For more than 30 years, Ohr Somayach has been instilling Jewish pride in university students the hard way – through knowledge. A world leader in Jewish outreach, Ohr Somayach has always understood that quick fixes for flagging Jewish identity don’t work. And that only Jewish learning can give a young man “ownership” of his heritage, and a deep, enduring sense of pride and identity.
Ohr Somayach, based in Jerusalem, gives Diaspora youth coming to Israel in search of their roots a chance to experience Jewish learning in their own language, at their own pace and at an intellectual level that rivals and surpasses that of the Ivy League universities from which many have come. In its battle against Jewish ignorance, Ohr Somayach has targeted outstanding college students and graduates — who are accomplished in secular studies, but have never found a comparable level of excellence in Jewish studies. Ohr Somayach’s exceptional staff includes scholars who are former professors at leading universities in the United States and who are as conversant in Kant and Hegel as they are in Maimonides. They teach basic Talmud skills to small groups, offer individual counseling to young people at a crossroads in their lives, and address the “big picture” issues that so preoccupy college students in their quest for meaning.
Message from the Dean
When a visitor to Ohr Somayach finds a student body composed of a cross-section of young people from major universities around the world, it is, more than anything else, a tribute to the scholarly, creative and articulate staff that has attracted these young people.
Intensity of study is frequently taken to spell formality and even a kind of rigidity. The hallmark of learning at Ohr Somayach is achieving that intensity of learning and growth without paying either price. Surely consistent discipline is required to master the techniques and skills of classical Judaic texts. But sensitivity to individual needs allows for the blending of rigorous demands with individual character and learning growth.
We hope that the following pages will provide you with a detailed perspective of Ohr Somayach and we invite you to come and experience our unique learning program first-hand.
Rabbi Nota Schiller
Rabbi Nota Schiller