Neve Yerushalayim

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Neve Yerushalayim is the school of choice of JWSA, though there are other options as well.

The Neve program is designed for young women who wish to increase their basic Jewish knowledge, improve their learning skills and enhance their spiritual growth. The program enriches the students? knowledge through an in-depth study of Jewish texts and sources while providing a meaningful and personal encounter with life in Israel.

The Mechina progam is designed for the mature beginner who has little or no background in Judaic studies. It serves as an introduction to the world of Jewish learning and experience, which often sets the tone for the student's future relationship to her religion.

The six-week program emphasizes Jewish thought. A spirit of open exchange and honest inquiry dominates the curriculum, which includes Jewish philosophy, history, ethics, concepts in laws and customs, Biblical studies and Hebrew language.  Students are encouraged to question and to challenge. All topics are open for consideration: all questions are welcome. Discussions take place both in class and on informal basis. Individual tutorials and personal attention are important features of the program as they provide a personal framework for developing learning skills and attitudes.

The Mechina program is repeated throughout the academic year. It is also offered during the summer to coincide with college vacation schedules. At the completion of the six-week program students wishing to continue their studies have the option of  moving into other levels at Neve.

In addition to academic achievements, students are encouraged to seek their own level of expression within Jewish observance. They enjoy a sense of freedom regarding religious growth. The warm feeling that pervades the school manifests itself in the classrooms, in student-teacher relationships and in the camaraderie among the students.

The ten buildings which are currently occupied include seven fully furnished student residences, two main academic/administration buildings, and a newly completed community center. The academic buildings contain classrooms, libraries, and administrative offices. The center has a large dining hall with kitchen facilities, an auditorium, and a synagogue serving both students and neighborhood residents. An amphitheater provides a spectacular setting for outdoor lectures and performances.

A wide range of extracurricular activities is available to Neve Yerushalayim students either on campus or at neighboring facilities. These include Israeli folk dancing, choir, aerobics, outdoor sports and swimming. Students with theatrical and creative ability write, produce and perform for two school productions. Those with musical talents present concerts for the public at large and entertain at old age homes and hospitals. Students are encouraged to undertake a program of Chesed. They volunteer their time to help needy families and to visit the sick and the elderly. Thus they translate the lessons of the classroom into practical good deeds.

Neve Yerushalayim College students are well educated and intellectually curious. Many are professionals while others are in the midst of their university education. They are interested in studying the foundations of Jewish knowledge in an environment which recognizes and responds to their intellectual and personal maturity.

Neve student are housed in dormitory residences located on campus. Each building contains 6 apartments, five that are occupied by the students and one that is occupied by a housemother and her family. Each student apartment has four dormitory rooms, a kitchen, washroom facilities including showers, and a laundry room for hand washables. (Automatic washers and dryers are available elsewhere on campus.) Three students are assigned to each dormitory room. The housemother is responsible for the well being of all the students in her dormitory.

Three meals a day are served in the school?s dining room. The administrator of Food Services tries to accommodate special dietary needs. Periodically the school spends Shabbat together either on the Neve campus or out of town. Most week, however, the student eats Shabbat meals with families of her choice or, if she wishes, with families assigned by the school. A student may ask to be placed in Jerusalem or in other locations throughout Israel. This system enables students to experience the richness of Shabbat, meet many Israeli families, and become acquainted with different parts of the country.

Many colleges and universities accept the credits of the Neve School of General Jewish Studies. It is recommended, however, that the student consult the registrar of the home college she is attending or plans to attend to ascertain the college?s policy. Upon request, a transcript for courses successfully completed at Neve will be issued if the student is in good financial standing. The fee for each transcript is 6 US dollars. A number of colleges and universities in the United States offer a joint program with the Neve School of General Jewish Studies whereby the student is accepted both at the home college and at Neve. While attending Neve, the student is considered a registered student of the home college and pays tuition to that college. In turn, the home college issues an official college transcript for credits taken at Neve.

An integral part of the Neve experience is the program of tours to sites of historical interest throughout Israel. Excursion and field trips augment classroom study and provide firsthand knowledge of the land and its people. Professionally guided tours include half day, full day, and extended visits to different parts of the country. The school sponsors two major trips each year - one to the North encompassing the Galilee and Golan, and the other to the South.