Women's Learning Fellowship in Penn

women learning fellowship penn2CTL is proud to support this women's learning initiative, brought to our attention by Migdal Oz alumna, Ricki Notis.

The Orthodox Community at Penn (OCP) is the home-base for many Orthodox students at Penn, providing a religious environment and social support network. One important facet of the community is the Torah learning it enables and inspires. However, a few OCP women who graduated in 2012 noticed that the learning environment is sometimes male-dominated. First-year students, especially those returning to America from a year of intensive study at a Midrasha in Israel, sometimes found fewer opportunities for women to pursue Torah learning than they would have liked. In seeking to provide more forums in which women could explore Torah in a comfortable and unique way, the Women’s Learning Fellowship was born. Two to three fellows each year set up the infrastructure for women's learning to thrive. The fellows also serve as role models of female religious leadership in the Orthodox community, an increasingly important need to fill.

The role of the fellows entails the following duties:

women learning fellowship penn11. Approximately 8 hours each week spent learning in Chevrutot with women in the community, especially first-year women. Each Chevruta is geared towards the interests and learning background of both the fellow and her learning partner.
2. Weekly Chaburah given by the fellows (each fellow on alternating weeks), on topics ranging from lessons from Mussar classics to models of significant women in Tanach.

The goals of the Women’s Learning Fellowship include:

1. Fostering a strong, tight-knit community of Orthodox women at Penn, especially focusing on relationships between first-years and upper-class students
2. Increasing the presence of women in the Beit Midrash and the OCP learning environment.
3. Engaging the community in discussions about women in Orthodoxy and as religious leaders.