mind the gap program
Maharat and YCT have partnered to launch an exciting new program: “Mind the Gap: A Mini Sabbatical,” designed for Jewish professionals who are headed to or in-between jobs in the Jewish communal sector, with the goal of deepening participants’ capacity to integrate and apply Jewish wisdom, text, and spirituality to their leadership contexts.
During this program, participants will learn with faculty, participate in group learning and discussion, and workshop their own questions and ideas.
Limited enrollment, apply now! Tuition is fully funded and stipends of $500 per unit are available.
Who is Eligible/Criteria for admissions:
Current or aspiring Jewish communal professional
Basic knowledge of Hebrew alphabet
Interested in returning to or joining a Jewish institution
Open to all genders
Study full-time or part-time. Choose any or all of the units.
Sponsored by the Aviv Foundation, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the Maimonides Fund through the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund.
9:00 AM - 12:30PM: Applied Jewish Wisdom with Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter and Rabbi Dr. Dan Smokler. This morning section will have an option for those interested in text immersion to improve their text and Talmud skills. Please indicate if you are interested in this on the application.
1:30 PM-5:00 PM: During the afternoon, there will be a variety of classes offered, including Chasidut and Tanakh. The Mind the Gap cohort also can participate in a module called the Design Lab where they will have the opportunity to test, design, and incubate ideas in their field of interest, featuring skill-building workshops throughout the units.
For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What would my financial and time commitment look like?
Tuition is fully funded. There are stipends available, and limited slots available. You can attend full-time (Monday through Thursday 9am-5pm) or only mornings or afternoons.
What happens if I want to increase my time commitment?
You are welcome to commit to any or all of the units, and will only need to fill out one application. If you enroll for one and wish to stay longer, you are welcome to do so if space is available. Likewise, you can enroll for half day and expand to full day if space is available.
Do I need to be headed to rabbinical school?
No! Both Maharat and Chovevei Torah have rabbinical tracks and are happy to discuss requirements to enter those programs. Mind the Gap requires no commitment to attend rabbinical school.
Do I need to be fluent in Hebrew?
No! Mind the Gap is designed to expose you to values and ideas through a Jewish lens. It would be helpful to have familiarity with Hebrew, but all texts will be studied with English translations.
How do I apply and what is the process for admission?
Please complete this application. Our admissions committee will review applications, and set up a virtual interview with you. There is rolling admissions, but limited spots and funding for stipends.
mind the gap: unit 2
The Torah of Reconciliation
January 4 - February 5 2021
One of the great challenges in our society today is polarization. Huge swaths of the American and Jewish community find themselves staring across a chasm separating them from us. It’s clear if we're to live together, we must find ways to listen, talk and reconcile some differences. This is not a simple, discrete task but an ongoing cultivation of virtues and practices. In this section of Mind the Gap we will study classical texts from the Talmud, Midrash and Halachic Codes as well as Hassidic and modern thinkers who explore these themes. We hope to leave this exploration with a richer, more nuanced understanding of bridging differences and finding ways to live among difference, together.
mind the gap: unit 3
February 8 - March 4
When Plagues Change Our LIves: Imagining a Post-COVID Judaism
It has become commonplace to say that COVID accelerated trends already underway and revealed underlying conditions in our society at large. How has this happened in the Jewish community? What did COVID accelerate and reveal? And, how can we grapple with what it has wrought, mourn our losses both physical and spiritual and imagine a future beyond it. Plagues, unfortunately, are not new to the Jewish people. In this unit of MTG, we will explore how our textual tradition has dealt with plagues in the past, and what we can learn from it. We will also look at how this plague has reordered some parts of Jewish life and reconfirmed others. Our texts will be drawn from the Talmudic, Midrashic and Halachic works as well as modern thinkers and scholars.
mind the gap: unit 4
March 8 - March 25
Telling the Story this Year
For many of us, the year since last Pesach has been the most extraordinary, the most trying that we have ever known. The Jewish calendar, and the life that emerges from it, is anchored in the telling of the story of yetziat mitzrayim, the Exodus. How will we tell the story this year? We have lived through a plague. Many of us were bound at home and our lives turned upside down. We are not the first generation of Jews to see a reversal of fortune. In this unit we will take a deep look at the story of the Exodus and how it has been told as we prepare for another Pesach unlike any other. We will look not just at the story, but the laws, customs and metaphors that surround it. Our hope is that leaving this unit will give us a deeper, more profound look at a story both familiar and elusive.
mind the gap: unit 5
April 5 - April 29
Love in a Time of COVID: Between Intimacy and Social Distance
During the Pandemic, many of us have felt isolated, lonely and apart. Our normal work lives have been disrupted, common spaces shuttered. And at the same time, through technology, we meet regularly with people from around the world, sharing closer contact with those farther apart. How are we to make sense of this simultaneous distance and closeness? This question sharpens further when we ask how can one love at a social distance? What happens to romance and intimacy in a time such as ours? How do parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren feel a family’s love when we cannot be physically present? In this section of MTG we will dive deep into love -- romantic, familial and platonic -- drawing from classical rabbinic texts and contemporary scholars to give us a richer set of ideas in which to ground our unprecedented reality.
mind the gap: unit 6
May 10 - June 4
Judaism as Art -- A Search for Congruence
As any artist will tell you, the making of art is a profound practice wrought with joy and conflict not unlike that of walking a spiritual path. By deepling inhabiting the creative process, one encounters a set of challenges -- how to be spontaneous and disciplined, how to both create something and let it be free, how to take and receive critique -- that have parallels in our religious tradition. In this final section of Mind the Gap, we will explore themes that permeate both art and classical Jewish texts. Our goal here is to mutually illuminate two distinct areas of human experience, art and the spiritual path of Judaism. There will be moments of both congruence and incongruence. Together we will look at painters, writers, photographers and musicians through both their work and how they understand their process, as well as texts from the Talmud, the Chassidic tradition and contemporary Jewish thinkers. We hope to leave with a new set of interpretive possibilities.