An Innovative Approach to Jewish Learning For College Students
At a time of great concern about the future of the Jewish people and how to reach young adults at an age when so many critical choices are made, MEOR is demonstrating that innovation in Jewish education on college campuses can have significant impact.
MEOR offers sophisticated and personalized Jewish learning—a rarity in the years between adolescence and parenthood when Jewish connection so often disappears. Each student is empowered to begin a unique Jewish journey, supported and encouraged by the dynamic MEOR community of rabbis, educators, mentors and students.
Below are answers to questions most often asked about what we are doing, why and how. For parent or student-specific FAQ, try these other informative pages:
What do students learn?
- To appreciate the meaning, beauty, intellectual and spiritual depth of Judaism
- To understand Jewish study as a path for personal growth
- To grapple with life’s most difficult questions from a Jewish perspective
- To seek the “why” of Jewish practice and tradition
- To grasp the relevance, challenge and personal meaning of encountering great Jewish thinkers, both past and present
- To cherish questioning, learning and growing within their own heritage
- To find support, encouragement and guidance in Jewish friends, mentors and rabbis
What is MEOR's goal?
- To inspire a deep lifelong personal Jewish identity and connection that will enrich their lives and ensure a vibrant Jewish future
- To ignite the Jewish spark within each student that will energize and inspire them as they emerge from the campus into adult life
Where does learning happen?
- In weekly Maimonides program sessions combining teaching and outstanding guest speakers during the academic year
- In one-on-one informal conversations with MEOR rabbis and educators
- Around the shabbat dinner table, in shabbatons and other outings
- Through discussion and exploration with other MEOR students
- In learning-oriented travel to Israel and other Jewish heritage sites
How is MEOR Different?
- MEOR introduces students to religious exploration through traditional Jewish texts, philosophy, ethics, character development, practice and more
- MEOR integrates learning and study with social activities and Israel travel for a comprehensive Jewish experience
- MEOR encourages growth of personal Jewish identity and meaning
What background is needed?
- MEOR welcomes students from a wide range of backgrounds and prior Jewish education—from little to no knowledge of what it means to be Jewish, to having attended Sunday school or Jewish day school
- MEOR students may begin with some Hebrew or none
- Some students may have primarily cultural or secular Jewish backgrounds, while others have more knowledge of Jewish practices and traditions
- All are encouraged to learn, explore and grow as individuals
Who are the educators?
- MEOR educators are rabbis and teachers who share a commitment to our educational philosophy and to working with Jewish students of diverse backgrounds to encourage engagement in Jewish learning. Drawing upon their own journeys, they are able to relate effectively to young adults seeking answers to some of life’s most challenging questions.
- MEOR educators bring varied life experiences, academic and professional backgrounds, and their own pathways into Jewish connection, to inspire and educate students. Our educators practice traditional Judaism, while inviting students to understand and be part of the complex mosaic of modern Jewish community.
How do we measure results?
- Through annual surveys in which students provide feedback about the program and its impact on them
- Through a range of choices MEOR students often make that reflect greater Jewish connection following their participation in the program, such as:
- Pursuing advanced Jewish study opportunities in Israel or the U.S.
- Actively advocating for Israel on campus
- Exploring opportunities to live in Israel for a year or to make aliyah
- Increasing Jewish practice and observance
- Marrying a Jewish spouse
- Seeking internships or work opportunities with Jewish organizations
Does MEOR work with Hillel?
- Yes! MEOR actively partners with Hillel and other organizations on many campuses and works collaboratively to provide a type of Jewish learning experience that otherwise would not be available.
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