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TALMUD TORAH: Becoming Teachers of Written & Lived Torah  


WE ALL HAVE TORAH TO TEACH. It may come from a favorite text or from our lived experience. This year, through our text-based classes and our experiential programming, we will be building our community of teachers and learning from one another's unique Torah.


Would you love to give a Dvar Torah at an upcoming family Simcha? Have you thought about teaching Nothing But the Pshat but don't know how to prepare? Is there a Shiur you’ve been wanting to give but need help pulling together the sources? Through our Mishmar Chevruta matching program, you can accomplish these goals and more.

You can develop your ideas with Rav Yosef, Rabbanit Alissa, or one of our expert lay teachers. We will work together to help you identify your specific teaching goal, and guide you on the journey to reaching it.


At our Chai Lifeline training, at our Addiction or Inclusion Shabbatons, in Briyut HaNefesh, or at Vachai Bahem: End of Life Care Series, impart the Torah you have learned from your own experiences as you learn the Torah of others as well. Torah learning and teaching emerge from the words on the page and from the experiences that jump off of it.


Classes with Rav Yosef & Rabbanit Alissa

Blessing israel with love:


Sunday Nights, 8:30 - 9:00 PM
At the Home of Andrea and Larry Gill 

Using the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brurah as our basic texts, we’ll continue our fascinating discussion about the rituals and traditions of Birkat Kohanim. Whether you are a Kohen or a Bat Kohen, a Levi, or Bat Levi, a Yisrael or a Yisraelit, you’ll delight in becoming one of the smartest  people in Shul. Texts available in Hebrew and in English, and all learning levels and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged.  With Rav Yosef.

the brachot we recite and live:

Gemara Shiur

Monday Nights, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
BDJ Beit Midrash

Brush off your Gemara, and come join Rav Yosef for our interactive and thought-provoking Gemara Shiur. This year we’ll be continuing our study of Masechet Brachot,  focusing on the sixth chapter. This chapter discusses the blessings that we recite before eating, and branches out into discussions pertaining to the laws of “taking challah,” Pesach, Yom Kippur and other practical areas! Every Shiur begins with guided Chevruta study, giving you the opportunity to strengthen your independent Gemara learning skills. Participants use their own choice of Gemara text (traditional, Steinsaltz, ArtScroll, etc.). Prior Gemara  experience is beneficial, and good Hebrew reading is important.

midrash group

Tuesdays, 7:45 - 8:45 AM, following Schacharit
BDJ Beit Midrash

The Midrash is a fascinating amalgam of rabbinic wisdom, biblical interpretation, and clever word play. Join Rav Yosef and this vibrant study group and get better  acquainted with this wonderful text. The class is ongoing, but newcomers are welcome to join any time.


nothing But the pshat

During Seudah Shlishit
BDJ Beit Midrash

Each Shabbat, Rav Yosef, Rabbanit Alissa, or one of the wonderful cadre of BDJ teachers, selects one section of the upcoming week’s Parsha, and delves into its “Pshat,” i.e. the meaning that is yielded by a close, careful reading of the words and phrases the Parsha uses. This is a great opportunity to build your teaching skills and share Torah.



Tuesdays and Thursdays
Arrives in your inbox

Shabbat is ridiculously wonderful, and it’s also, halachikly speaking a little complicated - two facts that are actually interconnected. This year, twice-weekly, Rav Yosef and Rabbanit Alissa will be emailing short, interesting, and important insights on the Laws and Spirit of Shabbat, beginning with the halachot of Candle Lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat.

To sign up email us at

Click Here for an archive of Shabbat Shorts.

parsha plug

Tuesdays, 7:30 - 8:30 pm
BDJ Beit Midrash

Looking to infuse your week with more Torah? Thirsting for a class with in-depth Parsha learning? Plug into the energy of the weekly Parsha with Rabbanit Alissa. We will learn the Parsha together with a variety of commentaries, including the classics as well as modern, Chasidic, and Mussar perspectives! This year, our shiur will focus on our skills as learners and teachers and give us material to bring straight to our Shabbat tables.

Click here for more information & an archive of Rabbanit Alissa's source sheets.




briyut hanefesh

Thursday Mornings 7:45-8:45 AM
BDJ Conference Room

Briyut HaNefesh is a mental wellness support group. It is a holistic fusion of Torah and psychosocial support for those in need of emotional, social, and spiritual support. The group is facilitated by Rabbanit Alissa. This is a safe and confidential space and is a meaningful way to learn both from your own lived Torah experiences as well as from those of others. To participate please contact Rabbanit Alissa at                              


Shabbatons and Special Classes
















SHABBAT, November 10-11, 2017

Addiction is a painful illness that is isolating and destructive. It is also unfortunately common and much more varied than we may realize. As we continue to promote mental health awareness, join us for a special Shabbat to learn about addiction. With our local partner organizations, we will explore how we can recognize warning signs in our community and what we can do to promote prevention. Together, as friends, colleagues, and loved ones, we will increase our tools for providing support to each other.  On Motzei Shabbat November 18th, we will also host a partner prevention program for teens with Shalhevet High School.


chai lifeline training

sunday, february 11, 2017

BDJ is partnering with Chai Lifeline to create a BDJ cohort of trained volunteers! Do you have a few hours a week to make a difference in the life of a child? Becoming a BDJ Chai Lifeline volunteer is a great way to do Bikkur Cholim regularly and in doing so to enhance your lived Torah experience. Chai Lifeline is an organization dedicated to bringing joy and support to seriously ill children and their families. BDJ's partnership is an new way to have a familiar cohort with which to share the experience. Whether it’s visiting children in the hospital, delivering meals, or helping at events, our BDJ Chai Lifeline volunteers will change the experience of illness for a family.



inclusion shabbaton                                       

shabbat, february 24, 2018

Why is it important for the Orthodox community to address issues of sex and sexuality? How do we frame these issues for ourselves, and present them to our children?  We will look at these questions and explore how Tzniyut and privacy may affect our ability to effectively deal with issues critically important to our wellbeing and that of our community.



september 14, november 16, december 13, january 31, march 18

Whether you just want to learn 'Lishma', for the sake of it, or if you are preparing to give a Shiur, Mishmar is the place for you. From Harry Potter, to innovation and technology, to inclusive and intergenerational study, learning at BDJ Mishmar is made for all ages and interests! Each Mishmar will begin with a brief opening Shiur by a guest speaker, and will be followed by Chevruta time. We encourage Chevrutas and Chaburah study groups to aim for a Siyum Tikkun Leil Shavuot. To be matched up with a Chevruta, please contact Allyson Gronowitz at



vachai bahem: end of life care series        

march 7 and 14, 2018  

Vachai Bahem is our annual end of life care programming. Through it, we explore Halachic, spiritual, and practical details that come up on the journey of life and death. This year, we will be focusing on The Conversation Project, an effort to increase conversations about our wishes and beliefs at the end of life. What legacy do we want to leave behind? Who would we want at our bedsides? How can we have these tough conversations with those who need to know? Reflecting on how we die tells us a great deal about how we live.





Scholars in Residence






philip yancey

Shabbat, November 4

Philip Yancey  has written over 25 books, including Where Is God When It Hurts (1977), Disappointment with God (1988), Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? (2006), The Question That Never Goes Away (2013), and Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? (2014).   His books have won 13 Gold Medallion Awards; sold more than 15 million English copies; and have been translated into over 40 languages. Philip and his wife,  Janet,  live in the Rocky Mountains.

rabbi judah dardik

Shabbat, November 18, 2017


Rabbi Judah Dardik is a full-time Ramm teacher at Yeshivat Orayta , where he teaches Talmud, Halachah, Jewish Philosophy, and Personal Growth, and oversees student welfare. He is also the Dean of the Orayta    Center for Jewish Leadership and Engagement, where he runs adult education and rabbinic         educational missions. He served as Rabbi of Beth Jacob in Oakland, CA for 13 years.   Rabbi Dardik is a certified couple's educator, and received his BA in Business and MA in Jewish Education from YU, and his ordination from RIETS. He lives in Gush Etzion with his wife Naomi and their six children.

art shabbaton with david moss

Shabbat, January 13, 2018

Over the course of Shabbat we will talk about what makes art Jewish, or even if art can be Jewish! What is Jewish art? How can art enhance our connection to our tradition? How can art develop our spirituality? These questions and more will be covered by David Moss, a world-renowned artist whose mission is to enrich Jewish life by combining tradition, beauty, learning, art, and creativity into new and unique art forms. He is best known for his Moss Haggadah, an individual, hand-made haggadah created in the tradition of the medieval illuminated manuscript, and the Tree of Life Shtender, an integrated work of sculpture, ritual art, and furniture designed over an 18 year period with woodmaker Noah Greenberg.

Rabbi Jonathan & yoetzet halacha ora ziring

Shabbat, February 10, 2018                                         

Rabbi Jonathan Ziring is the Sgan Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov and the Rabbinic Assistant of BAYT. He has smicha from RIETS, an MA in Jewish Philosophy and a BA from the Honors Program at YU. He was a member of the Kollel Gavoah at Yeshivat Har Etzion and a fellow at the Tikvah Fund, the Center for Modern Torah Leadership's Summer Beit Midrash, and other organizations.


Ora Ziring is the director for the Women's Beit Midrash in Toronto, where she also teaches, and works as the community Yoetzet Halacha. She has studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum, York          University, the Graduate Program for Advanced  Talmudic Studies, and Nishmat. She has taught at the Bronfman Center, Stern College, SAR and Emuna V'omanut.


The Zirings live in Toronto  with their two sons, Meir and Aharon.

Rabbi alex israel

Shavuot, May 19-21, 2018

Rabbi Alex Israel teaches at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi and at the Pardes Institute where he serves as Director of  Community Education. Born in London, Rabbi Israel was an active leader in Bnei Akiva and the     director of the Sixth Form study centre at LSJS. He moved to Israel in 1991 and has rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.  In 2013, he published: "I Kings: Torn in Two" a commentary to Sefer Melakhim. Rabbi Israel holds degrees from the London School of Economics, Institute of Education, London, and Bar Ilan University. He lives in Alon Shevut, with his wife Aliza and their four children.


Thu, July 19 2018 7 Av 5778