Eighteen years ago, a small group of women sat down to plan: They wanted to study Jewish text, broaden their knowledge-base and improve their skills, but there was no organization in the Boston area that put women’s learning first. The result? Ma’ayan: Torah Studies Initiative for Women.

Founded in 1993, Ma’ayan’s mission is to provide a venue for traditional text-study for women—though men are often invited to join our classes and programs as well. We are a grass-roots source of Jewish adult education, offering three semesters of classes each fall, spring, and summer as well as learning events throughout the year.

Dynamic teachers who understand adults’ intellectual needs offer courses on three levels to accommodate the learning needs of beginners, those who have some text-study experience, and students with years of learning behind them. We hold classes in Brookline, Brighton, Newton, and Sharon. Participants—students, young and mid-career professionals, and retirees—come from every background and community in Jewish Greater Boston.

The conviction that study of the rich and varied texts of Jewish tradition—from the halakhic (legal) to the poetic—deepens and enlivens Jewish life, practice, and spirit, informs all of Ma’ayan’s offerings. We offer courses in Tanakh (Bible), Jewish Thought, Mishnah and Talmud, Liturgy, and Jewish Literature, as well as workshops and events focused on upcoming holidays and the Jewish calendar. Beyond our regular courses, Ma’ayan creates Days and Evenings of Study focused on timely and engaging topics such as Women’s Health and Halakhah and Teachers and Torah on the Land of Israel.

This summer’s offerings include one day-time and two evening courses and an Evening of Learning in preparation for Tisha b’Av.

  • For more experienced students, a course in a poetic response to the Holocaust, taught in Hebrew by Dr. Leah Orent.
    Readings in Rehovot ha-Nahar, Uri Zvi Greenberg’s great Holocaust lament
    Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:15 PM; July 6, 13, 27; August 3. Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton. Tuition: $65.
    Click here for detailed description and to register online.
  • For students at every level, this course with Rabbi Elliot Kaplowitz will explore our obligation to the less fortunate in
    Dollars and Sense: The Mitzvah of Tzedakah in Our Day
    Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:15 AM; July 7, 14, 21, 28. Sephardic Community of Greater Boston, Brighton. Tuition: $65 Click here for detailed description and to register online.
  • For men and woman, whatever their text-study experience, a course on the traditional liturgical poetry of Tisha b’Av with Rabbi Reuven Cohn:
    Poetry and Tragedy: Midrashic Themes of Tisha b’Av
    Wednesdays, 8:00 – 9:15 PM; July 7, 14, 21, 28. Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton. Tuition: $65.
    Click here for detailed description or to register online.
  • For everyone, a Pre-Tisha b’Av Shiur (lecture) with Rabbi David Shapiro:
    Aveilut or Teshuvah? Day of Mourning, Day of Repentance
    Sunday, July 18, 8:15 PM; Private home, Brookline; $15 admission.
    Click here for details and to register online.

We are now planning our fall; email director@maayan.org with any ideas for courses or topics that interest you.

We look forward to learning with you!