthodox rabbinic ordination). The style of learning is a mix of chevruta (pair) studying and classroom learning.
Pardes also offers summer programs of two and three weeks.
The fundamental principle upon which Pardes operates is the belief that Torah is the inheritance of every Jew, regardless of where s/he falls on the belief or observance spectrum. Pardes, as an institution, posits that all Jews have a right to gain access to that inheritance, without restriction as to the circumstances under which this may be done. It is on this fundamental point that Pardes diverges from many other halachic (Jewish law-abiding) learning institutions for whom access to the texts hinges on a certain standard of religious behavior. This ideological position on the part of Pardes is not to be mistaken for pluralism. While Pardes welcomes its diverse student body, and encourages personal autonomy, the institution itself (along with the majority of the faculty) is fully committed to Halakha (Jewish law).
Fulltime Pardes students range from the twenties to those in their fifties and older.
Pardes is a non-affiliated, one-of-a-kind institution, whose main objective is increased Jewish literacy through textual and experiential education.
Rabbi Daniel Landes is the director and Rosh HaYeshiva, Dr. David I. Bernstein the dean and Rabbi Meir Schweiger is responsible for the weekly podcasts.
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