Did you go Seminary in Eretz Yisroel? What did you gain from it?

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    Just curious… those of you who went to Seminary in Eretz Yisroel – which Seminary did you go to? Did you gain from going?


    a lot of debt.


    I did go- I went for two years. As much as I gained, that is how much effort I put in- Lefum Tzara Agra. You can go to seminary and expect wondrous things to happen, but if you blow away your whole year, you won’t gain much out of it.

    Also, it may not be for everyone. If someone is doing just because everyone else is, then what is the point? Yes, they might realize that it was good for them to go in the end, but not everyone is the same and it all depends on who you are.


    Aside from gaining weight, i really gained a lot out of my two years. I got to be in the Holiest Land, near the kotel! but besides that i gained a lot of knowledge from chumash mainly. (because of what i learned i can give you an indepth analysis of the inyan of yaakov and eisav and yitzchak and rivkah! i can also tell you what i had to learn by being a roomate and it helps with getting married.

    I went to Sharfman’s and Neve Yerushalyaim. There were many girls who did the same. in sharfmans i taught myself to cook which was awesome and in neve i was able to go to any type of classes i wanted which was great. i also had a chavrusa with a teacher which i gained a lot from. For certain levels in Neve you get a tutor which i made a great kesher with!

    not I

    I went and yes I definitely gained!!

    BH not only did I enjoy the year thoroughly but I also grew alot in the year..

    As well I have good friends that I made there!

    Don’t regret it for a minute!!


    I gained 7 pounds there.


    Totally gained a lot! starting from learning how to get along with your roommates- to learning how not to get stuck on a park bench for shabbos (yup it kinda happened to me)all in all i had an amazing experience! i hope i dont sound like a typical seminary girl but if you use your time well and not go to the malls, sams bagels, froyo and all the sem “hang outs” but appreciating that you have a year to really grow and try..then you will see it really is a great experience…night time visits to the kosel, going to kevarim.. and having a blast on all the amazing trips and all the crazy experiences “chavayot” and when you come home you will see you are a different person hopefully for the better 🙂

    pet peeve

    i posted this here:


    a few months ago, but copied and pasted it in this forum again.

    apushuteyid: I will try to explain my own experience. its hard for me to capture it in written words, so a) if anything is unclear, i will try to clarify if you need b) i dont know if i can adequately explain my year, so i hope this is sufficient for you.

    first, please understand that each person’s experience will be different. it is entirely dependent on the seminary a person went to in discussing what/how they gained. further, not everyone who goes to sem does so for the right purposes, so the responses you get may be varied.

    I am a few years out of sem, not on the “straight back from sem” high, so I am not speaking from 9 miles up in the air:

    in my own experience, going to EY for seminary was life changing. i am not saying this to be dramatic, (as in: some sem girls are known for saying their sem experience was AMAZING!!!!!!!!) there were a number if contributing factors to my experience:

    being in EY is a huge deal: first of all, being away from home, and spending a solid 10 months independently, is a huge tool for growing up. learning coping skills are a must: dorming is not easy, necessarily, and you learn real fast how to get along with others in a forced environment (great middos opp!) it is also tremendously liberating to be away from the environment in which you grew up. even in “open minded” homes, the fact is, that for most girls, for 18 years,sh has been in a stationary setting. moving out into something different gives her the chance to view lifestyles that may be different than what she is used to, weather that be the simplicity of life in EY, or just even stepping back to view her lifestlye in a more objective way (i am NOT discussing here the negative sides to being away from home in a “liberating” environment. thats for a diff. discussion).

    also, there is no denying that living in EY for a whole year enables a person to develop a profound connection to it. the fact that there is kedusha, which she is hopefully tapping into, and special mekomos that enhance tefilla (i.e. kosel, etc), literally strengthened my year. living in EY, spending shabbasos in various cities/locations in Yerushalayim, actually seeing all the proverbial chassidim running as the shabbos siren goes off, sensing the neis of rain, etc, all the small things, are massive benefits and contributed in huge ways to my year. i would not have gotten these special advantages anywhere in the states. i think that being in EY at the same time as being in a full time learning environment, gives the dual benefit of really immersing oneself in a positive, growing environment.

    my school: i went to a seminary with a whole different style of teaching and learning than i was used to. the approach of the staff, presentation of the classes, open-ness and warmth of the administration, the depth of the material i was learning, were all different than my high school experience. i developed kesharim with some of the teachers, and the things i learned from them individually (not only in the classroom, but also on a personal level) have literally set me on a derech for life. i was given the opportunity to question, and i was forced, in a way, to question myself and my place in everything i was learning. i learned to take the lessons, and apply them directly to my own life. i was forced to take some real close looks at myself and answer tough questions about my identity, my commitment, my relationship to Hashem, as well as to others, and what i want for myself in the future. i remember seeing somewhere on this forum, i think in a thread about baalei teshuvah, that at some point in life, we all need to make a choice of what we want: my turning point, where i actually felt myself in a position of choice making, was in seminary.

    i learned what true growth (both personal and in Torah life–or are they one and the same?–means, i was presented with a Torah hashkafa that enabled me to clarify key points in yiddishkeit and learn what that means for myself; i learned so so much about middos, both from my peers and the staff; i was set on a “growing path”, inspired and encouraged to keep growing on my own and to constantly reach higher; i was in an environment where i felt comfortable to ask questions, and received answers that i was satisfied with…..etc. i walked away feeling empowered in my yiddishkeit, and motivated to keep learning and growing in a certain direction. i am still in touch with several teachers: i value these relationships, as i can continue to seek guidance with various aspects of my present life circumstances, and it is really meschazek me to speak with them when i need to.

    note: for all you people who will say “im not the type to get close to teachers”: neither was i!! but at a certain point, i needed to swallow my pride, all of it, and get the hadracha that i knew i would need and appreciate for the rest of my life. i am still so thankful that i had this opportunity. i learned how to think for myself, not to live according to assumptions, to develop and strengthen my sense of self….etc.

    everyone knows sem is different than hs (even text based ones). hs is for the sake of education (at least thats how mine seemed), while i viewed sem as a school that teaches you how to live. and thats what i did. there is something special to be said about going to school that is round the clock devoted to teaching and inspiring young women how to live b’derech Hatorah, in a way that will bring them happiness and fulfillment, weather that be learned inside from the text, or taken out and explained in class. the uninterrupted flow of the year helped me to stay focused, and it is because i was so far away from my “former” life that i was able to make such great strides in my growth, steps that have stayed with me.

    peers: in personally think there is something important to be said of the fact that in sem in EY, there will be a mix of girls from all over the world. its a great opportunity to learn from all different kinds of people, with various backgrounds, and to learn from them. each sem will have a diff crowd, and you can for sure learn from the people in your environment in the states. in my personal experience, my peers and friends contributed tremendously to my year.

    seminary is in no way the finishing touch: it is supposed to set a young women in a direction for life, but should in no way be viewed as the end product! if anything, i am more aware now of what i need to do, what i CAN do, and my potential, but i do not think that sem is the be all end all. its just the beginning. i am so so thankful that i had the opportunity to go to sem, and to learn what i did, from the people i learned from. i think i can honestly say that i am a very different person from before/after sem, and thats for the better.

    i hope this made sense–if you need me to clarify, i’ll be happy to. hope this helps!


    Is seminary kind of like a finishing school?

    pet peeve


    read my last paragraph. i clearly said that it is NOT finishing school. at least for those who choose to take what they learned and apply it to the rest of their lives. i guess some might stop their growth process after sem, but that is certainly not the intent.


    From Wikipedia:

    A finishing school (or charm school) is “a private school for girls that emphasises training in cultural and social activities.”[1][2] The name reflects that it follows an ordinary school and is intended to complete the educational experience, with classes primarily on etiquette. It may consist of an intensive course, or a one-year programme.

    The term finishing school is occasionally used in American parlance to refer to certain small women’s colleges, primarily on the East Coast, that were known for serving to prepare their female students for marriage. Since the 1960s, many of these schools have become defunct as a result of financial difficulties stemming from parents’ decreased interest in paying for such an education for their daughters, and changing societal norms making it easier for daughters to pursue academic and professional paths not open to previous generations.

    Sounds like seminary to me.

    pet peeve

    that definition of finishing school would be the most ridiculous definition of seminary i ever heard of.

    the aspects of self development that begin in sem are intended to continue throughout life. that is a Jewish concept–that we are continually growing and becoming better. the idea of finishing schools is to produce complete products, that young ladies become “finished” in matters of etiquette etc. that is not the point at all.

    the only resemblance i found to sem was that part about finances 🙂


    seminary= camp plus tests plus $20,000.


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