For eleven years, Yeshiva Har Bracha has been running the Shiluvim program. Shiluvim, or ‘combining’ in English, is a unique program for students who have completed the army and want to combine academic studies with high level Torah learning. The program was established in cooperation with the University Center in Ariel and the Settlement Division of the Jewish Agency. Starting in the academic Jewish year of 5768 (2008), the program is designated for female students as well.
Goals of the Program
- Support and encouragement for single and married Yeshiva students to obtain a fully recognized academic degree and thereby integrate into the work force.
- To raise the socio-economic standard amongst Yeshiva graduates.
- To allow soldiers who have completed their regular army duty but lack formal Torah learning experience, the ability to attend Torah studies simultaneously with their academic studies.
The Comprehensive Program
- Studies towards an academic degree with a minimum scope of 80%.
- Torah studies with a minimum scope of 20 hours per week.
- Stipends for students according to their participation in the Torah study hall.
- Housing in the Yeshiva dormitories for single students and rental apartments for married students.
- Every student is obligated to complete all academic requirements on time!
Periods of Study
The hours which the student is obligated to learn in the study hall are divided between learning in pairs or small groups accompanied by a rabbi, and participation in regular classes. The system is built on a personal basis for each student in accordance to his or her number of academic hours. Certain days the students learn a full day in the learning hall, while other days they learn just in the evening hours. The great flexibility is made possible due to the diverse classes given in the Yeshiva and the integration in existing classes for the Kollel students and the Hesder Yeshiva. Certain classes are tailored specifically for students lacking a Torah background.
The Teaching Staff
The teaching staff in this program includes Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and the Rabbi of the community, and the rabbi’s who teach in the Yeshiva. In addition, there is a professional program coordinator that accompanies the students in the preparation of their learning program and implements inspections on the presence of the students and their participation in the classes. The rabbi’s are all graduates of Yeshiva’s with at least 12 years of study in higher Yeshivot and a certificate of education. A number of them have Masters Degrees, while the remainder all possess Bachelor’s degrees and rabbinic ordination which are recognized by the Ministry of Education as being equivalent to a Master’s degree.
Students who participate in the program are exempt from taking obligatory Jewish Heritage courses according to the scope of their participation.