September 24th, 2019
In the midst of its second decade, Hadar offers a powerful, immersive Jewish text learning environment that empowers Jews to create vibrant, egalitarian communities of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed. In the last few years, in an increasingly socially fragmented world, Hadar has experienced unprecedented growth and demand for its programs. People are thirsty for Jewish content that authentically guides and inspires. In turn, Hadar learners want to share their meaningful experiences with others by creating community.
Hadar is a place where the Torah is sharp and the people are sweet, and being here has been an incredibly important and transformative experience for me. It’s one of the only places where I feel I can be honest about who I am and what I believe in and care about. I feel grateful to live in a world in which this beit midrash and this community exists.
– Alum of Hadar Fellowship
As Hadar implements an ambitious strategic plan–its annual budget now tops $6 million–new initiatives and programs continue to engage people with varying levels of knowledge, passions, and visions for future Jewish life. Hadar’s Rising Song Jewish Music Residency, a year-long immersive study program for students of Jewish music and spiritual tradition, trains musical change agents to cultivate Jewish spiritual life across the full, pluralistic range of Jewish expression. Its Moot Beit Din programs offers a unique mock-trial experience for halakhic debate in high schools and colleges. The Pedagogy of Partnership, powered by Hadar, focuses on relationship-centered education, training teachers to modify and advance their teaching practices. And the Advanced Kollel is for students with an extensive learning background committed to a multi-year intensive course of study.
More people than ever are engaging in these programs—there are over 600 alumni of Hadar’s summer and year-long fellowship programs, and 2,000 alumni of its dozen week-long programs. Hadar’s online podcasts, classes, and music offerings are downloaded by more than two million people annually. Hadar has also expanded regular programming outside New York in cities such as Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia and Jerusalem.
Hadar made me see the possibility of living a Jewish life that does not compromise my identity or my values.
– Participant in Hadar program
Hadar’s timely resources include a new High Holiday “reader,” a printable, designed, free collection of seasonal essays from their faculty. Hadar’s Israel operation is busy with its Elul program for university-age Israelis studying in an immersive all-Hebrew beit midrash setting that embodies Hadar’s vision of Jewish learning and an embrace of gender equality. And registration is open for Hadar’s second-ever National Shabbaton, January 31, 2020, for a weekend of learning, community-building, prayer, and music.
Deeply rooted in our texts and traditions, Hadar’s learning experiences are a creative response to contemporary questions and challenges. As Jews re-evaluate questions of identity and affiliation, Hadar is well-positioned to meet their needs and to impact diverse audiences through its vision of Torah that is uncompromisingly honest, spiritually meaningful, and socially responsible.
The Jim Joseph Foundation is a funder of Hadar. Access Hadar’s High Holiday reader here.