Shoshana Javitt, a junior at University of Maryland’s school of engineering, wanted to infuse her winter break with Torah learning. She heard about the Orthodox Union’s JLIC Winter Midrasha program in Jerusalem from her midrasha, Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY).

The program sounded like a great opportunity for her to be immersed in Torah, recharge her commitment to learning, and reconnect with her teachers from MMY. Javitt, along with other Orthodox women college students from across North America will be taking part in what promises to be a transformative week of learning.

The Orthodox Union’s JLIC Winter Midrasha program will take place in Jerusalem the week of January 3-7, 2016. This five day immersive learning program is in partnership with eight seminaries and midrashot. The learning will focus on the Exodus from Egypt in the first four parshiyot of Sefer Shemot through the learning of Chumash, Halacha, Gemara and Hashkafa.

There are two learning tracks, Chumash or Gemara.  Rabbi Menachem Schrader, founding director of OU-JLIC, Rabbi Robby Charnoff, OU-JLIC educator at Queens College, and Ruthie Braffman Shulman, OU-JLIC educator at Drexel and UPENN will be teaching on the program.

Teachers and administrators from the participating midrashot will give shiurim and visit with their alumni. In addition, renowned guest speakers will teach Torah on the program including Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, Mrs. Leora Bednarsh, and Rabbi Dovid’l Weinberg. The program is centrally located in Jerusalem near the President’s house at Rabbi Ian Pear’s Shir Hadash synagogue located at Ohel Nechama Synagogue.

The need for such a program was realized by Rabbi Robby and Shoshana Charnoff, OU-JLIC co-educators at Queens College, in response to their students’ experiences over their winter breaks in Israel. Students were thirsting to return to a rigorous and growth oriented learning environment, but often it was hard for them to immerse themselves in the shiurim at their midrashot when they were joining in at the middle of a year of classes.

The solution was to create a one-week immersive learning experience in Jerusalem geared specifically to these students in partnership with eight of the most popular midrashot. Students are attending the program from a range of colleges and midrashot, but all share common goals for their winter break experience.  One student noted that “while in college, I am constantly buried in my work and feel like I have little time to learn Torah…I feel that even one week in a place where other[s] are as enthusiastic about Torah and learning as I am will be the exact refresher that I need moving forward.”

Check out our website at to find out more about the program and to apply. Registration closes December 7th.

The article was written OU Staff on November 17, 2015 and can be found here