A perennial favorite among an international audience of Chabad women, Tzfas’ renowned Machon Alte women’s yeshiva has launched its 19th summer program under the direction of Rabbi and Mrs. Yosef Rosenfeld to the delight of 25 new students, providing its trademark full-spectrum immersion into Yiddishkeit against a backdrop of breath-taking beauty and holy environs.
It doesn’t usually take the institution long to move the hearts and minds of its yearly summer enrollees into a state of “customer delight” by providing a haven of spiritual and academic excellence in a getaway atmosphere known for its plush mountains and majestic vistas, complementing the curriculum’s kabbalistic heights.
“Taking a break from pursuing purely academic knowledge to engage in learning that feeds both the soul and the intellect is the experience I have been craving as I begin my journey into adulthood,” said one of the students, Chana Melamed of Ottowa, Canada. “The peace and serenity in the mountains of northern Israel and the support of the staff and the other students makes for an incredible atmosphere and one conducive to personal growth.”
The 2-month program combines courses in Jewish law, mysticism and specially focused classes on the contemporary Jewish woman, among the curriculum, while making the time for sight-seeing, Shabbatons and more casual friendship-building and bonding activities.
The experience of what has become an increasingly international student body is enhanced by unusually upscale accommodations for yeshiva life inside and out, with two girls to living suites, equipped with en-suite showers, and a popular expansive tree-shrouded courtyard, brightly lit classrooms, cozy common areas and modern dining facility. The route to Machon Alte — whether for its summer programs or year-long yeshiva curriculum — for many is paved with the help of Rabbi Zalman and Mrs. Chaya Schurder of Chabad on Campus’s International Advanced Jewish Study Initiative. The organization provides not only inspiration and encouragement, but air fare reductions to qualified parties.
Each year, the summer crowd benefits from the fully-involved and accommodating Directors Rabbi and Mrs. Rosenfeld, administrator, Rabbi Chaim Rosenfeld, and scholars-in-residence, Chicago Mesivta Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Eli Nosson Silberberg and his wife, Hindy, who have made Machon Alte their summer home for the past 19 years to the benefit of generations of indelibly impacted Jewish women.
Rivka Zimmern of Madison, Wisconsin, among this summer’s group after arriving at the yeshiva nearly five months ago, said: “I was both excited and anxious to begin my half year of learning and living in the Old City of Tsfat. But I couldn’t have begun to imagine just how profound of an impact Machon Alte would have on me or how much I would grow as a result of my time here. Beyond the endless insightful classes and uplifting fabrengens, Machon Alte has provided a warm, supportive and encouraging environment that has enabled me to strengthen my Yiddishkeit in new and exciting ways. I am indefinitely grateful for the opportunity to study in this program, and am confident that my experience here will inform and influence my life for many years to come.”