Hamilton Beit Midrash

Hamilton Beit Midrash


August 26 – 30, 2018

Learn Talmud deeply and well at the Hamilton Beit Midrash, a volunteer-run program hosted by Beth Jacob Synagogue (375 Aberdeen Ave, Hamilton, Ontario). This week-long pilot program is a chance to immerse yourself in rabbinic literature, sharpen your skills, and see the world with new eyes. You can master a text, rather than have a translator filter it for you. You can reforge your relationship with Judaism with depth and joyous authenticity.

A beit midrash is a place where people come together to get to the bottom of texts, both in havruta (with study partners) and in shiur (lesson with the whole group). You are invited to join ours! Write to us for an application form today.

Illustration: Cee Bea Lavery


In the pilot program of the Hamilton Beit Midrash, we want to consider the question of inner architecture. How did the sages build alternate justice-based social relationships and peaceful mental spaces in the midst of unjust societies, and how can we participate in that work?

We will work on Talmud in the morning; in the afternoon we will work with texts that relate to some of the questions we have been raising. On Thursday night we will finish up with a festive get-together where participants will be able to share the ideas they have been developing during their time in the Beit Midrash. For more details, see our schedule below.


Any Jewish adult can apply. Knowing how to sound out Hebrew letters is good. Knowing basic grammar (recognising plurals, common verb patterns, etc) is even better. You do not need to be fluent nor experienced in Talmud study.

Beth Jacob is a barrier-free and wheelchair-accessible space.


The Hamilton Beit Midrash is volunteer-run. A $50 fee is requested for the entire program. This goes towards the lunch which will be provided and to any costs incurred by Beth Jacob Synagogue in the course of hosting us. Those in financial need can and should contact us if the fee presents a problem.

Rough Schedule

Morning: Talmud study, led by R. Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli

9:00 – 11:00 havruta (partner learning)
11:00 – 12:00 shiur (teacher-led lesson)


Afternoon: Associated texts

1:00 – 2:00, or as determined by individual teachers

Four classes are available:

Jewish Philosophy, taught by Dr. Dana Hollander
Text: “As Old As the World?” by Emanuel Levinas

Halakhah, taught by Sarah Magidson
Text: Shulhan Arukh and Mishnah Berurah on hilkhot tefilah (laws of prayer)

Agadata (rabbinic legends and stories), taught by R. Eiran Davies
Text: TBA

Hilkhot Teshuvah, taught by R. Hillel Lavery-Yisraeli
Text: Ramba"m's Mishneh Torah

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