Yeshivat Maharat is the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities. While there are institutions that provide a place for women to engage in serious Torah study, Yeshivat Maharat has taken an important step further. Through a rigorous curriculum of Talmud, halakhic decision-making (psak), pastoral counseling, and leadership development, our graduates will be prepared to assume the responsibility and authority to be poskot (legal arbiters) for the community. Maharat is a Hebrew acronym for Manhiga Hilkhatit Rukhanit Toranit, one who is teacher of Jewish law and spirituality.
Yeshivat Maharat is changing the communal landscape by actualizing the potential of Orthodox women as rabbinic leaders. Yeshivat Maharat represents a natural evolution towards a pluralistic community, where women and men, from every denomination, can enhance the Jewish world.
As of 2012, Yeshivat Maharat has 14 students currently enrolled, and will grow each year. Upon completion of Yeshivat Maharat’s four-year program, having served as interns and visiting scholars, our graduates will be qualified and equipped as to serve as Jewish leaders in the Orthodox community and beyond.
Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, is a member of the rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Following graduation from Barnard College, Columbia University, she completed Drisha’s three-year Scholars Circle Program. She then studied for five additonal years under the auspices of Rabbi Avi Weiss, and received ordination from Rabbi Weiss and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Rabba Hurwitz helped create JOFA’s Gender and Orthodoxy Curriculum Project. She was named as one of the Jewish Weeks 36 under 36, a “top pick” in the Forward50 most influential Jewish leaders, and one of Newsweek’s 50 most influential rabbis.