Jewish Learning and Fellowships

Welcome to Slifka’s Spring 2022 learning and leadership opportunities! We can’t wait for the searching, soulful conversations we’ll share and create together. 

There’s so much happening in this sprawling community with a big, open heart. Life is exciting, tentative, and confusing as we return to communal living – and everything below is a vehicle to make friendship and connection central to this year. Most importantly – we’re always here to talk.


Yeshivat Yale: Weekly Talmud adventure with friends! This semester we’re doing a deep dive on abortion. Meant for seasoned talmudists and newcomers alike. The moment serving homemade waffles becomes institutionally possible, there will be homemade waffles. Contact Rabbi Alex at for more info and to share your waffle-topping preferences! 


Jewish Learning Fellowship (JFL): JLF is an 8-10-week experiential, conversational seminar that invites fellows to deepen their understanding of Judaism on their own terms. We will explore some of life’s big questions, including those related to community, identity, friendships, and space. We make no claims about the “right” way to practice or not to practice Judaism. The goal of the fellowship is to help you explore the tradition in a welcoming, warm space in conversation with a diverse group of people. That means we’ll ask a lot of big questions, but we don’t purport to have any of the big answers. 

Students who attend at least 8 sessions will receive a $300 stipend. Spring semester cohort is open to all Yale students.

Apply Here. Questions? E-mail Rachel Leiken.

LGBTorah: Join us for a bi-weekly (Fridays at 2pm) warm and welcoming session of queer text study! We read all types of Jewish texts through a queer lens. Come by all year or drop by for one session. No prior Jewish learning experience or knowledge necessary.

All texts will have English translations. All are welcome!

Email Aviva ( for more info


Torah @ Lunch: Pluralism at its finest – the student-facing-staff learn together, and we’d love for you to join us. Tuesdays 12:30-1 – virtual while meals are grab-n-go; @ Slifka North when our dining hall is open. All sources in English, no prior background necessary. (while virtual @


Building Your Judaism: In this class, we’ll think about what it looks like to build a Jewish life and practice that meets our needs, hopes, and dreams. We’ll think about different elements of Judaism including but not limited to prayer, theology, observance, and justice with the aim of figuring out what it might look like to incorporate these into our daily lives. There is no assumption about what your Jewish life “should” look like; instead, we’ll focus on what is important and nourishing to us.  This offering is for anyone who has ever asked “what next?” or “Ok, I’m Jewish, but what does that mean? What can my Judaism look like?” Meetings will be once a week, depending on the schedules of those who are interested. Email for more info.


Intro to Judaism: This (non-credit) course will meet once a week for an introduction to many different aspects of Judaism and Jewish life. Topics will include but are not limited to: the Jewish cycle of time and Jewish holidays, study of some major Jewish texts, halakha (Jewish law), different denominations of Judaism, and more. This class is ideal for anyone who wants to learn, including those who are reconnecting with Judaism and/or want to deepen their knowledge, those who are in the process of conversion, or those who just want to know more. You do not have to be Jewish to sign up– people of any faith and no faith are welcome! Class days and times will be determined by those who sign up. To express interest and/or find out more, email Slifka’s Associate Jewish Chaplain Rachel Leiken at


Service Opportunities

Better Together: Volunteer for a brief weekly phone call with a senior buddy and help bring connection to their lives. Contact Lauren Steinberg for more information:



Klezmer Band: Instrument players and singers are welcome to join Yale’s klezmer band. 


Other Involvement Opportunities 

Skill Sharing: Is there a Jewish skill you want to learn? One you want to teach? If you’ve always wanted to learn how to lead Kiddush, read Torah, or learn the Aleph Bet; or if you want to share your knowledge in these areas, this is the option for you! Sign up for either on this form.

Krav Maga: Krav Maga is a self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israeli Defense Force. The martial art is focused primarily on defensive rather than offensive combat, and real world situations. This student led virtual class will include youtube videos for self-paced learning as well as zoom meetings to practice, connect with peers, and perfect your techniques under the guidance of trained peers. 

Interested? Email