Sinai Scholars Student Guide .pdf

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Sinai Scholars Society


The Sinai Scholars Society is a joint project of
Chabad on Campus International Foundation and the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute

An Overview: The Sinai Scholars Society
In colleges and universities across North America, the Sinai
Scholars Society infuses campus life with meaningful,
enjoyable and memorable Judaism.
The semester-long program offers a stimulating course of
authentic Jewish studies that is complemented by an array of
educational activities and field trips.
As Scholars expand the horizons of their Jewish knowledge,
they experience the beauty and relevance of Jewish living
first hand.
Membership in the Society opens up a range of benefits that
include a study stipend, complimentary National Jewish
Retreat enrollment, and entry into the national Sinai Scholars
Symposium and networking event.
The Sinai Scholars Society invites you to join an open and
warm community of peers on a journey of study and selfdiscovery. The skills, knowledge and experience you gain
will help you become passionate, informed Jewish leaders on
campus and in your community.
In the words of graduates...
“Sinai Scholars has given me a beer understanding of myself as a
Jewish woman.”
—Jami, University of Georgia

“This program helped me learn about my ancestors and get more in
touch with my Judaism.”
—David, California State University, Northridge

“The classes really encouraged discussion, allowing us to truly grow.
We shared our thoughts and ideas about each of the commandments,
and no question was off-limits.”
—Melissa, University of Central Florida

Sinai Scholars Society Affiliates
Arizona State University
University of Arizona
S. Diego State University
California State University,
UC S. Cruz
Stanford University
UC Berkeley
S. Monica College
UC S. Barbara
UC Irvine
University of Southern California
S. Francisco State University
California State University, Chico
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Hartford
University of Delaware
University of South Florida
University of Miami
Florida International University
University of Florida
Florida Atlantic University
University of Central Florida
Emory University
University of Georgia
University of Chicago
Northwestern University
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at
University of Indiana
University of Kansas
Tulane University
Tus University
Amherst College
Boston University
Harvard University
University of Maryland
Johns Hopkins University

Towson University
Gowcher College
University of Minnesota
Washington University
Duke University
Dartmouth College
The College of New Jersey
Princeton University
Binghamton University
SUNY Buffalo
New York University
Union College
Cornell University
SUNY Stony Brook
Pra Institute
Queens College
Cardozo Law School
University of Rochester
The Ohio State University
Reed College
Lehigh University
Swarthmore College
Haverford College
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pisburgh
Temple University
Penn State University
Drexel University
Vanderbilt University
University of Texas at Austin
Texas A&M University
University of Virginia
Virginia Tech
University of Vermont
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin
York University
University of Toronto
University of Oawa
Concordia University
McGill University

Additional Benefits

What It Is:


The Sinai Scholars Society program is offered twice a year—
during the fall/winter and spring semesters.

The Annual Students-and-Scholars Academic Symposium
brings together a select group of students from campuses
across North America to present papers on the modern day
relevance of core Jewish beliefs and ideas. Presentations
are assessed by a panel of leading academics and rabbis.
The symposium provides the opportunity to meet and
gain insight from the visiting academics, and to develop
relationships with Jewish peers from other campuses.
The winning paper receives a $500 cash prize.

National Jewish Retreat
Sinai Scholars are granted full enrollment at the National
Jewish Retreat.
The annual five-day retreat combines superb dining and
elegant accommodations with scintillating lectures by
world-renowned speakers to create an experience unlike
any other in the Jewish world. During the day, the retreat
offers a broad range of inspiring workshops, from Talmudic
debate on contemporary medical ethics to a hands-on challah
baking seminar.
Evenings at the retreat are dedicated to entertainment, from
hysterical comedy shows to soulful concerts.
All Sinai Scholars alumni are entitled to aend the National
Jewish Retreat at no expense (a $1500+ value), and eligible
Scholars receive a $200 travel stipend.

Sinai Scholars alumni have the option to trade in their $350
stipend for a trip to Israel, all expenses paid, on the IsraeLinks
tour program.
The IsraeLinks program provides participants with stateof-the-art tour buses, comfortable lodgings, delicious daily
meals (including Shabbat), experienced English-speaking tour
guides, fully paid entrance fees, and many extras which make
this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Israel cherished and memorable.

Sinai Scholars receive a $350 cash stipend upon successful
graduation from the program.

Wisdom from Sinai course (primary component)
The Sinai Scholars Society course, Wisdom from Sinai, is an
academically rigorous and fascinating exploration of the Ten
Commandments, the tenets of Jewish belief.
The fundamental nature of the Commandments allows the
course to look at a range of core Jewish beliefs that span the
spectrum of academic thought: philosophy, ethics, history
and literature. The course also offers a comprehensive howto study of Jewish rituals and customs, shedding the light of
understanding onto the practicalities of Jewish living.
The course is delivered over eight 120-minute classes.
Textbooks and all necessary materials are provided.

Orientation evening
At the first official group event, Scholars will enjoy geing to
know each other in a relaxed and welcoming seing. They’ll
find out all about the program and what the semester has
in store.

Field Trips
The course offers a series of experiential learning
opportunities that offer Scholars real life encounters with
Judaism. Whether to see the workings (and offerings!) of
a kosher restaurant, the architecture of a mikvah, or the
behind-the-scenes operation of a synagogue, the field trips
allow the learning to leap off the textbook and into life.

Shabbat Experience
The blend of good food, good company and the indescribable
Shabbat spirit is what makes the Shabbat Experience
so unique.
Depending on each participant’s chapter, the Shabbat
Experience will either be a fully-catered Friday night meal or
an unforgeable weekend-long authentic Shabbaton spent
together with friends.

Research Program
The Torah’s wisdom is eternal yet refreshingly relevant to our
lives today.
The mentoring program will train Scholars to create a
research paper on the Jewish topic of their choice. Scholars
will learn how to navigate authentic Jewish texts, how to look
up Jewish legal decisions, and how to find modern relevance
in ancient principles.
Once each Scholar seles on a topic that appeals to him or
her, the rabbi or rebbetzin will serve as a guide through the
research, writing and publishing process.
Past papers have included titles such as, “The Golem of
Prague,” “Morality and Legality of Torture,” and “The Ethics
of Bitcoin.”

Closing Ceremony
Students graduate at the closing ceremony—a gala
celebration where they’ll have the opportunity to address
the audience on the insight and experiences they gained.
The ceremony may also feature prominent commencement
speakers, diploma award ceremonies and research
paper presentations.

Continued Alumni Participation
Sinai Scholars alumni are offered continued learning
opportunities through the four-lesson Fascinating Facts
course, as well as other exclusive alumni opportunities.

How to Join:
First, go to to submit your application.
You’ll then be contacted for an interview with the rabbi
or rebbetzin. Aer your interview, you’ve completed the
application process.
At the interview, the rabbi or rebbetzin will ask you about
your goals and aspirations and what you hope to gain from
the program. They will also discuss the unique benefits and
features of the program.
Intake is selective and based primarily on each student’s
demonstrated potential to maximize the opportunities offered
by the program.
The central Sinai Scholars office in New York reviews all
applications and makes a final determination. You will receive
an email informing you of the outcome of your application.

How to Graduate:
To graduate from the program, students will have:

 Aended all eight classes, one Shabbat Experience,
one field trip and the closing ceremony

 Wrien a research paper on the topic of their choice
 Wrien an essay reflecting on the Sinai Scholars

 Completed an end-of-course survey
Outcomes may vary slightly from chapter to chapter.

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