About the Kollel

Ze Kollel is a communal learning space geared towards in-depth, committed Jewish learning, and an incubator for developing new talent and creative Europe-based teachers rooted in the Jewish tradition.

Many Jews who are passionate about learning have felt frustrated by the imperfect options available, finding the small groups in the synagogues, pursuit of academic degrees in the universities, or going abroad to learn limited or inaccessible. Women and other marginalized groups are even more limited in their learning opportunities. At Ze Kollel, we aim to change that.


At Ze Kollel, we believe that all Jews are vessels for the text. You are the next phase of a 2000 year conversation, and we want your voice included in the text. Our name is both a nod to the traditional Kollel environments which are often exclusive to men, while also being a transliterated form of the Hebrew term which means, “it includes.” We are traditional, we are rooted, and whoever you are, we need your voice.

Ze Kollel, a collaboration between Hillel Deutschland and OyVey Amsterdam, aims to be both open and deep, inclusive and dedicated. Participants of all genders and Jewish backgrounds commit to one day a week of intensive Bible and Talmud study. In addition, participants will be able to propose independent study paths and take part in diverse, comprehensive evening seminars with guest lecturers from around the globe. Ze Kollel will serve as a local training ground to create a larger cadre of open, compassionate, self-confident, and textually rooted Jewish educators.

Additionally, Ze Kollel is a laboratory for exploring the notion of Jewish learning and teaching. All members of Ze Kollel will be offered opportunities to teach and to develop their skills as potential Jewish educators and leaders. Ze Kollel aims to be a place of personal and spiritual growth with the text as our guide and our fellow students as our companions.


Scroll down for details.

Goals of the kollel

Ze Kollel strives to create a communal atmosphere in which participants bond over deep ideas and have the opportunity to share Jewish identity in a uniquely intellectual and non-dogmatic setting. It will be an unabashedly inclusive space for Jews who would not typically have access to a “yeshiva” environment for reasons of systemic exclusion and prejudice—especially women, LGBTQI* Jews, Jews of color, unmarried people, Jews with a migration background, and others.

All participants of the Kollel will emerge from the program with:

    • New or increased Jewish self-confidence, literacy and a sense of ownership of Jewish text

    • New or increased pedagogical skills to further the transmission of Jewish textual tradition

    • Tools to continue Talmud study beyond the course of the program

    • The ability to write and express original commentary on primary Jewish sources, including the Talmud and the Bible

In addition, every semester of the Kollel produces a commentary on its own chapter of Talmud. Please check out our past commentaries on this page!

This semester, we’ll be diving into the 15th and 16th chapter of Tractate Yevamot.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

For 2022, the Kollel is seeking applications from Jewish adults ages 18 and up. We are looking in particular for those who have demonstrated leadership experience in their Jewish community (through student groups, community engagement, volunteering, or otherwise) as well as people who are “experts” in unique fields (advocacy, art, music, academia, politics, etc.) and are seeking a deep Jewish perspective to layer onto their work. We are happy to consider applications from any individuals over 18 years of age, particularly those who have been exempted from this path of study in the past.


Location

The Kollel will assume a multi-access model of online and in-person learning.

We will start the semester in this multi-access formation, and make adjustments based on the relevant country Corona guidelines.

The Kollel’s multi-access (or hybrid) model means that there will be multiple hubs of learning. While centered at the Hillel Deutschland space in Berlin, there will also be hubs of Kollel learning in Amsterdam, with our partners at OyVey Amsterdam, and in Barcelona, with our friends at Mozaika. This will afford for a mixture of the online and in-person experience.

We also welcome applications from other German and European cities who would commit to online participation. The Kollel is designed to meet the needs of both online and in-person learning. To the best of our ability, we will assign chavrutot (study pairs) within the same city.


Jewish Identity

Applicants should identify strongly as Jewish. Our goal is to create a community of Jews who are dedicated to intellectual exploration and to building a strong Jewish communal future in that vein. The Kollel is not a program to study Judaism from an academic perspective. We would be happy to direct you to other Hillel programs that would be more suitable for these types of study and engagement. Thank you for your understanding.


Languages

The Kollel courses will be taught in English, and applicants should feel comfortable speaking and reading in English, although a German translation of the Talmud will also be provided. All chavruta (paired study) sessions will take place in the language most comfortable for each pair. Past Chevrutot have learned in German, Russian, English, Hebrew, Spanish, Serbian, and Dutch.


Commitment and Output

All Applicants are expected to be able to attend a minimum of 10 of the 16 morning sessions. In addition, each semester of the Kollel learns a chapter of Talmud (this semester will be the 15th and 16th chapter of Yevamot) and writes their own unique commentary----every member of the Kollel is expected to contribute their own thoughts and self to the commentary! Finally, members of the Kollel are highly encouraged to share some of their own Torah---whether that means teaching a Parsha class, an evening session, or bringing some of their own skills in ways that strengthen the Kollel community.

Zeitplan

The Kollel meets every Monday from 9.00 until 13:00. Additionally, there will be optional evening classes taught by some

of Europe and North America’s leading educators every Monday evening from 19:30-21:00.

Below is the tentative schedule for Kollel meeting dates, as well as events and immersive programs. Due to COVID-19, the schedule is subject to change.

Applicants are expected to be able to attend a minimum of 10 of the 16 morning sessions.

Additionally, there will be a Kollel Shabbaton at some mutually agreed upon date during the semester. The Shabbaton is in many ways the culmination of our work, a weekend filled with deep learning and meaningful conversations. Attendance isn’t mandatory, but is encouraged, and travel subsidies will be provided!

Kollel dates are as follows:

February 28

March 7

March 14

March 21

March 28

April 4

April 11

April 25

May 2

May 9

May 16

May 23

May 30

June 13

June 20

June 27 (SIYYUM)

Application Timeline

Application - Spring 2022

This semester we will do interviews on a rolling basis.

Tuesday, January 11 Applications Open

Monday, January 31 Application Deadline

By Monday, February 7 Confirmation of participation

Monday, February 28 First Session

CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

DOWNLOAD OUR LAST COMMENTARY 5782

DOWNLOAD OUR COMMENTARY 5781