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)
Offering a rigorous learning environment, BIU students enrolled in the Beit Medrash Program for Men take part in chavrutot, sedarim, shiurim, and the like, between 8:00-13:00 and 16:00, based around a student’s individual’s schedule. Students are required to learn the approximate equivalent of 16 academic hours per week.
Note: Engineering. Biotechnology, Optometry, and Computational Biology students are only required to register for 14 academic hours.
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.
Studies in the Beit Medrash Program begin Rosh Chodesh Elul – usually 1-2 months before the start of the academic semester. Students returning from overseas only at the start of the semester should be in touch with the department to make up the difference.
Bar-Ilan Students enrolled in the Beit Medrash Program are entitled to a scholarship equal to 80% of the yearly tuition requirement, and long-term participants can receive credit exemptions from both Judaic Studies and General Elective courses, and the Fundamentals of Judaism Exam.
How to Sign Up for the Kollel and Earn Your Scholarship
- Fill out the Beit Medrash Program Registration Form (if you have trouble with the form, visit the office).
- 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.
- To earn your financial scholarship, you must attend 80% of your scheduled shiurim, chavrutot, and the like.
Students may choose to study 22 weekly hours (instead of the usual 16), and earn an additional monthly stipend, equal to 400 NIS/mo. for single students and 720 NIS/mo. for married students.
Although classes in the Beit Medrash Program do not have individual credit value in Bar-Ilan University, students are eligible for an exemption of 7 Judaic Studies creditsand 2 General Elective credits for each year enrolled.
Additionally, after being enrolled in the Kollel for 2 years, students become exempt from taking the Fundamentals of Judaism Exam. To receive this exemption, visit Mador Status.
Leaving the Beit Medrash Program
To leave the Beit Medrash Program, students must visit the department and return their Time Card.
Note: Students who leave the program before the end of the first semester lose eligibility for their scholarship.