Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Annual Women’s Alumni Reunion


This past Monday, Mayanot celebrated the third annual Mayanot women’s alumni reunion in Israel, with a gathering of over thirty women. Both alumni and current students were in attendance. The diverse group of alumni comprised of women from five different continents and various years of Mayanot, including the first semester of the program, in 2008.

Our esteemed teacher, Mrs. Gila Lowell, who has been educating Mayanot women since the program’s inception, discussed Pesach Sheini and our constant ability to imbue our lives with a renewed sense of meaning and inspiration. She dove into the text and shared ideas from Tanach (Bible), based on the concept of second chances and rousing our desire for self growth and leadership in today’s day in age. 

The level of nostalgia for the textual ‘inside’ learning was palpable from all the women in attendance. Mayanot teaches academic level learning skills that are particular to accessing traditional texts in the original Hebrew, and it was amazing to see the women innately dive in.

View The Short Event Clip Here


“The Torah is here to teach us lifelong lessons that we can apply to our lives in a practical way. This story, like so many others, has so much to teach us about how to engage G-d in dialogue”, shared Gila. “When I encounter something in Halacha (Jewish law) that I find challenging, I can gripe about it or I can wrestle with it and engage! If you’re trying to make a dwelling place for G-d in the lower worlds you’re going to get dirty, but that’s part of the work, our job here is to wrestle with it and endeavor to make a difference.

In true Mayanot fashion, the ideas were deep, relatable and relevant for the diverse group of women. Sparking in-depth questions and discussions regardless of age, situation or life status, everyone could gain insight and take away something relevant, regardless of their particular circumstances.

The evening began with a beautiful round of introductions from all the women who were meeting for the first time, and ended with an intimate farbrengun (Chassidic gathering) with Rivka Marga Gestetner, Director of Education for the Women’s Learning Program, sharing ideas about personal relationships and development.

Rivka Marga, for the third consecutive year, opened up her home with a beautiful food spread and a welcoming atmosphere. “It’s a unique pleasure to host these events and reconnect with alumni. Every year of Mayanot brings a different group of women with such exceptional experiences. It’s wonderful to see how everyone has grown”, she shared.

Rivkah Katz, a current Mayanot student and social media intern declared, “It was so amazing to meet alumni from all the different years of Mayanot and see how connected they all remain to each other and the other women from their years of learning. I hope to stay as connected to the women at Mayanot, as they have all impacted my life tremendously.”

Mayanot is grateful to all those that came out Monday night to join and contribute to the learning. Directly from the mouth of our cherished teacher Gila, “May we be blessed to have the courage to admit our lack and begin to work on it from an authentic place of vulnerability, humility and growth.”