These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

epa03619944 An Israeli Jewish woman carries a Torah scroll (C) during a prayer session near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, 12 March 2013. The prayers, attended by hundreds of women, marked the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nisan.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN
summer pic

Beautiful Jerusalem

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Yuliya Mazur

Jerusalem is a place I dream about, a place I begin to yearn for as soon as I am back home (?) from it. I had planned my study at Pardes long ago, thanks to Yaffa Epstein; and that’s when I wrote this little verse: Seeing you in my dreams Craving your warm embrace Hoping Continue Reading »


Volunteering – The Pinnacle of our Studies

Posted on June 25, 2015 by Eliezah Blumenhoff

While at Pardes, the fellows and Rav Meesh continually stressed how volunteering was the pinnacle of our studies; that by volunteering and giving back to our community, we were practicing the Torah we were engaging in all week long. This idea stuck with me as I created and executed my volunteering projects over the course Continue Reading »


Parshat Shelach – Don’t Miss the Signs!

Posted on June 11, 2015 by David Wallach

לעילוי נשמת יהושע מנחם בן משה ז״ל. In memory of Menachem Wallach z”l.  Imagine, for a moment. You’ve been travelling from Egypt, through the desert, eyes always looking toward Cana’an, the Promised Land. You’ve seen the Sea of Reeds split before your eyes, you’ve seen Manna fall from the sky to sustain you. And now, finally, Continue Reading »


Permission to be Yourself

Posted on June 4, 2015 by Dorielle Parker

The year is 1994. It’s a warm September morning in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and sounds of the DJ on the radio and a mother’s smooch on my forehead escort me into my first day of school. The kindergarten classroom is inviting, and my teachers seem nice enough. As I am brought to a wooden cubby Continue Reading »

Event to mark World Blood Donor Day 2011 at WHO HQ in Geneva, Switzerland.

Magen Dovid Adom Employees Aren’t Vampires

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Alana Bandos

Magen Dovid Adom Employees Aren’t Vampires                                  or How I got over my fear of donating blood Current pop culture is obsessed with vampire lore. True Blood, Twilight, and the Vampire Diaries are proof of this trend. For some reason, we are attracted to the idea of human-like monsters killing other humans because of the Continue Reading »

Photographs for Mayyim Hayim Web Site.

[Alumni Post] Let’s Talk About Orthodox Conversion

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Rebekah Thornhill

“This post first appeared on JOFA’s The Torch blog.” I completed my Orthodox conversion with the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) in 2011. My process was an incredibly positive and meaningful experience. I learned the laws of kashrut, Shabbat, prayer, blessings, and how to live an observant lifestyle, formed lasting relationships that continue to benefit me Continue Reading »

Wheelchair, longterm care, nurses, aging

D’ror and Disability (Behar Sinai)

Posted on May 6, 2015 by Jonah P.

Ever a hyper-literate people, even in grief and death, we customarily learn mishnayot in honor of a deceased parent on the anniversary of his or her death. To this end, I would like to share some mishna learning in honor of my biological father, who died 10 years ago today, a man who has had Continue Reading »

14-4-13. Yom Ha Zikaron at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University. Photo: Peter Haskin

Reflections on my First Yom HaZikaron in Israel

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Jacob Haas

Yom HaZikaron – what a sad day. I had expectations and anxieties around Yom HaZikaron and I was actually quite relieved that my main feeling from the day was simply sadness. I was anxious that I would feel anger. Anger about the nearly constant state of war Israel is in. Anger about glorifying war. About Continue Reading »


Har Herzl: From a Place of Rest Comes Awakening

Posted on April 24, 2015 by Shira Sacks

Following the Yom Ha’atzmaut ceremony at a Jerusalem elementary school (affiliated with the national religious, or Dati Leumi, movement), I sat in a processing session at Pardes. I told my teacher how I had been feeling blank, seemingly without much emotion or intellection since Yom HaShoah the previous week, and how this was atypical for Continue Reading »

Portrait of a boy with the flag of Israel painted on his face.

I am Israel

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Debra Weiner

Last night I sat with hundreds of others for the Memorial Ceremony, organized by the young leaders of the Youth group EZRA. This year my 16 year old son, a group leader-Madrich- for 3rd grade boys-sat with them. Each year, following the siren, young members read the names of the youth group members from the Continue Reading »


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