Learn Virtually
Manger Winter Learning Seminar

Manger Winter Learning Seminar

Sponsored by the Manger Foundation

January 3-7, 2021




Surround yourself in Jewish content and conversation at Yeshivat Hadar and join a community of learners that celebrates the values of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed as you deepen your connection to and find your voice in the richness of Torah.

Hadar’s virtual Manger Winter Learning Seminar is an opportunity for college students and young adults to take part in an honest, dynamic, and multi-faceted exploration of Jewish texts with passionate teachers and committed peers.

ENCOUNTER Torah study that is academically rigorous, spiritually fulfilling, and religiously relevant.

CONNECT to an incredible network of peers who are passionate about learning and are working to build bolder and more meaningful Jewish lives.

BROADEN your knowledge and understanding of Jewish texts with a stellar group of Hadar faculty.

This seminar is designed for college students and young adults (18-25) with a passion for Jewish texts and community, and an openness to learning, sharing, and growing.

2021 Theme

The Ethics of Risk: Making Choices in an Age of Uncertainty

Life under a global pandemic has brought into focus the fundamental role that risk plays in our lives. Every decision, from where we grocery shop to how often we see our families, carries weight - the weight of knowing that our actions hold some degree of risk to ourselves, those around us, and beyond.

In this time of heightened attention to the risks of everyday living, we will turn to the rich texts of our tradition to think through how to make difficult choices. Through our learning and joint conversation we aim to strengthen our capacity to navigate the challenges of risk.

In our exploration of Talmud, Jewish law, philosophy, midrash and prayer, we will ask such questions as:

  • What may we risk to live the lives we want?
  • How must we limit our choices so we don't put others at risk?
  • When do I choose to take a risk to ensure the safety of others? Is it ethical to ask others to take risks for my benefit?
  • What spiritual and emotional guidance does our tradition offer for living with risk?

Tracks and Part-Time Learning


We’re living in a moment where our attention is pulled in many directions. We’re spending more time in front of screens and less time with the people and communities we love. While Torah offers comfort and meaning, we all have varying amounts of availability, attention, resources, and energy.

For these reasons, we are making part-time learning a core mode for the Manger Winter Learning Seminar. We invite you to attend any of the following pieces of the programs:

Morning Talmud Learning: Ethics of Risk (Monday-Wednesday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM Eastern)

Our morning Talmud block is our tried and true mode of learning. It involves diving into provided source materials with a havruta (study partner) in order to grasp the fundamental language and concepts of each day’s topic (built around the theme of “the Ethics of Risk”). This block will conclude each day with a shiur (class) to synthesize sources, draw out important insights, and foster discussion. Small classes are designed for various backgrounds of textual fluency, ranging from classes mostly learning sources in English, to classes designed for students with extensive experience in yeshiva.

9-10:45 AM Havruta / Preparation
To take full advantage of this block, join this session for study in havruta (study pairs) learning provided source materials in order to prepare for shiur (class).

10:45-12 AM Shiur / Class
Join a small class designed to maximize engagement and discussion of rabbinic sources about the ethics of risk.

Afternoon Tracks (Monday-Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern)

1) “Ban the Box” Maimonides Moot Court Competition Track (Monday-Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern)
This track will explore an essential question of human rights: how should an individual who has committed a crime be treated as they seek to reintegrate into society? We’ll do a deep dive into teshuvah and the rehabilitation process after one has committed various types of offenses. In particular, we will focus on "Ban the Box" campaigns, which aim to remove questions about criminal history from application forms. This track is in partnership with the Maimonides Moot Court Competition and will prepare students for the collegiate competition in April 2021.

Who is this track for?
All college-aged students and young adults are welcome to participate—we anticipate a diverse cohort of wide-ranging Jewish backgrounds. You are invited to join this track individually, or as part of a team of 3-4 students. Students who participate in this track are welcome to participate in our ongoing MMCC programs for college students, which will continue through the competition in April. Campus professionals are warmly invited to participate in this track and engage in the learning process with their students.

About the Maimonides Moot Court Competition
The Maimonides Moot Court Competition is the premiere program for students to grapple with contemporary ethics through a prism of Jewish legal wisdom. Our competitions are structured around a detailed case alongside a sourcebook of traditional and modern Jewish texts. By applying the texts in the sourcebook, students construct arguments to address the ethical issues presented by the case. Cases in recent years have addressed timely issues including tainted money, #MeToo, and artificial intelligence. Our flagship program is an annual Shabbaton and competition, which will next be held on April 23-25, 2021.

2) Hadar in Hebrew Track (Monday-Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern)
Take advantage of the virtual nature of this program by learning in Hebrew with some of Hadar’s Israel-based faculty, R. Avital Hochstein and R. Nadav Berger. Sessions will touch on a variety of topics.

Who is this track for?
This track will take place entirely in Hebrew. All college-aged students and young adults looking to improve, practice, or just enjoy Hebrew are welcome to participate.

3) Afternoon Resilience and Uncertainty Track (Monday-Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern)
The past year has brought with it tremendous loss and uncertainty. On a personal and communal level, many of us find ourselves grieving very tangible losses: the loss of life above all, the loss of financial security, and the loss of the intimacy of in-person relationships. At the same time, we find ourselves mourning abstract but very real losses: the loss of the world we once knew, the loss of a sense of security, the loss of normalcy. Throughout the ages, the Jewish people have experienced significant downfalls and periods of great adversity from the flood that nearly destroyed the world to the destruction of the Temple to the Holocaust, an unprecedented time of darkness and despair. Yet, each time, the Jewish people drew on wellsprings of resilience to not only continue on but to continue forward, rebuilding for the next generation. In this 3-session course, we’ll look to our own tradition, focusing on narratives from the Torah as well as the events of Jewish history to mine our texts for wisdom on resilience. We’ll ask: what are the different shapes resilience takes and how might we cultivate our own capacity for resilience based on the wisdom of Jewish tradition?

Who is this track for?
All college-aged students and young adults with a passion for engaging the texts of our tradition with a critical and sensitive mind are invited to participate in this track. Sources will be provided in the original and in English translation.

Ideas at the Heart of Hadar (Monday-Wednesday, 3:30-4:30 PM Eastern)

For close to 15 years, the Hadar Institute has reimagined what it means to practice an egalitarian form of Judaism that places Torah, Avodah, and Hesed at the heart of its mission. Come learn with us as we explore and interpret some of the core ideas that animate Hadar’s work in the world. Join for one or more!

Who is this track for?
All college-aged students and young adults with a passion for engaging the texts of our tradition with a critical and sensitive mind are invited to participate in this track. Sources will be provided in the original and in English translation.







Click here to learn about our outstanding faculty.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it for me?

This seminar is designed for college-aged students and young adults (18-25) with a passion for Jewish texts and community, and an openness to learning, sharing, and growing.

When and where is it?

The virtual seminar will take place from Sunday evening, January 3rd, 2021 through Thursday evening, January 7th 2021. Programming and learning will take place completely online.

Can I learn with you part-time?

Yes. We welcome you to join the seminar part-time. See the tab labeled "Tracks and Part-Time Learning" for more information.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for the seminar. We recognize that the reality of this moment has made finances a complicated and challenging issue. In light of that, and with gratitude to the Manger Foundation, we are offering this program free of charge.

I have more questions. How can I find out more?

Email us at [email protected].


Please fill out the below form to register for the Manger Winter Learning Seminar.