L.A. Advanced Women’s Learning Program Takes Off
Launched at the start of Elul this year, the L.A. Advanced Women’s Learning Program is a budding learning initiative with the needs of post-high school and post-seminary girls at its core. Every Thursday night from 8:15 to 9:45 p.m., girls gather at Shaarei Tzedek for an evening dedicated to limud haTorah, personal growth, and heartfelt camaraderie.
Created and led by Rabbi Nachi Klein of Young Israel of Northridge, the program combines text-based, chavrusa-style learning, along with a traditional lecture format. The program also hosts a variety of guest speakers and provides a social network for girls to stay updated on other shiurim and chessed opportunities offered throughout Los Angeles.
“After I started teaching in Valley Torah High School, I noticed that there were a few girls who weren’t going to seminary. And it seemed that even for those girls who did go and came back, there was a lack of formalized programs to help them continue learning and growing,” says Rabbi Klein when asked about the inspiration behind the Advanced Women’s Learning Program. He continues, “I hope this program will fill an important niche and provide an organized framework for young women to engage with halachah and hashkafah in a warm, positive environment.”
With approximately 15-20 girls in attendance each week, the L.A. Advanced Women’s Learning Program is a hidden gem in the heart of Valley Village. Its goal is to uplift the young women in the community, providing a place for continued inspiration, engagement, and growth in their avodas Hashem.
“The L.A. Advanced Women’s Learning Program is the highlight of my week,” says Dalia Frend, one of the program’s participants. “It allows me to stay connected to Torah and learning as well as to my friends and mentors. I am so appreciative to Rabbi Klein for his devotion to the program. He is not only willing to give shiur every week, but he also goes above and beyond – hosting events on the chaggim at his home and arranging guest speakers for us. Rabbi Klein’s classes are imbued with profound lessons, humor, rich Torah insights and sincerity. The program thus far has added so much to my life and I am so grateful for it.”
Jasmine Kiaei, another student, concurs with Frend’s assessment. “Rabbi Klein is able to balance textual learning with insightful Torah concepts that enable us to achieve greater heights in our spirituality and allow us to live more fulfilling lives as religious Jews. Our learning group allows us to continue our growth even past our formal Jewish education. Getting together with other girls on a weekly basis allows me to create deep, lasting relationships and stay a part of the community even while I am part of a secular school environment.”
Devorah Tova Friedman adds, “There aren’t many opportunities for young women to learn in the Valley, and the shiur addresses that need. But it’s not just the location – the content is both practical and inspirational, the text-based approach presents an intellectual challenge, and the company is stimulating. In short: learning is fun! Rabbi Klein does an incredible and devoted job of organizing and leading the shiur, and his hard work pays off. I really appreciate having a shiur that allows me to exercise my mind while spending time with friends. I’ve gained a greater understanding of the middos of chessed and tznius and have learned many insights into the parshah and chaggim, as well.”