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Night sem a first for Joburg Jewry

20140204_194655.jpgWhat does a Jewish girl do when she finishes school? She might enrol at university or take a gap year and travel Europe or the Far East. If she is a religious girl, there is a good chance that she'd study at a women's seminary in Israel, the UK or the USA.

Unfortunately, not every girl who wants to study in seminary gets the chance to do so. Many girls who want to get started on their degree would love to further their Jewish study at the same time. Typically, her choices have been black or white: Either travel abroad or put Jewish study on the back burner.

Now, thanks to the foresight and enthusiasm of Chaya Avtzon, girls will have the chance to progress their Jewish learning, as they study in college. Starting this coming Tuesday evening, girls from around Joburg, representing a wide range of communities, will join together for SA's first-ever "Night Sem". 

For now, the programme runs one night a week, on a Tuesday, but the vision is to have this unique programme grow and expand.

Semester one sees two classes, Rabbi Carlebach's on the Parsha and Rabbi Shishler's on "Stories from the Tanach that everyone misunderstands", followed by a Pilates class. 

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2014 bursts into life!

These December holidays were like sitting on the runway, rumbling with the throttle of all four engines and just waiting for the pilot to let the brake go. We had a wide range of exciting initiatives just waiting for January to come so we could kick them into motion.

And it sure has been exciting, thank G-d!

We started the year with new hands on deck- both staff (driver and admin lady) and volunteer teams who are getting stuck in to fixing up admin, tackling finances and launching new projects. 

You can already see the results. Our year flew into high gear with the launch of a fascinating parenting course with the "Super Granny". Then we launched our new girls' night seminary, drawing 50 girls from diverse backgrounds for an evening of sushi-making, socializing and study. The programme will initially run on Tuesday nights and includes two shiurim and a pilates class.

Rabbi Shishler's Tanya class is back on from this week, his new series is all about "Keeping your chin up". Next week, Spirituality for the Thinking Mom gets back into the saddle on Thursday mornings.

Our most exciting project to date is the inter-community collaborative programme called "Da'as". Da'as is a learning programme that is shared by ourselves, Chabad of Sandton and the Shul of Hyde Park. Watch this space for developments around this innovative programme.

The Shul will focus inward on Friday, 14th January, with a community-building Friday night Chinese dinner. And then, Purim is right around the corner and we're hatching a great event for the 16th of March. 

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