JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Advanced Talmudic Institute at MATAN, one of the few programs for women in Israel that focuses on high-level Talmud study, is closing.
MATAN, the Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, was established in 1988, and the Advanced Talmudic Institute, a leading program in advanced study for women, began its first cohort in 1999. The institute was started with funds from the Avi Chai Foundation and other funders.
Fellows learn in the institute for three years, using traditional and modern methods to understand the Talmud, in exchange for a living stipend.
The closing at the end of the current school year was announced in an Op-Ed on the Times of Israel website written by three members of the sixth and final cohort of fellows. There are 12 women in the current cohort.
"Closure of the Talmudic Institute will be a huge step back in the world of Torah study for women," Moriah Be’er Chriki, Yedidah Koren and Davida Klein Velleman wrote. "Not only will those seeking to learn suffer, but there will be a community-wide impact as well. "This powerhouse for training women to be educators in institutions of Torah study will no longer be able to provide the Jewish community with talented and able female leaders."
The column did not specify why the program is closing.