Audio: Torah Lifestyle with Creativity in Bat Ayin

An interview about the yishuv of Bat Ayin and Midreshet B'erot with Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum
3/29/2011, 10:45 PM

A7 Radio's "Welcome to the Tribe" with Gabriella Licsko
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In this week's "Welcome to the Tribe ", we take you to the yishuv of Bat Ayin in the Gush Etzion region of Judea. Bat Ayin is were you can a unique way of life, outlook, even its own culture. There is strong and strict Torah observance combined with creativity, organic agriculture, mysticism and spirituality. There are friendly and welcoming people, but strict rules to be accepted as a community member. There is a breathtaking mountain view but uneasy public transportation. 

Bat Ayin was established in 1989 and is a colorful combination of different sub-communities and often called outsiders, a HaBaKuk community, an acronym for Chabad, Breslov, Kook, Carlebach. The village is home to many artists, farmers, healers, and rabbis. Amongst them are a high percentage of Baal Tshuva. It was the home of murdered Erez Levanon ztz`l and Shlomo Nativ ztz`l as well. 

Bat Ayin has a well-known yeshiva, and one woman from the village started a clothing business, called Bat Ayin, making the yishuv's name a trademark as well. Today they have many branches of Bat Ayin stores all over Israel selling a type of clothing which is so popular in the Yehuda and Shomron areas.

But please don`t forget one of the yishuv's most important institutions, Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin. It is a unique Torah program for English speaking women of all ages and backgrounds, who are looking for a spiritual Torah environment combined with gardening and creative self expression. The student body of the school is wide ranging, from frum-from-birth girls, baale tshuva, and conversion candidates, literally from all over the world. The founder and director is Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum who is a real pioneer in women's Torah education in combining study and creativity.

In today's show you will get to know more about the yishuv and about the midrasha and its unique approach in an interview with Rebbetzin Siegelbaum. 

Gabriella Licsko is a lecturer on Jewish history and society focusing on different religious communities. She leads tours of different neighborhoods in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as tours across the country. Gabriella holds a bachelor's degree in Culture Studies and a master's degree in Jewish Studies and made aliyah from Hungary in 2007. She hosts the Welcome to the Tribe podcast every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Israel National Radio.
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