fbpx
Monday, August 10, 2020

CyberSem Clicks With Jewish Women Eager to Learn Online

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

With her CyberSem Jewish education service, Chavi Goldberg has taken religious women’s empowerment online.

“I saw that boys can get smicha [ordination] online but girls can’t go to seminary online, so I set out to change that,” the Toronto-based educator said.

Goldberg was in Los Angeles on Nov. 16 to meet with parents and students of YULA Girls High School to discuss her online seminary for young women — the first and only seminary of its kind. CyberSem, which officially launched in 2014, enables Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds to continue their Jewish education via online courses.

Goldberg said the idea came about when she was undertaking her doctorate in distance education and realized that online learning in many schools was part of student course requirements in everything from nursing and medicine to engineering and accounting. So, why not Jewish education for women?

CyberSem features everything from Jewish history to Tanakh and Gemara.

CyberSem features everything from Jewish history to Tanakh and Gemara. There currently are 10 courses on offer — including practical courses on Shabbat, family purity and kashrut laws — that run for 12 weeks at a time and cost $350. The next semester begins Jan.1.

Goldberg said she’s particularly excited about a course currently in development based on the Jewish day school curriculum at elementary schools.

“There are many women who send their children to day school but they themselves didn’t attend day school,” Goldberg said. “When their children start learning Humash, the mothers have no way to help them.”

Another course offered focuses on the women in the Bible, not from the Torah but from the Prophets and Writings, who many people don’t know about.

There are a variety of women she thinks could benefit from the online seminary’s offerings, including young women who have attended seminary in Israel between high school and college.

“The girls come back from their seminary [in Israel] and they look at their mothers and their fathers and their old principals and say, ‘Now what do you have available for me?’ And it’s basically blank stares,” said Goldberg, whose own daughter currently attends a seminary in Israel.

“I’m there for the girl who has finished her Israel-based seminary and I’m there for when she comes home,” she said. “I’m also there for the girl who isn’t going to go to seminary.”

And the reasons a young woman might not be going to seminary could be anything from financial constraints to the fact that they’re working or going to a secular college or university, Goldberg said. “CyberSem is an opportunity for them to continue their Jewish subjects, and they can gain transfer credits toward their degrees.”

Goldberg is excited that CyberSem will help women to move forward in their careers while also keeping up their Torah learning.

“As this gains traction, it’s going to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said, “because their learning will continue on a continually sophisticated level.”

She also spoke about how the courses enable women to connect with their Jewish ancestry, which will help them navigate the world of the 21st century.

“The content is structured so that the girls are delving into additional texts and they’re delving into themselves in relation to the people they’re learning about,” she said. “The women were the same as we are. We need to be able to look at them and be inspired by the role models that they are for us. And that they’re not old fogies; they are like women of all times. We share that feminism with common goals and aspirations. That relevance is in all our courses.”

Goldberg hopes her recent visit to the West Coast will help more women of all ages to continue their Jewish educations.

“I’m sure there are many girls who are past seminary stage who would appreciate taking classes on Jewish subjects,” she said. “It helps keep them connected to the Jewish world.”

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

From Iraq, With Love: How to Make the Perfect Sabich

Our family still eats this meal every Shabbat and even if my mother is hosting, I make the eggplant and butternut squash.

Home Shalom Monday Message #20

Home Shalom promotes healthy relationships and facilitates the creation of judgement free, safe spaces in the Jewish community. Home Shalom is a program of...

Elton John Says He and Husband Signed Letter Condemning Racism, Anti-Semitism

"There is no room for any kind of prejudice in music, or in society as a whole."

Jewish Congressional Candidate Alex Morse Faces Allegations of Inappropriate Relationships

He argued that his relationships were consensual but acknowledged that he has "to be cognizant of my position of power."

What Midrash Can Teach Us About Our Current Social and Political Turmoil

There is a lot to be learned from the margins, and from the spaces and silences between words and sentences.

Israeli Protesters in L.A. Call on Netanyahu to Resign

45 Israeli Americans gathered outside the Israeli consulate building on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.

The Orthodox Female Spiritual Leader Working with Converts

Sapir is the only woman in Israel to have successfully completed the five-year course.

Former Major League Player Cody Decker Says Anti-Semitism Is ‘Rampant’ in Pro Baseball

"I hate every half-measure response Major League Baseball always makes.”

President Trump Reportedly Lashed out at Sheldon Adelson, One of His Biggest Donors

Trump was reportedly angry that Adelson wasn't donating more.

Culture

From Iraq, With Love: How to Make the Perfect Sabich

Our family still eats this meal every Shabbat and even if my mother is hosting, I make the eggplant and butternut squash.

Elton John Says He and Husband Signed Letter Condemning Racism, Anti-Semitism

"There is no room for any kind of prejudice in music, or in society as a whole."

Former Major League Player Cody Decker Says Anti-Semitism Is ‘Rampant’ in Pro Baseball

"I hate every half-measure response Major League Baseball always makes.”

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Virtual Theater: ‘Fugu’ Tells Little-Known Holocaust Story

"Fugu" is based on the little-known history of how Japan sheltered 6,000 Lithuanian Jewish refugees in the city of Kobe, to protect them from the Nazis.

Latest Articles
Latest

From Iraq, With Love: How to Make the Perfect Sabich

Our family still eats this meal every Shabbat and even if my mother is hosting, I make the eggplant and butternut squash.

Home Shalom Monday Message #20

Home Shalom promotes healthy relationships and facilitates the creation of judgement free, safe spaces in the Jewish community. Home Shalom is a program of...

Elton John Says He and Husband Signed Letter Condemning Racism, Anti-Semitism

"There is no room for any kind of prejudice in music, or in society as a whole."

Jewish Congressional Candidate Alex Morse Faces Allegations of Inappropriate Relationships

He argued that his relationships were consensual but acknowledged that he has "to be cognizant of my position of power."

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

The Bagel Report: An American Pickle? Sounds Crazy, No?

Erin and Esther dive right into the barrel and pickle their minds in the majestic, artisanal brine that is Seth Rogen's "An American Pickle,"...

Shlomo Fischer: The Jerusalem Protests

Shlomo Fischer and Shmuel Rosner discuss the almost daily protests aking place in Jerusalem. Who are the protesters? Why are they protesting? And how...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x