The following statement has been issued by Matan – The Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, following reports in multiple publications of the closing of the Advanced Talmudic Institute:
Matan – The Women’s Institute for Torah Studies – has been at the forefront of women’s advanced Talmud studies since it was founded 25 years ago. Matan is the first women’s institute to give stipends to its scholars in order to enable them to focus on intensive text study for an extended period of time. The Matan Advanced Talmudic Institute, the daf yomi group taught by the Institute students and the Ayanot programs are evidence of Matan’s continuing commitment to serious scholarship among women.
The reality of today’s global economy and resulting budgetary constraints present a serious financial challenge, leading to the difficult decision to give the second year students of Matan’s Talmud Program a shortened program, and to find employment options for them for next year. Fortunately, such was the outcry at the announcement that it elicited an overwhelming response by new and already committed donors and supporters, enabling Matan to pursue reinstating the third year of the program for this year’s scholars, albeit in a more limited format. We are immensely grateful for the encouragement and generosity received.
There is no doubt that Matan’s Talmud programs have, over the last 25 years, raised scholarship among women to unprecedented levels and created a revolution in women’s textual study. Matan is firmly committed to its mission of preparing women to take their place in the community of serious Talmud scholars and fill pivotal positions in educational leadership in Israel, North America and worldwide. After consultation with its faculty Matan is planning to restructure the Talmud program in order to bring women to the next level of scholarship in Talmud and Halakha [Jewish law]. The formation of a planning committee of Talmud scholars, Matan graduates and educators to partner with us in achieving this goal has already begun.
Matan provides a creative environment that enables women to break new ground in Talmud, Halakha and Bible expertise and takes pride in the astounding success of its graduates. In addition to the planned restructured Talmud program, the MA Program in Bible Studies, the Jerusalem and Raanana Ayanot Scholars programs, our courses for the general public (open to women and men) and the summer programs all continue.