The women’s division of Emet Outreach has expanded its growing list of learning programs with an invigorating new morning initiative. Offered at the Emet Center from Monday through Thursday, “Dunkin’ Torah” provides a weekly dose of chavrusa-style learning in which students get an infusion of Torah (plus caffeine). Geared towards Emet students from beginner to advanced, the program has the flexibility to attract college students, young professionals, and married women. As the popular tagline says “America Runs on Dunkin’” – but Emet women “Run on Torah.”
“We designed Dunkin’ Torah to entice our students to incorporate personalized Torah study into their weekly schedules,” said Ms. Shira Fendel, Emet Women’s Director. “We recognize how challenging it is to carve out time in the middle of the day, so we’re making learning more accessible. The only requirement is to commit to a minimum of 45 minutes of study once a week.”
At the heart of Dunkin’ Torah is the partnership that comes with pairing each student with an appropriate mentor from the community. The Emet team pairs up chavrusos who share common interests, professions, or personalities so a genuine connection is made and the relationship can further develop outside of the study sessions.
“One of our goals is to provide our students with role models in the community who can guide them both in Torah study and beyond, by demonstrating a Torah-observant lifestyle,” said Ms. Fendel.
Each chavrusa is invited to schedule their learning sessions at Emet at any time from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Special care is taken to ensure that the in-person study sessions are safe and that social distancing can be maintained. Of course, as the name suggests, a light breakfast, doughnuts, and some java are part of the mix. Partners select an area of interest to study from Jewish Ethics, Jewish History, Weekly Parshah, T’hilim, and T’filah.
Daniella Bababekov, an Emet student for over four years, recruits and inspires participants. She noted, “The students have been doing great so far. They each love the one-on-one learning, and having all of her mentor’s attention. Also, the mentors we chose are really incredible and leading by example. Not only are the students learning from them and with them, but they are building long-lasting relationships. I feel like they are gaining spiritual sisters!”
“Dunkin’ Torah really exemplifies our commitment at Emet to provide options for our students to grow in their Torah study, even with the current COVID-19 challenges,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director. “While we offer other learning programs on Zoom, many students have expressed the desire for in-person study. We are incredibly mindful of providing a safe environment for small groups to learn together. We’re proud of the incredible motivation and energy the women have shown in the initial weeks, and we look forward to attracting more participants.”
For further information on other Emet programs and online classes, visit www.EmetOutreach.org.