Memories of taking a whole year to study at seminary in Israel, to use a cliche, last a lifetime. Whether it is the foundations that a young woman garnered from learning Torah, the friendships that she made with other individuals during her year abroad, or the challenges that she faced while grappling with the intense details of her religion, Seminary studies tend to be among some of the most formative religious processes that young Jewish women encounter.
The traditional Israel gap year taken by thousands of yeshiva high school graduates each year now has a new home — online.
CyberSem, a seminary program for women launched just over a month ago, is a way for Orthodox high school graduates to get all the perks of the seminary experience, without the price tag, according to founder Chavi Goldberg.
Chavi Goldberg, CyberSem’s founder and primary inspiration, has extensive experience in education and conducted more than two-years worth of research in the many platforms for E-learning and built the world class seminary program to help bring post-secondary education to women, mothers and working women for whom a traditional education environment might not feasible.
For many young Jewish women who have already finished high school and are well past college, beginning their families and careers, studying in Israel for the year or spending a gap year at a seminary may not be possible. While it has become a rite of passage for many, there are still many for whom the opportunities did not present themselves for any of several reasons. Some head straight to college, start “the real world,” and even find themselves under the wedding canopy.
Cyberspace welcomes women to a world of Jewish learning
CyberSem, a new online, interactive Jewish religious seminary for women began classes this fall. Founded by Chavi Goldberg, CyberSem brings post-secondary education to women for whom a traditional education environment might not be feasible. Geared towards those who have not had the opportunity to attend seminary or who want to continue their Jewish education, CyberSem offers accredited courses that allow the flexibility to learn while managing the constraints of their daily schedules. Students meet up regularly with their class and instructor online in a secure, private online environment. Students also have the ability to earn B.A. degrees.
With CyberSem, Jewish women of all ages are given an opportunity to learn about Biblical texts, Halakha texts, and philosophical texts that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible to them. “The books would be closed without this,” said Chavi Goldberg, founder of CyberSem, a newly-launched online seminary for women to learn Torah studies. According to her, women love to learn, but the tumultuous nature of life post-graduation makes it difficult for women to get back to text learning.
CyberSem offers live courses taught in English for Jewish women on subjects including Jewish law, bible and Jewish history.
CyberSem founder Chavi Goldberg, as well as most teachers, identify as Orthodox, a representative said. The site “is open to women from diverse hashkafos [religious outlooks] and religious backgrounds,” according to the website.
CyberSem Women’s Online Classes and Seminary Launched
CyberSem crosses boundaries, communities and levels of faith within the Jewish community. Their classes feature topics that are both practical and educational. Want to learn the Jewish laws in the kitchen for the weekly day of rest (traditional Jewish Sabbath) as well as learn the Jewish laws surrounding challah? Then CyberSem is the place for you. Wondering how to practice ritual family purity? CyberSem has online classes and solutions for you.
The idea that seminary was a once-in-a-lifetime experience available only to a limited age group troubled Dr. Chavi Golderg. With a bachelor’s degree in Jewish education, a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum development and a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education, Dr. Goldberg was passionate about learning. Having taken advantage of online courses in her own quest for academic fulfillment, the Toronto native had an epiphany.
Interested in Jewish learning but have limited time? Busy moms and working women will love CyberSem, the first ever online Jewish Women’s seminary. This interactive experience is geared towards those who have not had the opportunity to attend seminary, or for anyone who wants to better understand Judaism.
Each course is taught by renowned experts with a passion for engaging students in Torah study using dynamic instructional materials. Completing weekly assignments and working on projects collaboratively with other women, students receive one-on-one feedback and assessments from instructors in our secure online environment.
Cybersem, an online Jewish learning service for women, is offering classes in the Torah, including Shabbas Kitchen, women in Nach, and Jewish History. Dr. Chavi Goldberg, founded the program last October.
Women and Purim, Women and Torah: Our method to further Chinuch for our Daughters
Why CyberSem (www.cybersem.com) and what does our online seminary intent to impart upon the girls and women who engage our new and invigorating learning method for generations of Jewish females who may otherwise have a more difficult time accessing Torah study regularly? The answer is basic enough, and the miracle of Purim helps shed some light.
Women and Purim, Women and Torah: Our Method to Further Chinuch for our Daughters
Why CyberSem and what does our online seminary intent to impart upon the girls and women who engage our new and invigorating learning method for generations of Jewish females who may otherwise have a more difficult time accessing Torah study regularly? The answer is basic enough, and the miracle of Purim helps shed some light.
An educator writing an article about Pesach should be a simple task, as the entire Seder is designed in a question-and-answer format, to stimulate the interest and inquisitiveness of the children. Pesach is the ultimate role-model holiday for education.
If you’ve ever wondered what we’re supposed to eat on Shavuot, why these foods are significant, and where the tradition originated, this insightful guest post written by Dr. Chavi Goldberg from CyberSem will shed some light on this lesser-known holiday: