Midrasha Hebrew High School, founded in 1975, is a program of the Jewish Federation of Madison, in partnership with Beth Israel Center, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, and Temple Beth El. The purpose of Midrasha is to provide students with experiences and educational opportunities that will strengthen their Jewish identity and encourage and stimulate their desire to learn about their heritage. Midrasha offers classes in Hebrew, Jewish Studies, and elective subjects for students in grades 8 through 12 who need not be affiliated with a synagogue to enroll.
The curriculum at Midrasha is flexible, constantly evaluated, and updated. Midrasha educators are selected not only for their expertise in their subject area but also for their ability to communicate their knowledge to teens. Classroom teaching relies on a variety of techniques, including audiovisual aids, guest lecturers, as well as interactive discussions. Time for students to socialize both informally and at organized communal events is an integral part of the Midrasha experience.
Midrasha is committed to serving eighth through twelfth-grade students from a variety of denominational and non-affiliated backgrounds. Our faculty represent a wide range of movements and affiliations so that students are exposed to a multitude of ways of being Jewish. Studying at Midrasha provides our students with an opportunity to develop a strong, positive identity and set of values within the framework of a united Jewish people.
“I joined the Midrasha program in the beginning of 8th grade and I could not have made a better decision.” ~ Jaren Bresnick, Midrasha graduate ‘21
“Midrasha has been a place where I felt comfortable and was able to learn more about who I am my Jewish history and heritage. I was also able to make so many friendships with people and connect in new ways.” ~ Yael Rosenblatt, Midrasha graduate ‘21
“Attending Midrasha for the past five years has had a tremendous impact on me. I never could have predicted how much the program would allow me to grow as a Jewish person.” ~ Illana, Beth Israel Center, graduate ‘20
“Learning from strong Jewish leaders of all walks of life has given me a lot of perspective on the different ways to incorporate Judaism into my life, and to how to stay connected to Judaism especially as I enter adulthood.” ~ Jack, Temple Beth El, graduate ‘20
I feel honored and privileged to take on the role of Midrasha Director. This program has a tradition of excellence and is part of the fabric of the Madison Jewish community. I am excited to be a part of this important work.
Graduating high school seniors who have attended Midrasha continuously since eighth grade may be eligible for the full award of (up to) $2000 (amount may vary year to year depending on the number of eligible Seniors and on available funding). The purpose of the Midrasha Incentive Award (MIA) is to encourage graduating Seniors from Midrasha to continue their Jewish education following graduation. Students have used it to go to Israel, attend conferences, take courses in Jewish studies in college, etc. Each applicant needs to submit to the Midrasha committee a proposal explaining how they plan to use the incentive award.
The Madison Midrasha is a community-based five-year/ten-semester program leading to graduation and a diploma of Jewish Studies. It is not to be confused with Temple Beth El's Confirmation program. Midrasha meets a requirement to be confirmed at Temple Beth El. We suggest you contact Nicole Jahr, Director of Lifelong Learning, for Confirmation information.
Educate young people in the way to go, and even when they grow old, they will not depart from it.