For the past 20 years, Yeshiva Har Bracha has been running the Shiluvim program. Shiluvim, or ‘combination’ in English, is a unique program for students who have completed the army and want to combine academic studies with high level Torah learning. The program was established in cooperation with the University Center in Ariel and the Settlement Division of the Jewish Agency. Starting in the academic Jewish year of 5768 (2008), the program is designated for female students as well-Midreshet “Torat Chaim”.
Goals of the Program
- Support and encouragement for single and married Yeshiva students to obtain a fully recognized academic degree and thereby integrate into the work force.
- To raise the socio-economic standard amongst Yeshiva graduates.
- To allow soldiers who have completed their regular army duty but lack formal Torah learning experience, the ability to attend Torah studies simultaneously with their academic studies.
The Comprehensive Program
- Studies towards an academic degree with a minimum scope of 80%.
- Torah studies with a minimum scope of 20 hours per week.
- Stipends for students according to their participation in the Torah study hall.
- Housing in the Yeshiva dormitories for single students and rental apartments for married students.
- Every student is obligated to complete all academic requirements on time!
Periods of Study
The hours which the student is obligated to learn in the study hall are divided between learning in pairs or small groups accompanied by a rabbi, and participation in regular classes. The system is built on a personal basis for each student in accordance to his or her number of academic hours. Certain days the students learn a full day in the learning hall, while other days they learn just in the evening hours. The great flexibility is made possible due to the diverse classes given in the Yeshiva and the integration in existing classes for the Kollel students and the Hesder Yeshiva. Certain classes are tailored specifically for students lacking an extensive Torah background.
The Teaching Staff
The teaching staff in this program includes Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and the Rabbi of the community, and the rabbi’s who teach in the Yeshiva. The Coordinator of the program is Rabbi Yizhar Ashur, a professional program coordinator that accompanies the students in the preparation of their learning program and implements inspections on the presence of the students and their participation in the classes. The rabbi’s are all graduates of Yeshivot with at least 12 years of study in higher Yeshivot and a certificate of education. A number of them have Masters Degrees, while the remainder all possess Bachelor’s degrees and rabbinic ordination which are recognized by the Ministry of Education as being equivalent to a Master’s degree.
Students who participate in the program are exempt from taking obligatory Jewish Heritage courses, in accordance to the scope of their participation.
Shiluvim for women- Midreshet "Torat Chaim"
The “Shiluvim” program encourages women to advance in the academic world and acquire an education relevant to their skills. The program’s goal is to ensure that advancement in the academic world does forfeit the enrichment of a student’s spiritual world.
For over a decade, the program has welcomed single and married students who wish to attain an academic degree through the University of Ariel in Samaria. Thus far, the program has assisted tens of ‘Shiluviot’ women to graduate in a variety of fields, such as Computer Science, Nursing, Economics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Human Resource Development, and others.
The framework of the program requires the students to participate in comprehensive lessons in various subjects of Torah: Halacha, Emuna, the weekly Torah portion, etc. The classes are held in the community of Har Bracha in the evenings, and the students are required to participate in at least eight monthly meetings among the sessions offered.
The teachers of the program are: Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbanit Inbal Melamed, Rabbi Gur Galon, Rabbi Yizhar Ashur, Rabbi Maor Kayam, and others.
In place of study time in the program, and in collaboration with the University of Ariel, students participating in the program are exempt from taking obligatory Jewish Heritage courses, in accordance with the scope of their participation. Additionally, Masters and PhD students who chose to take a monthly exam based on the halakha series of books “Peninei Halakha”, are entitled to a monthly scholarship of 700 NIS.