Audio: Trailblazing Torah teacher: Sharona Halickman

The first female spiritual leader in NY, Sharona Halickman cooked up a new type of women's yeshiva in Israel.
6/7/2012, 8:40 PM

A7 Radio's "Life Lessons with Judy Simon" with Judy Simon
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As the first female spiritual leader in Riverdale NY, Sharona Halickman is a trailblazer in Jewish women's learning.
At first, her role in Rabbi Avi Weiss's synagogue was portrayed as controversial, but then people saw value
in having a woman in the community to turn to for bat mitzvah guidance, for female converts and at prayer services in the synagogue.
Sharona and her husband kept their Aliyah plans secret from the community until right before departure date.
Once in Israel, Sharona couldn't find a learning program for women which integrated every aspect of Jewish life.
So she opened a new program, Midreshet Devorah ( a subsidiary of Torat Reva which Sharona also spearheaded),
which incorporated Torah study, Jewish thought, and Hebrew ulpan with cultural activities, community work, hiking trips, and cooking.
Within a few years, at the request of a student, Sharona created a joint program with the Jerusalem Culinary Institute,
which combines a professional kosher cooking school with a Torah learning program.
Tune in to find out more, and check out the website:

Judy Simon is the Host of Life Lessons on Israel National Radio as well as the Beit El Tourism Coordinator. Click here to see the Beit El Heritage Center Facebook page

Judy Simon is the host of the show Life Lessons and the mother of six children. After almost 20 years of teaching English and special education, Judy now serves as the Beit El Tourism Coordinator, and organizes tours of the site of Jacob's Dream in Beit El. Check out Beit El's website: and "like" the Beit El Heritage Center Facebook page: To "like" the Hebrew page: Life Lessons explores fascinating people from all walks of life and follows their stories of lessons learned along the way. The Life Lessons podcast airs every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio.
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