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Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies

The Ludwig and Erica Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies is the flagship of Bar-Ilan University "Torah im Derekh Eretz" ideal. Since its founding over 35 years ago, the Institute has uniquely enabled Bar-Ilan students to combine intense, high-level Torah scholarship with their academic training in a wide range of fields. This special Shiduch has produced both a new prototype of a Torah scholar with profound intellectual awareness as well as a novel breed of professionals and academicians who are also Talmidei Chachamim. 

Actively integrating Torah with worldly occupations, Institute graduates figure prominently in the Israeli government, hi-tech industry, business, academia, education, the Rabbinate, law, Mishpat Ivri (Jewish law), and other fields. Proud of its success to date, the Institute is now working to further its impact on campus and in the community at large. The Institute is positioned to serve in the vanguard of the Bar-Ilan mission to build bridges with the secular world, to heighten Jewish awareness and deepen appreciation of our heritage as we promote mutual understanding and respect. Thus, we may mold our nation’s future leaders. 

Institute Studies for Men and Women

Many of Bar-Ilan's students, including many new immigrants, undertake a rigorous Jewish studies curriculum at the Institute's Beit Midrash for Men (Kollel) and the Midrasha alongside full Bachelor's or graduate degree programs in all university faculties. Emphasizing scholarship as well as its application to contemporary living, the Beit Midrash and Midrasha study programs seek to provide students with a broad Jewish perspective and insight with which to deal with daily life issues.

Institute Ventures: Reach Out and Revolutionize

The Rakowitz Center for the Community Rabbinate in Israel – A group of 16 ordained rabbis and their wives (mostly qualified lawyers and PhD candidates) are enrolled in this two year long course that aims to create a revolutionary group of proactive community Rabbis/professionals.

Beit Hora’ah – “Ask the Rabbi” – This free service enables University students and staff as well as rabbis and others from the world over to anonymously submit religious questions to the Institute’s rabbinical scholars and receive answers via e-mail, fax or mail.

Religious Women Advocates – Launched in 2005, this course – the first of its kind in the world – seeks to enrich women law students with a lucid understanding of Mishpat Ivri so that they will be qualified to represent their clients in both religious and civil courts, as they promote the revival of Jewish jurisprudence in modern day Israel.

Madrichot Kalot – The only such program in the greater Tel Aviv area, this year-long course enriches female students (who hold academic degrees) with the halachic knowledge and the sensitivity to acquaint local brides-to-be (especially those from secular backgrounds) with traditional Jewish family laws and customs, as they prepare them for an enriching married life.

International Conferences on Vital Contemporary Issues – The sponsorship of forums with leading institutions brings together top scientists and rabbis to deal with ethical issues concerning the latest technological developments.

For more information see the Institute's website.