Research Institutes

Special Projects

Zion and the Diaspora Think Tank

A joint interdisciplinary research project: Zion and the Diaspora in the Past, Present and Future: Social, Cultural and Educational Aspects, headed by Schechter’s Prof. Yossi Turner and comprised of the highest level of scholars and intellectuals from Israel and the Diaspora, meets a number of times a year. At each meeting two papers are presented either of a historical or philosophic nature followed by lively discourse. An international conference to share the findings of the group is scheduled for 2019, with a book based on conference proceedings to follow.

The Center for Women in Jewish Law

The Center for Women in Jewish Law, since its inception in 1999, has been devoted to researching, publishing and educating the public on the rights of women from the perspective of the Jewish legal tradition. The Center, through its publications, including the seven-issue Hebrew-English Jewish Law Watch, and its magnum opus Za’akat Dalot (The Cry of the Wretched): Halakhic Solutions for the Agunot of our Time, has advanced Jewish law advocacy research in the area of agunot (women whose husbands refuse them a writ of divorce and whose cases have dragged on in Israeli rabbinic courts).

The Center has also published The Status of Women in Jewish Law: Responsa (in Hebrew and English editions), and a series of booklets, To Learn and To Teach, which provides a religious/legal basis for egalitarianism within Jewish tradition. These booklets,  each of which is devoted to a specific topic on the status of women in Jewish Law, have been distributed throughout the world in five languages.

Newest publications include Ask the Rabbi, a collection of responsa written by two women rabbis and Taking the Plunge: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to the Mikveh. All books may be purchased online at the Schechter Catalog.

The Center for Judaism and the Arts

The Center for Judaism and the Arts was established in 2001 to enrich the culture of Jewish life in Israel. That same year, the Center’s M.A. program in Judaism and the Arts was successfully launched and today it is one of Schechter’s most popular academic programs.

The central educational initiative of the Center is the TALI Virtual Midrash website, an electronic collection of Fine and Folk Art on Biblical themes that has uploaded over 900 images related to Biblical subjects and catalogued them in English and Hebrew, with cross reference search capabilities by artist, theme, time period and topical essays. The site, created by Schechter faculty member Dr. Jo Milgrom and by Dr. Joel Duman, is based on Milgrom’s archive of art images collected over a lifetime of teaching in the field of art as Biblical commentary. When completed, the site’s 4,000 artworks will constitute a major resource for Jewish education.

The Institute of Applied Halakhah

The Institute of Applied Halakhah was founded in 1997 in order to create a library of Halakhic literature in Hebrew, English, Russian and other languages to help foster the study and observance of Halakhah. The Institute publishes responsa, bibliographies, guides to practical Halakhah, and books on the philosophy of Jewish Law, and also hosts a website in Hebrew and English, Responsa for Today. The Institute’s books can be purchased here.