At Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s, we pride ourselves in being a student-centered seminary that encourage questions and feedback from our students. Communication and transparency are one of the keys to a successful year in of study and growth in Israel. Below, you will find answers to common questions.
What does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s have to offer me?
A. Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s Institute-more popularly known as Sharfman’s-has been successfully educating young Orthodox Jewish women for over forty years. Our visionary founder and Dean, Rabbi Label Sharfman, literally “wrote the book” on how to have the best seminary experience. Indeed, Bnot Torah students see real, quantifiable results in a reasonable amount of time. Everything we do at Bnot Torah is geared towards showing you life lessons. Our average class size is typically 12-14 students and emphasize interactive academic learning. Indeed, at Sharfman’s we offer 3 unique levels. From Intermediate to Advanced, you will find an academic level suitable to your skills and learn together with other girls like you. The common denominator that our students on all levels share is the desire to learn and grow! In short, at Bnot Torah you will see yourself move in the direction you want to go and be able to see actual results and appreciate your accomplishments.
B. Our all-star faculty includes some of the most fascinating Rabbis and Jewish educators who have studied at an assortment of famous yeshivot, seminaries, and colleges. This provides students with an everlasting eclectic understanding, appreciation, and passion for Judaism. Furthermore, we provide arguably one of the highest student to faculty ratio available in all of Israel-a whopping 50 faculty members to 50 students!
C. Our students hail from throughout the United States and Canada (and sometimes places such as Mexico to London and Paris to Sweden). Yet, the common goal each person shares is that they are motivated to grow, they possess an innate desire to become knowledgeable in Torah, improve their character traits, develop a true hashkafah, and reach their maximum potential as a contemporary Jewish woman.
Does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s have a particular hashkafa/philosophy?
Any school that doesn’t will confuse and frustrate its students. Our educational philosophy is to provide you the opportunity to discover your heritage in a joyful student-centered atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect. As such, by spending a year engrossed in academic Torah study and values, as well as focusing on character enhancement and a love and respect for the Land of Israel, our students are able to realize and cultivate their true potential.
Does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s serve any meals?
Starting your morning off with a healthy well-balanced breakfast will allow you to strengthen your mind and soul and empower you to focus and grow through all of your morning classes. Hence, we offer a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast every day that classes meet. Moreover, our delicious dairy lunches and meat dinners include a wonderfully catered hot meal together with a freshly tossed salad. What’s more, we encourage you to enhance your Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s spirit and pride and join us for our Wednesday Evening Events, led by our Rakazot, in which students enjoy various activities or different delicacies such as sushi, Mexican Wraps, whole wheat Pizza and much, much more! In general, this time period is a favorite amongst our students in that it allows for the perfect setting for all of the various levels and classes to mingle together and unwind from intensive academic studies, while also socializing and furthering their friendships.
What is the daily schedule like?
Please see our Daily Schedule page. In addition, because many of our faculty live just minutes away from our school, you can learn anything you want at anytime and always continue your quest for knowledge and inspiration at your favorite teacher, Mechanechet or Rakezet!
What is your curfew policy?
Being that you are coming to Israel to learn and grow, we uphold a curfew in which our students must be back in the dorm by 11:30 PM. Curfew extensions may be received from your Mechanechet for special circumstances.
Will I receive college credits for my year at Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s?
Many colleges (including Touro College and Stern College) will allow transfer credit of between 32-36 credits based on your transcript. In fact, some colleges (e.g. Queens and Brooklyn) will transfer a full year’s credit from an Israeli institution if the student attended on a joint-college program with a recognized U.S. college or grant credit based on their evaluation of a student’s transcript. Throughout the years our students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities including, but not limited to: Harvard, Yale, USC, NYU, Penn, UCLA and many others. Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s has a number of joint programs available including Touro College (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) and Excelsior College of New York. Students attending Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s on a joint program are entitled to whatever financial aid they would be entitled to receive if they were attending that college in the U.S.
How do you maintain contact with students outside of school?
As one of the pioneer seminaries, there are times when Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s receives security precautions from the police, embassy, or defense authorities. In such cases, we send immediate messages to our student whatsapp group notifying them of the warning and providing them with specific instructions. In fact, it is through this group that students can routinely reach out to us and ask halachic questions or refer to their friends and faculty for directions, etc.
What security measures are taken for Tiyulim and other trips?
We follow the guidelines for Tiyulim used by the Israeli Ministry of Education. All Tiyulim outside city areas are accompanied by armed guards who are also top-notch medics. Our itineraries do not include areas that are deemed less than 100% safe; and the tour guide checks with security authorities prior to our departing on any Tiyul.
Does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s have a Code of Conduct?
Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s is a seminary that is not only concerned with the spiritual development of each and every one of its students, but for their physical wellbeing as well. Our Code of Conduct and transparency assures students and parents that we have always been and remain an institution of higher learning that takes Chinuch and safety very seriously. You can view the Code of Conduct by clicking here.
Does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s recognize Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron?
In Israel, people go to work or attend classes on these national days of remembrance. However, the significance of these days is discussed; and when the siren sounds, we utilize the moment by rising out of respect and reciting chapters of Tehillim in the memory of those fellow Jews who died sanctifying the name of HaShem.
Does Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s recognize Yom HaAtzmaut?
The State of Israel is recognized as a positive development in the course of Jewish History. Classes are not held and students are actively encouraged to follow their family customs concerning Yom HaAtzmaut.
How far is our school from the Kotel?
Being in Ramat Eshkol means that there’s no need to hop on a bus. The Kotel is easily accessible by foot, bus, or cab!
Are there academic scholarships available?
Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s has a limited number of scholarships available for qualified students. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please contact us. Students attending on a Joint Program with a college may qualify for governmental loans or grants. In addition, many Jewish communal organizations have funding available to assist students coming to Israel. We recommend that you contact your local Federation, as well as your synagogue. We will attempt to assist you so that financial constraints do not prevent you from studying at Bnot Torah/Sharfman’s.