LISHMA AND OMEK
LONG-TERM STUDY IN JERUSALEM
Semester and Year Programs
at the Conservative Yeshiva
We invite you to bring your authentic self to serious text study, and to be a vital part of a community of learners and seekers committed to understanding and appreciating how our ancient traditions work in the world today.
The Lishma study program provides an immersive experience in the world of Torah study and day-to-day Jewish life. Courses at the Conservative Yeshiva focus on traditional texts such as Talmud, Tanach, and Midrash as well as Jewish Philosophy and Prayer, while maintaining a dialogue with modern scholarship and a focus on contemporary applicability. For those considering the rabbinate or other Jewish professional positions, our newly-introduced Omek track is specially-designed to prepare you for that journey.
Across classes, learning is conducted in the traditional Jewish method of chevruta (paired student learning) coupled with engaging shiur (classroom time) with the teacher.
The Beit Midrash (house of study or seeking) is the focal point of the Conservative Yeshiva. Nestled in the warm archways and Jerusalem stone are a wide array of primary and secondary sources and plenty of space for students to study together. The buzz of the Beit Midrash is an inspiring sound that exemplifies and celebrates the sweetness and dynamic nature of traditional Torah study. Class sessions are rich with lively discussion. Your voice will join the voices and opinions of students from around the world. All of it spills out into the streets of central Jerusalem, where you can live your learning.
There is a place for you here.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a virtual coffee!
The Hebrew term Lishma literally translates as “for its own sake.” At the CY, we feel strongly that our canon of ancient and traditional texts offers wisdom and insight on issues we face daily as members of the Jewish community and as citizens of the world. Learning Lishma allows students to put aside preconceived notions and connect authentically with the text and how it relates to their own lives.
We pride ourselves on being an open and inclusive community welcoming all denominations, standards of practice, races, sexual orientations, and gender identities. While the ritual life of the CY community follows traditional Jewish legal opinion, the CY is committed to being egalitarian and a safe space where pluralism of ideas and people flourishes. Prior knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish text are not a requirement.
Staff are ready to help students customize their studies to suit their individual needs and interests, so students may make the most out of their learning experience.
The newly-introduced Omek track allows those on the path of rabbinic training or other leadership positions (pedagogy, liturgy, etc) to engage in a specialized trajectory that addresses specific areas of personal focus, and equips them with greater readiness for the next step in their professional Jewish journey.
Through ongoing mentorship and guidance, Omek students will deepen their Jewish literacy, refine their practices and clarify their personal and professional goals. Students will be encouraged to self-reflect and take an active role in their education, a process that will inform their future successes and increase their overall excellence in Jewish study, community building, and worship innovation.
Students who see Israeli Beit Midrash-style learning as integral to their path to rabbinics and wish or plan to study at institutions and seminaries across the Conservative/Masorti movement are encouraged to inquire about the Omek program. Rabbinical students at the CY in the past have come from a broad range of institutions, including:
- Abraham Geiger Kolleg (Berlin, Germany)
- ALEPH Rabbinic Program (Philadelphia, PA)
- Ecole Rabbinique de Paris (Paris, France)
- Hebrew College (Boston, MA)
- Jewish Theological Seminary (New York City, NY)
- Leo Baeck College (London, UK)
- Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (Wyncote, PA)
- Schechter Institutes (Jerusalem, Israel)
- Zacharias Frankel College (Potsdam, Germany)
- Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Los Angeles, CA)
Rabbi Joel Levy, Rosh Yeshiva
Teaching Topic: Tefillah, Talmud, Halakhah
Rabbi Levy is the Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva where he teaches Talmud, Halakhah, liturgy, and Jewish Thought. He was ordained by Rabbi David Hartman z”l in 2000. Rabbi Levy is a past chair of the Limmud Conference, was director of the NOAM youth movement in the UK, and camp rabbi for many years, is active in the global Masorti Movement, and has been the rabbi of Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue, Britain’s first fully egalitarian traditional shul, since 2001.
Rabbi Joshua Kulp, Senior Scholar
Teaching Topics: Talmud, Halakhah
Dr. Kulp is co-founder of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem where he has taught Talmud and Halakhah for the last 25+ years. Dr. Kulp is the author of three books, The Schechter Haggadah, and Reconstructing the Talmud v. I and v. II. His Mishnah Yomit commentary on the Mishnah is found in its entirety on Sefaria. In addition he continues his work on the Daf Shevui commentary on the Talmud, and and has currently completed commentary on six tractates and has begun a seventh. Originally from Margate, New Jersey, Dr. Kulp spends his summers at Camp Ramah in New England. He made aliyah in 1994 and currently lives in Modi’in with his wife, Julie Zuckerman, and their four children, where he is an avid triathlete and craft beer afficianado.
- Classes meet 4 days a week, Sunday through Wednesday, with Thursdays being devoted to the Israel Education Program.
- Mornings are for Talmud, and afternoon and evening classes cover topics from Bible to Halakhah to Ulpan to Hassidut, and more.
- Students pray together 3 times a day, and the day formally ends with the evening service, but many students choose to participate in evening learning, either in organized group sessions (chavurot) or in study pairs (chevrutot) on topics of their own interest.
- Throughout the year the Yeshiva hosts special events and days of learning focused on Jewish and Israeli holidays.
- Twice a year the the CY has a Shabbaton, which consists of a trip to an area of interest around Israel and a community Shabbat. Students and Faculty work together to create meaningful prayer, learning, and a chance to connect outiside the walls of the Beit Midrash.
English is the basic language of instruction in most CY classes, though some high-level courses may be taught in Hebrew. Knowledge of Hebrew is important in Torah study, as it is the language of most of the traditional texts; therefore, Lishma students ideally come to the CY with at least level “Alef +” Hebrew skills (according to the Israeli Ulpan rating system). For students below this level, we recommend Hebrew study prior to the start of the school year, and discussion with our recruiter. Note: Hebrew level does not factor into acceptance to the Lishma program.
The Conservative Yeshiva offers a discount on the summer program for incoming students, an opportunity for an Ulpan intensive in Israel.
Students may apply for either a full year at the Conservative Yeshiva or just a semester (Fall/Spring). Tuition is charged on a per-semester basis and includes all student-related activities, such as the Thursday Israel Education Program and the Shabbaton.
- Full time = 28+ weekly class hours, $5,000 per semester.
- Part-time rates available upon request.
These prices are for Lishma and Omek students only, not external Rabbinical students.
Financial Assistance and Scholarships
The Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center is committed to making immersive Torah study at the Conservative Yeshiva affordable for all those who seek it.
A limited number of scholarships are available to students willing and able to make a maximum commitment to their year at the CY. Scholarships can include substanial tuition reductions and a living stipend of up to $400 per month for 8 months.
Scholarships are contingent upon meeting the following conditions:
- Enrollment in a full-time course load (at least 28 class hours/week, plus the Thursday Israel Experience Program)
- Regular attendance of all classes, prayer services, and programming
- Involvement in miscellaneous community responsibilities, as needed—both time and effort.
- Willingness and ability to take on formal responsibility and to contribute to the CY community in a tangible way.
Application for this scholarship is included in the Lishma application. For a list of potential outside sources of tuition support, please click here. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help identifying other sources of support.
The Conservative Yeshiva at the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center is proud to be partnering with the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS to offer a new joint MA program designed to help students cultivate the skills and experience necessary to become sought-after, transformational leaders in Jewish education.