Summer Beit Midrash





The Center for Modern Torah Leadership is gearing up for the 21st Summer Beit Midrash. SBM 2017 will take place between July 2nd and August 11th, 2017. This year is tentatively scheduled to be about: "Mental Disabilities in Jewish Law"

Meet our fellows here!

You can follow along with Shiur here.

About the program:

The Center for Modern Torah Leadership, the intellectual catalyst of Modern Orthodoxy, is proud to host the 2017 Summer Beit Midrash. SBM Fellows are men and women from leading universities, yeshivot, and seminaries with advanced textual skills and a passionate commitment to learning Torah. They welcome the moral challenges of modernity as spiritual opportunities, and see recognition of each human being's Divine Image as a fundamental assumption and purpose of Torah study.   

The Summer Beit Midrash is an intense and exhilarating learning program that allows Fellows to pursue compelling questions with intellectual rigor and ethical integrity in the framework of a warm and challenging Orthodox community, and to experience themselves as active contributors to the halakhic conversation. Dates are July 2 through August 11, 2017 at the Young Israel of Sharon, 100 Ames Street, Sharon, Massachusetts. 

SBM is headed by CMTL Dean Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, with an array of distinguished guest lecturers. SBM Fellows will lead a variety of public learning opportunities during the seminar, including one-on-one study, thematic text-study groups, and formal classes. At the end of the summer, SBM fellows will write a formal Teshuvah based on the topic studied.

About the topic:

This summer, SBM Fellows will seek to develop a halakhic taxonomy of competence that extends beyond shoteh/pikeach. We will develop categories like peti, shoteh ledavar echad, and ones in areas from marriage/divorce, to choshen mishpat, to neemanus, and carefully distinguish between cognitive and emotional deficits. We will develop a better understanding of the relationship between commonsense, legal, psychological, and psychiatric categories, and how halakhah evaluates expert testimon in those areas, and perhaps how to relate to claims of biochemical causation. One possible test case is addiction.

Previous SBM topics include "The Halakhic Status of Christianity," "DNA Evidence and Mamzerut," "The Halakhic Credibility of Non-Observant Jews," "A Halakhic Ethic of Investigative Journalism," "Informed Consent in Halakhah," "Judaism and Art: Towards a Halakhic Evaluation of Beauty," "Psak, Ethics, and Industrial Kashrut: The Case of Bishul Nokhri," "Can You Be Sure You're Jewish If You Can't Prove It Halakhically?", "Halakhah and Disability: Is Access to Religious Experience a Right?", "Halakhic Competition Law," and most recently "Retroactive Remorse? Unstated Conditions in Contractual Relationships."

Testimonials from 2016:

Learn more:

For more information about the summer, please contact Davida Kollmar at