As the goal of the Kollel is to impact Jewish communities worldwide, the Kollel wives have a crucial role to play in the success of the initiative. It was therefore decided to create a program for the further development of these women as educators, mentors and counsellors, in order to facilitate the maximum impact on their future communities.
The Kollel was very fortunate in securing the services of Rebbetsen Simma Spetner to found the Program. With her vast experience in the areas of personal growth and education, she was able to initiate the program to meet the special needs of women training to become effective partners in this essential enterprise.
Rebbetsen Chana Kalsmith, the current Director of the Women’s Program, has a long and varied background in Kiruv and Jewish Education. Rebbetsen Kalsmith served for years as a lecturer and teacher for both Aish International and The Jewish Renaissance Center, as well as being the co-founder and Educational Director of the Aish HaTorah International Partner’s Conference. In addition, through Project Chazon, she has lectured in most of the Beis Yaakovs of the Tri-state area. In Israel, she has founded the Ohr Miriam learning program, and teaches and trains young women in various seminaries and other programs.
In addition, we are privileged to have Rabbi Berkovits and other leading educators staff the program, helping to place the Women’s Program at the forefront of its genre. Rabbi Berkovits gives a lively interactive shiur to the women each week so they’re learning halachos and hashkafos from the same viewpoint as their husbands. We also bring in expert speakers who explore a variety of topics, from parenting to proof of Hashem’s existence, including an in-depth course on Taharas Hamishpacha.
But it’s not only knowledge the women gain; the sense of belonging and camaraderie these weekly classes foster are a big part of our program. As the women get to know each other they develop an invaluable network that supports them long after they’ve left the kollel.