Arutz Sheva visited the Matan Women's Institute for Torah Studies and met with inspired and inspiring educators and students at Matan’s main center in Jerusalem.

Rabbanit Malka Bina, the Chancellor and Directot of Matan, said: "Matan is an outstanding Torah institution where all women can come from all walks of life, from all ages, and learn Torah."

Rabbanit Yael Leibowitz, a Matan teacher, said: "Matan has completely changed the landspace or women's learning in Israel and abroad."

Rabbanit Shani Taragin, Eshkolot Educational Director, said that Matan "enables and empowers women to continue to learn beyond their years of high school and seminary."

Women studying at Matan
Gilad Mor
Although there is an emphasis on sources and classes in Hebrew, Matan also puts a great deal of effort into the English speaking community with a wide range of learning programs taught in English.

"We have special learning classes and days for the Anglos here in Jerusalem, also in Ra'anana and other centers in Israel. Anglos want to have shiurim (lectures) in English. Obviously the language makes it easier," Rabbanit Bina said.

Women studying at Matan
Gilad Mor
Torah, Mishna, and Talmud are studied worldwide, but there is no doubt that, on so many levels, there is something unique and powerful about learning Jewish texts and Judaism in the Jewish land.

Matan student Tamar Benovitz said: "There's an element of spirituality everywhere in the country, but especially in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), so learning Torah in Yerushayalim is really a gift."

"Tanach comes to life here," said Rabbanit Taragin. "It's very difficult to understand certain narratives in Tanach unless one goes out to the places to which they refer."

Women studying at Matan
Gilad Mor

In addition to many different classes, lectures and intensive study sessions, Matan created and runs unique programs like the international Bat Mitzvah program, the Advanced Halakha Institute, the Matan Educators Institute, the Advanced Talmud Beit Midrash and the Morot L’Halakha program.

"The Matan Bat Mitzvah program began about 20 years ago. It's ten sessions that mothers and daughters learn together about Jewish women throughout the ages," Rabbait Bina said.

"The Eshkolot program is a program where we bring educators from North America and train them here in Israel, both by getting to know the land and by immersion in the Hebrew language - which is how one should be learning Tanach - developing skills and scope and love for Tanach so that they can then enthuse their students when they return to chutz la'aretz (the Diaspora)," Rabbanit Taragin said.

"Matan also has a program, Morot L’Halakha, in Ra'anana, in which I teach young women how to answer questions that are going to be very relevant for their community lives when they serve as leaders in their communities," Rabbanit Taragin added.

And so, since 1988, when Matan was founded by Rabbanit Malke Bina, it has been dedicated to empowering women, who are passionate about the Torah and sensitive towards the needs of individuals and the community. The goal? To learn...and to lead.

(Look for Matan's Rosh Chodesh essays at the start of the new Hebrew month in Arutz Sheva's Judaism section.)

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