Colloquially referred to as the Kollel and Midrasha programs, the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies allows Bar-Ilan students to learn in a more traditional, religious environment while earning Basic Judaic Studies credits, and in some cases a financial stipend. Classes are segregated by gender, and taught by Rabbis and religious scholars.
Beit Medrash Program for Men (Kollel)
Bar-Ilan students enrolled in the Beit Medrash Program for Men take part in chavrutot, sedarim, shiurim, and the like, based around a student’s individual’s schedule. Each session is approximately 90 minutes long, although students can also study privately in 60-minute increments.
When joining, students are given a time-card that logs the hours spent studying in the Beit Medrash, and are assigned a Rav Madrich (ר”מ) who helps find the student the most apropos shiur/ chavrusa. Shiurim are given over in Hebrew, however an English-speaking chavruta can usually be requested.
Students who are study in the Beit Medrash program are eligible for credit exemptions, first in Basic Jewish Studies, and once those requirements have been met, in General Electives. Every two sessions is the equivalent to one academic credit.
Further, students who participate in a minimum of 10 sessions in a year, are eligible for 6 credits: 5 in Judaic Studies and 1 General Elective.
Students in the Kollel are awarded scholarships based on the number of sessions they participate in each semester. To be eligible, you must maintain an 80% attendance rate per session.
Scholarships are valued as follows:
- 60-minute seder – 250 NIS per semester.
- 90-minute session – 500 NIS per semester.
- 90-minute session in the pre-semester Elul Program – 150 NIS
- Full attendance (4 sessions, 5 days a week) in the Elul Program – +25% of your annual scholarship. This does not apply to Engineering students.
- Eight 90-minute sessions per semester – 10,000NIS. This is instead of the per-session valuation.
Note: the Kollel offers a variety of other scholarship programs.
- Fill out the Beit Medrash Program Registration Form (if you have trouble with the form, visit the office).
- Create a user account and register for classes.
- Visit the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Study with a copy of your class schedule to determine for which shiurim you will be enrolled and to receive your Time Card.
Midrasha for Women
Bar-Ilan’s Midrasha allows women to further their religious knowledge and understanding in parallel with degree studies. Classes are given by a range of known Rabbanim and lecturers, in a homey, religious atmosphere.
Structured differently than the Bet Medrash Program for Boys, the Midrasha offers a few different tracks, each with its own requirements, BIU credit exemptions, and financial scholarships.
In the regular track, BIU students take Midrasha courses in place of their Basic Judaic Studies requirements. No financial scholarships are offered.
To receive credit, students must receive a passing grade (>60) on at least half of their classes. Note: These grades are not included in your final GPA.
Olim Chadashim and tourists are only required to take half of their final exams, and may choose which classes in which to take the test.
Two classes in the Midrasha are the equivalent of 1 academic credit in Basic Jewish Studies. While undergraduate students must take 10 academic credits in the Midrasha, students in the following degrees may take less:
- Torah Shel Ba’al Peh and Law majors – 6 credits.
- Life Sciences, Exact Sciences, Engineering, and Tanach majors: – 8 credits.
Students may also choose to participate in classes beyond their degree requirements at no additional cost.
Instead of solely taking classes in the Midrasha, students in Bar-Ilan’s Metivta Track split their studies between mandatory classes and chavruta study, and several out-of-class activities. Credits exemptions and financial scholarship are awarded based on the amount of weekly hours.
- 20 Weekly Hours – 10 year-long classes + chavrutot. Eligible for an exemption of 7 Basic Judaic Studies credits, scholarship equal to 100% yearly tuition, and a monthly stipend.
- 16 Weekly Hours – 8 year-long classes + chavrutot. Eligible for an exemption of 5 Basic Judaic Studies credits and a scholarship equal to 80% yearly tuition (up to 8000 NIS).
Note: Students majoring in Life Sciences can take 14 Weekly Hours (7 year-long classes + chavrutot) for the same credit exemption and scholarship.
To register for the Metivta Program, fill out the following form.
Note: the Midrasha offers a variety of other scholarship programs.