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Learning Circles

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Following on from the Neshama Festival, we are delighted to launch the ‘Learning Circles’ initiative. These circles will provide an opportunity for groups of women to meet regularly to learn Torah and discuss issues that impact and affect their Judaism. 

The Office of the Chief Rabbi will collate requests for learning circles and then connect women based on their interests or geographical location.

The participants of the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan Programme are available to teach or lead these circles. Some Ma’ayanot have themes and topics in mind which will guide their circle, others will be guided by those who approach them.

We have provided the below suggestions in order to help the groups work best:

  • To decide on a circle coordinator who will:
    • Inform everyone of the circle logistics: how often and where the group will meet.
  • To decide on a Ma’ayan, Rebbetzen, educator or other circle leader who will be responsible for the content of the sessions. Whilst this person will be responsible for ensuring there is content, circles are a collaborative project and all members of a circle are welcome to lead a session on the group’s chosen topic of learning.


Topic Suggestions:

  • Relationships, Parenting and Shalom Bayit: share the challenges and struggles involved in our key relationships.
  • Lesser Known Jewish Women in History – ‘Pushing Through the Glass Ceiling’
  • Modern Dilemmas from a Halachic Perspective: How is Halacha Still Relevant?
  • The Basics  – Basics beliefs in Judaism:
  • ‘Watch and Learn’ – a Jewish interest film or programme followed by a discussion of the issues it raises.
  • Introducing Mishnah: a collaborative learning of the tractate on women – Seder Nashim. Led and guided by a Ma’ayan, suitable for all levels of learning.
  • Hilchot Shabbat – Learn about the laws of Shabbat in a group setting guided by a Ma’ayan.
  • ‘The Jewish Bookshelf’ – Join this ‘book club circle,’ meeting to discuss both the familiar and less familiar books found on a Jewish bookshelf.

Learning Circles are based on the concept of Lean In Circles, which originated from Sheryl Sandberg’s book, ‘Lean In’. Lean In Circles are small groups of peers who meet regularly to learn together whilst providing support and inspiration for other women. Research shows that we are able to learn and accomplish more in groups and we look forward to extending this to learning Torah.

Please email if you would like to be involved or for more information.

This page will be updated with more details in the coming days and weeks.

To find out more about the Neshama Festival itself and to see pictures from the evening, click here.