Safed Learning Centers

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Tzfat Learning Centers
Tzfat Learning Centers
מרכזי למידה בצפת
Mer-caz’ei L’Mi-dah
Learning centers in Tzfat that teach visiters and locals about Judaism and Kabbalah.

Individuals can find the type of Jewish learning that they are looking for in Tzfat, whether it be for beginning students or advanced scholars.


[edit] Overview

Throughout its history Safed has been a center of Jewish learning. In the 3rd millennia Tzfat was reported to be a City of Refuge for the “Cohanim” -- priestly families -- of Jerusalem. In the 15th century Tzfat became the “City of Kabbalah” because many of the great Kabbalah scholars of the time moved to the city to study and write. During the 18th and 19th century Tzfat attracted numerous great Eastern European Hassidic and Midnagdic rabbis of the era.

Today, Tzfat enjoys a reputation as a center of Jewish scholarship and Torah study. Many people, including Jews who are unaffiliated, find that they can explore their heritage in an open and accepting environment. Tzfat institutions provide warm accommodating atmospheres where people of all backgrounds can explore Judaism.

[edit] Livnot U’Lehibanot

Livnot U’Lehibanot” -- To Build and Be Built -- is an Israel Experience Program for individuals aged 21 - 30 who have little or no Jewish background or affiliation but wish to delve into their heritage. The Livnot program combines hiking, volunteering, seminars, workshops and community involvement in a holistic program of Jewish experiential activities. The short and long-term programs run throughout the year. The Livnot campus is on Alkabetz Street in the Old Jewish Quarter of Tzfat.

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[edit] Ascent

The Ascent Institute operates a low-cost hostel where people can stay while they attend classes and learn more about Tzfat and Judaism. Ascent offers a well-stocked library with a staff rabbi who is on hand to answer questions and give advice. Classes run throughout the week and Ascent provides Shabbat meal hospitality with local families for the hostel’s Shabbat guests. Programs are geared to individuals who have little or no Jewish background. The Ascent Institute is located on HaAri Street on the edge of the Old Jewish Quarter of Tzfat and is associated with the local Chabad community.

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[edit] International Center for Tzfat Kabbalah

The International Center of Tzfat Kabbalah is on the second floor of the Fig Tree Gallery on Alkabetz Street in the Old City. The Center offers tours and other programs for Jews and non-Jews which provide an overview of Kabbalah study. In keeping with its identification as promoting authentic Kabbalah of Tzfat, the Center teaches that Kabbalah is a Jewish Torah-based discipline, though non-Jews may find wisdom within Kabbalah that affirms their own beliefs. The Center sells books and offers a 15-minute movie that gives an overview of Kabbalah.

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[edit] Nehora

The Nehora School provides scholarly Kabbalah study options to individuals who want to learn more about Jewish mysticism. The school offers web-based classes for people to allow them to study individually or in groups. Nehora is operated by a student of the Rav Ashlag school of Kabbalah and concentrates on authentic Kabbalah readings and interpretations of the texts. Nehora is run out of the home of the school’s founder, Yedida Cohen, in the Kiryat Sarah/Ibikur neighborhood of Tzfat.

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[edit] Sha’arei Bina/Shalom Rav

Sha’arei Bina and Shalom Rav are partner institutions which offer Judaic studies for beginning and advanced students. The institutions, a yeshiva and a seminary for girls, personalize their studies and attract students who come from Jewish-identified homes but wish to deepen their connections to Orthodox Judaism through study and experiences. Shalom Rav is located on Bar Yochai Street in the Old Jewish Quarter of Tzfat and Sha’arei Bina is on Alorzoroff Street in the Artists Quarter.

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[edit] Machon Alte and Tememei Derech

Chabad’s presence in Tzfat has a long history. The Machon Alte girls’ seminary serves girls from post high school through young adulthood with different programs, including programs for French, Russian, Hebrew and English-speaking girls. The seminary provides learning opportunities for young women with little or no Jewish background who wish to learn about Judaism through the perspective of Chabad Hassidus. Men of all ages and backgrounds can study Torah and Chassidic texts at Chabad’s Tememei Derech yeshivah, located in the Tzmech Tzedek synagogue on Hatam Sofer Street in the Old City. Both Tememei Derech and Machon Alte offer trips and other experiential activities for students.

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[edit] Additional Learning Option

In addition to the larger institutions, Tzfat offers a wide variety of study options for men and women of all ages and backgrounds including study at Sephardic, Breslev, Sanz and other institutions.

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