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Table of Contents
- Bar Ilan University Makes Key Stop In South Florida (12/05/2008)
- NCSY and Bar Ilan Team Up to Offer Israel Experience (12/24/2008)
- NCSY's Bar Ilan One Year Program Staffed By Haredi Kiruv Workers (12/29/2009)The Kvetcher's report - JSU’s Bar Ilan Program All Aish’d Up (12/29/2009)
- "Not Every Experience is a Good Experience..." (05/11/2011)
- Resignation Letter (05/02/2013)
- Director of Orthodox gap-year program at Bar-Ilan fired for installing cameras in girls' dorms - See Below (05/02/2013)
- The Israel Experience program, Bar-Ilan University - See Below (05/02/2013)
- Women's Schools in Israel - See Below (05/02/2013)
- Israel Experience Staff - See Below (05/03/2013)
- Rabbi Plants Cameras in Girls Dorm at Bar Ilan University (05/03/2013)
- The Awareness Center: Policies Addressing Victimization and Offenders
- Case of rabbi Marc Gafni
- Case of rabbi Benzion Sobel
- Case of rabbi Baruch Lanner (NCSY)
- Cases involving Yeshiva University and the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America)
Bar Ilan University Makes Key Stop In South Florida
By Shelley Benveniste
Jewish Press - December 5, 2008
The founder and director of a new gap year program at Bar Ilan University has made South Florida a key stop on a tour of North America promoting the new program that is intended to buck the trend in falling gap year numbers.
Rabbi Tully Bryks visited high school students across South Florida on November 17 to 20, making stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and North Miami Beach as part of a tour of North America that will take him to more than 20 cities.
Rabbi Bryks was formerly regional director for NCSY in South Florida for 15 years, leaving the post in 2008 to open ‘Israel XP’ at Bar Ilan University’s Ramat Gan campus near Tel Aviv.
“The new program Israel XP is designed to appeal specifically to students looking for more of a balanced year in Israel, where students can embrace Jewish studies in a relaxed campus setting,” Rabbi Bryks explains. There are regular tours around the country as well as professional internship options accessing different sectors of society. To address financial and career pressures, students can also earn around a year’s worth of academic credits that can be transferred to most universities across North America.
“An inspiring year in Israel strengthens Jewish values ahead of college years and helps unlock a young person’s potential. We don’t want any Jewish students to have to miss out. The idea for this program was really born in South Florida and I’m excited to promote it to students in the area."
NCSY and Bar Ilan Team Up to Offer Israel Experience
Orthodox Union - December 24, 2008
Those teens have a virtual cornucopia of choices to choose from: the number of seminaries, yeshivas, and national-service/learning programs that exist in Israel increase every year, yet some still cannot find a program tailored to meet their needs. Some teens may not want to spend the entire day learning Torah, while others may want fully-accredited courses to transfer over to schools back home. In response to this need, NCSY and Bar-Ilan University will offer a new and unique co-ed program for those students, “Israel Experience,” which will combine classes in one of Israel’s top universities with an extracurricular program incorporating popular NCSY style trips and activities.
Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, declared, “When Bar-Ilan approached NCSY to discuss a jointly-run program for North American teens, I knew that many NCSY members would benefit from its unique aspects. There’s a real need for a post-high school university program in Israel under Orthodox auspices, and NCSY is proud to help fill that need.”
Rabbi Ari Kahn, Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan, explained, “My first choice for this partnership was the Orthodox Union. It is one of the largest, most influential organizations on the American Jewish scene today.”
Rabbi Tully Bryks, currently the NCSY Director of the South Florida Region, will make aliyah this summer and serve as the Director and Dean of the program. Rabbi Burg said of Rabbi Bryks, “He has a powerful combination of creative talents and a warm personality which has drawn thousands of students to him.”
Rabbi Bryks stated, “This program is a great opportunity for those students who wish to continue their academic pursuits in a university but also have a strong desire to explore their Jewish roots and connect to their homeland. I am pleased to be a part of this initiative as these students make their mark on the Jewish people.”
Participants in the “Israel Experience” program will have a complete university experience studying in Bar-Ilan, a world-respected institution located in Ramat Gan, just outside of Tel Aviv, where they can take classes taught strictly in English or combine English courses with Hebrew-taught classes. Credits earned at Bar-Ilan will be easily transferable back home in American colleges. Participants will live in student dorms on campus; have a choice of internships and participating in community service activities; and participate in NCSY Shabbatons and trips throughout the school year.
Bar-Ilan is ranked among the top universities in the world. It houses the Middle East’s largest English-language library; over 30,000 students from countries across the world; a large Jewish Studies curriculum with over 1,500 different courses; and of course, the added benefit of being in Israel.
Participants in Israel Experience will go on trips and Shabbatons throughout the school year. The trips will range from historical and religious sites, and include activities such as skiing, ATVing, camel riding, and rappelling. “As we explore Israel and enjoy these activities, we’re also going to be learning about the Jewish significance behind each location we visit. This will truly help make the year in Israel a living experience,” explained Rabbi Bryk.
“Israel Experience” is limited to 100 students, and while there is rolling admission, the program is already 60 percent filled.
The cost will be $18-20,000, comparable to the current tuition rate of Israeli seminaries and yeshivas and less than half the price of a year’s tuition at most American private universities. Financial aid is available to those who qualify; there will be both need-based and academic-based grants, as well as an early registration discount.
For more information on financial aid and details about program components, visit Israelxp.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCSY's Bar Ilan One Year Program Staffed By Haredi Kiruv Workers
By Shmarya Rosenberg
Failed Messiah Blog - December 29, 2009
• NCSY has a stealth sister organization called JSU – the Jewish Student Union. It has chapters in hundreds of public high schools in America.• NCSY and the JSU 'teamed up' with Bar Ilan University to offer what appears to be a one year program in Israel for high school graduates. I write "appears to be" because the Israel Experience website is light on academic details like class schedules and courses offered, but is heavy on pictures of 18 year olds having fun.• The program's faculty page skips the Aish or Ohr Somayach affiliations of most of the teachers. Most of the faculty are, however, Aish and Ohr Somayach related. (David Kelsey exposes some, but not all, of them.)• Perhaps the most egregious of these stealth haredi kiruv workers is Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky. Orlovsky teaches at Ohr Somayach and Neve Yerushalayim.Orlofsky is also an unrepentant major force behind the attacks and ban against Rabbi Natan Slifkin four years ago.Slifkin and his books were banned because he argued two things: 1) the universe is far older than 6000 years and, 2) the sages of the Talmud made errors with regard to science. Both points had previously been made by Rishonim (great medieval rabbis) and by a few Achronim (great post-medieval rabbis).That did not stop Orlofsky and his fellow travelers – including Rabbi Leib Tropper, who is now enmeshed in a sex and abuse of power scandal – from getting "the gedolim" (current elderly haredi rabbinic leaders) to ban Slifkin for "heresy."In other words, the OU's youth arm and its stealth 'student union' hired a haredi rabbi who viciously attacked Modern Orthodox belief teaching secular and newly religious kids.Rabbi Slifkin is not listed as faculty, even though he lives in Israel, only a 45 minute ride from Bar Ilan.
A couple of issues regarding Bar Ilan.
As of this year Bar Ilan University has a working relationship with "Israel Experience" which is a new independent organization, which has received the blessings of the OU.
The director is Rabbi Tully Bryks who has a great deal of experience working with NCSY and JSU.
The idea of this relationship was to create a strategic partnership between Bar Ilan and the Israel Experience. The OU gave their "blessing" to the creation of the Israel experience, but this new entity does have complete independence.When the program was first created and various speakers were included on the website, this list included people who were asked to speak.Rabbi Orlofsky does not teach on the program. At one point there was a discussion of him giving an informal lecture, this has not happened.The Lecturers on the program are a diverse group of individuals including:Dr Gil ArielProfessor Yosef BersteinRabbi Tully BryksDr Mike CohenDr Gabriel DanzigDr Adam FerzigerDr Sy GottleibProfessor GuttmanRabbi Ari KahnDr Daniel KahnRabbi Mordichai MachilsDevorah MantelRabbi Tom (Yosef Chaim) MeyerRabbi Adam SiegelDr Zvi ShimonDr.Eliezer ShoreDr Chana TannenbaumTamar WeissmanDr Francis ShalitThe idea is to provide a diverse experience; these individuals come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.Additionally the Israel Experience runs informal evening programming and weekends. Again the staff here is diverse.I believe the combination of the formal and informal programs and the various aspects of the program will give students a broad wholesome experience.As far as myself, I am amused about the discussion of what I am – if someone figures it out then please let me know. In the meantime I suggest buying my books, if possible multiple copies and read them from cover to cover. (Or look at my website where the material is freehttp://rabbiarikahn.com/)Rabbi Ari Kahn
Despite a website that does little to induce confidence or detail the NCSY/JSU’s Israel Experience Program at Bar Ilan University, the reality appears to be quite different than I reported.…[t]he curriculum schedule sent by Kahn appears to be a real Judaic studies program, and a far more serious program than anything offered at the ultra-Orthodox institutions that have been favored by NCSY for decades for public school graduates (and they continue to quietly send students to these institutions). Most importantly, Hebrew is emphasized and mandatory. This is itself a major indicator if a program seeks general Jewish education and literacy for public school grads, or whether it seeks specific ultra-Orthodox indoctrination.…I was wrong. This program is indeed nothing the likes of the Hashkafa intensive “fluff” of Aish HaTorah.
The Kvetcher - December 29, 2009
NCSY has been touting their Bar Ilan program as proof of their newly Big Tent Orthodoxy to include Modern Orthodox (albeit, right-wing Modern Orthodox) options, and not just ultra-Orthodox and haredi options, as was the case for DECADES until blogs exposed their favored path for public school teens.
Retraction on JSU’s Israel Experience ProgramThe Kevtch - December 30, 2009
As Rabbi Ari Kahn, the Academic Dean of Israel Experience and the Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar Ilan University noted,
My having a MA in Talmud – which is a real degree, allows me to teach courses which are academic and approved by the Talmud department (and based on peer review I am a senior lecturer in the University), if you wish I can send you syllabus and sources covered, this is not “fluff.”Indeed, the curriculum schedule sent by Kahn appears to be a real Judaic studies program, and a far more serious program than anything offered at the ultra-Orthodox institutions that have been favored by NCSY for decades for public school graduates (and they continue to quietly send students to these institutions). Most importantly, Hebrew is emphasized and mandatory. This is itself a major indicator if a program seeks general Jewish education and literacy for public school grads, or whether it seeks specific ultra-Orthodox indoctrination.
Our most bitter point of contention over haredi influence was drawn from the Israel Experience website’s promotion of Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky, a long-time NCSY advisor now at the haredi Ohr Somayach. Orlofsky denigrated Rabbi Slifkin over the controversial idea that the earth isn’t really less than 6,000 years old, a concept perceived as heresy and an act of defiance in the face of the haredi rabbinical leaders. His inclusion was a red flag. But Rabbi Kahn as noted in his comment,
Rabbi Orlofsky does not teach on the program. At one point there was a discussion of him giving an informal lecture, this has not happened.That’s good. Why he was considered in the first place is beyond me.
And though I have taught in Aish – find out who I am before you attack, my classes are my own – I do not teach “Aish” material.I concede that accusing someone of teaching “Aish material” when he is actually a bonafide educator was a raw move on my part, and inaccurate. I should have done more due diligence. I will edit my previous post. I would like to apologize to Rabbi Ari Kahn and to NCSY/JSU. I will try to reach out more to NCSY and the JSU in the future on issues like this before publishing.
Overall, this program does appear to be very different than those of Aish HaTorah, which boasts of a heavy emphasis on “Aish Hashkafa,” and whose classes even in their sample schedule for their intermediate Israel program include “Being Real with Yourself ” and “Topics in Jewish Thought.”
I was wrong. This program is indeed nothing like the Hashkafa-intensive “fluff” of Aish HaTorah.
May 2, 2013
Director of Orthodox gap-year program at Bar-Ilan fired for installing cameras in girls' dorms
Rabbi Tully Bryks, director of The Israel Experience, claimed hidden cameras were installed due to complaints about maintenance staff; he apologized for his 'lack of judgment.'
|Left to right: Rabbi Tully Bryks, Dean and Founding Director, Israel Experience, YU President Richard Joel and Rabbi Ari Kahn, Dean, Israel Experience, and Director of Foreign Student Programs at Bar-Ilan University|
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