Batei Midrash – study centers – are fast becoming a significant part of the Yachad Program’s Jewish Cultural Facilitators’ work because they are appealing and interesting, and they strengthen Jewish identity by engaging adults and children in passionate discussion and debate, challenging preconceived notions and exposing people of all backgrounds to the rich expanse of Jewish thought and literature.
Yachad facilitator Noam Krigman’s Beit Midrash in the city of Ariel brings together religious and secular teens, affording them a chance to meet and discuss the burning issues of the day with counterparts from different backgrounds, all through the lens of Judaism. Alongside “heavy” issues, the Beit Midrash also examines issues like the place of modern media in teenagers’ lives or the philosophy of a specific film. “It is fascinating to see secular youth approach textual, Beit Midrash study for the first time,” reports Krigman. “It is even more fascinating to watch the religious youth as they realize that the Torah really belongs to everyone, and anyone who wants can partake in its study.”
Here are some pictures from the most recent gathering in which the teens discussed the festival of Purim.