For many young Jewish women who have already finished high school and are well past college, beginning their families and careers, studying in Israel for the year or spending a gap year at a seminary may not be possible. While it has become a rite of passage for many, there are still many for whom the opportunities did not present themselves for any of several reasons. Some head straight to college, start “the real world,” and even find themselves under the wedding canopy.
For the ones who could not attend seminary, they may also not be able to find Jewish learning or continued educational opportunities that fit their lives and lifestyles–until now. Launched by Dr. Chavi Goldberg on October 30, 2016, CyberSem (short for cyber seminary) is an online women’s seminary geared towards individuals seeking to further their Jewish education. Although CyberSem’s target market is women who haven’t had the opportunity to study in Israel or a traditional seminary for the year, it also provides continued Jewish education opportunities for those who did spend a year or more in seminary. CyberSem crosses boundaries, communities, and levels of faith within the Jewish community. Their classes feature topics that are both practical and educational. Want to learn the Jewish laws in the kitchen for Shabbos as well as learn the Jewish laws surrounding challah? Wondering how to practice ritual family purity? CyberSem has online classes and solutions for you.
In founding CyberSem, Dr. Chavi Goldberg was aiming to help Jewish women find learning opportunities that are practical, flexible, easy, and thoughtful. Everything taught through CyberSem online can be immediately put into practice in our daily Jewish lives. Dr. Goldberg describes CyberSem and her goals: “When thinking about my own Jewish life and how busy I was raising a family, working, going to synagogue, and so on, I realized that it wasn’t easy to squeeze Jewish learning into my life.” She continued: “I felt tasked to find a solution for myself and for all Jewish women who also felt this yearning, but I wanted to make sure that the solutions I was to provide would be both practical and flexible. So I decided that we would build CyberSem as a platform for practical and applicable Jewish laws, and by providing online classes, our students (other women in the Jewish world like me) could learn and study when it was convenient for them.”
Dr. Goldberg saw this as an opportunity to empower herself and other Jewish women everywhere, and so CyberSem went from idea to reality. Having launched on October 30 of this year, right after the Jewish holidays, Chavi is beginning to see enrollment grow and is spending much of her time educating potential students and finding high-level educators. Dr. Goldberg hopes to take CyberSem to new heights with enrollment for classes starting at the beginning of January 2017. In addition to being flexible and practical, CyberSem is also affordable, with one-time classes coming in at $25 (which is accessible to you for a year) and the average 8-week course only costing $350, a real bargain compared to seminary. CyberSem will provide women with a yearning and love of learning with the opportunity to grow and be inspired by accredited teachers who are ready to facilitate an engaging course of study. If you are a Jewish woman, the “I am too busy,” or “I don’t have enough time for myself” excuses not to continue your education is answered by CyberSem. Sign up at www.cybersem.com/course. v