As a student who is looking for something more out of your college years, MEOR is definitely the right destination. This is where you can feel free, open, authentic, challenged, and connected.
Ask about any topic you want. Hear outstanding guest speakers. Join discussions with other outstanding students who share your interests in exploring the deeper questions of life. Meet amazing rabbis and teachers. Share incredible Shabbat dinners…and more!
There are few times in my life where I’ve been so enthralled in someone speaking that I literally feel paralyzed in both thought and motion. I would love to learn about each Hebrew letter’s unique symbolism in the future, even if it takes years!
- Shari Siegel, MEOR at George Washington University
What will I learn with MEOR?
MEOR introduces you to some of the greatest thinkers, writers and sages of Jewish history, combining ancient wisdom with contemporary voices. Through study of classical texts, you’ll discover the relevance of Judaism to today’s world and issues. You will be encouraged to explore a sophisticated approach to Jewish learning and grapple with life’s most challenging questions at a level commensurate with their intelligence and growing maturity.
Who are the rabbis and other teachers?
MEOR rabbis and teachers are individuals who personally practice traditional Judaism while being supportive and committed to helping students become Jewishly educated, literate and empowered. They are fully committed to MEOR’s open educational philosophy.
What kind of Jewish background do I need to have?
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 at all. 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 – and all are welcome.
Does MEOR pressure students to become more observant?
No. MEOR’s approach is to explain the “why” of Jewish traditions and practices, encouraging you to ask questions and think for yourselves. For example, students interested in social justice discover the foundational concepts in Jewish philosophy, ethics, Torah and tradition that are relevant to tikkun olam. Students who want to learn more about why someone might choose to keep kosher have the opportunity to explore the meaning of kashrut and issues relevant to contemporary life.
What is the goal of the program?
MEOR’s goal is to create the next generation of Jewish leaders by investing in students like you on leading U.S. campuses today.
How is MEOR different from Hillel or other Jewish campus organizations and does MEOR collaborate with them?
MEOR focuses on in-depth Jewish learning for students who are seeking that opportunity as part of their college experience. We welcome collaboration with other groups and actively seek it where possible. Resources, Jewish student population, campus character and other factors vary significantly across the 21 schools where MEOR currently offers programs. MEOR classes are often held at Hillel facilities or university classrooms.
What is MEOR like socially? Will I have time to meet and get to know other Jewish students?
MEOR fosters a uniquely vibrant and bonded social community on campus. Every MEOR program incorporates time and space for discussion, socializing, and connecting with your fellow classmates. Many students have formed bonds that last well beyond their college years with other MEOR alumni, as relationships are formed in an inspiring and meaningful environment. We also know how to have a good time – with fun activities, trips, Shabbatons, meals, and more.
What is the cost of the program?
All on-campus MEOR programming is free; in fact, you will receive a stipend for completing the Maimonides Leaders Fellowship, as well as Maimonides II, which many students opt to use towards a MEOR Israel program.
Why do we receive a stipend? Are we being “paid” to study?
In today’s world of escalating college costs and financial pressures, MEOR recognizes that the time you are committing to the program is significant, valuable and not eligible for academic credit. Thanks to the support of generous donors, we provide a small stipend to students who complete the Maimonides program. Some students apply this stipend toward a MEOR-sponsored trip to Israel.
How is a MEOR Israel trip different from a Birthright trip am I still eligible if I’ve done a Birthright trip?
MEOR Israel trips combine significant Jewish learning with travel around the land of Israel and visits to historic sites. In that respect, they are a different type of experience than Birthright and often complementary. Students who have gone on a previous Birthright trip are eligible for MEOR trips, provided they also meet other requirements.