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Jewish Activity and Learning Program in the Hevron Hills







Studyprogram for those who want to prepare for a giyur (conversion)

Article Jerusalem Post




In Har Hevron (Susya area) Shalom Center has a activity and/or study program for non-Jews who want to see something uniques of the land or want to study (something about) Judaism or about the actual situation in Eretz Israel based at the Tanach. The program is open for Noachides, Messianics, 'Eframites', 'Ten-tribers', Hebrew-Roots Christians, Evangelical Christians, Non-denominationals, atheists who want to see something of land and/or to study about the Jewish faith or about the actual situation in Eretz Israel based at the Tanach. We have a variety of possibilties and programs in Dutch, Afrikaans and English. 


Shalom Center has also studyprogram for families who through giyur (conversion) want to become a part of the Jewish faith and people. In the villages of the Hevron Hills and surrounding we welcome giur students to prepare themselves for giyur while living in their place. Our device for the studies Judaism at Shalom Center is 'Learning through living life'. Students learn the Orthodox Jewish life by study and practicing the Orthodox Jewish life in a Jewish community; from synagogue till kitchen. We take them with us to the synagogue and teach them while we prepare our foods in the kitchen and while we celebrate the festivals with the family and in the community etc. etc.. Students who we prepare for giyur, we also prepare them to live in Eretz Israel as they live within the community. Lessons will be provided Rabbis and teachers from the local Orthodox Jewish community. Lessons are in English, Dutch and Ivriet language. The aim of our courses is strictly educational. Our aim is to teach you what you want to be taught. Students who prepare themselves for a giyur follow a study program according to the standards given by the National Giyur Beit Din.







Before accepting giyurstudents in the area, we look for the best suitable giyur program for each. Not for every student Har Hevron area is the optimal or possible place to finish the giyurstudy. Each person and situation is different. Because of that we have sent students to Machon Meir, AMI, Orthodox Union, B'erot Bat Ayin, Beit Moriah or institutes abroad as it better met the needs and possibilities of the the students





We already welcomed students from the Netherlands, Belgium,  England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, France, Swiss, Austria, Malta, Serbia, Slovenia, U.S.A., Canada, Honduras, Ecuador, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia who came for a lesson or a  program here at in Har Hevron. Amongst them Christians and journalists who came to study about the actual situation here in Israel. Further we had many students through Skype/Voip and email from all over the world.


Visit to tomb of Ruth in Hevron at May 17th, 2010, before Shavuot 5770 from Shalom Center on Vimeo.






For information pls call Aryel Tsion (+972)0523003117 or Rabbi Yishai Tsur (+972) 0526070187 or send him an e-mail (click here)


Accommodation is available in Har Hevron (in the Orthodox-Jewish settlement of Susya or in neighboring settlements), close the the Negev desert.


Susya is a rebuild ancient city. There are a lot of remnants from the Talmudic period; a synagogue, a lot of mikwes for Kohaniem and/or Levites (which is remarkable), and many caves which were used as homes. Probably kohaniem (priests) and or Levites have lived here. Because of this it also might have been a part of the Levite city Yutta. Further there are the remnants of a fortress from the Maccabees. Susya is a good location for trips to the desert, Hevron (where Machpela is where Avraham, Itschak and Ya'akov are buried), Yatir Forest, Arad, Massada etc.. There is a swimming pool with separated hours for man and women and a mini-supermarket. 


Values for the Jewish Learning Center in Susya are: To live strong-religious (in this open to what HaShem wants of us today and does in this time), Emuna (Faith and trust in our Mighty G'd, also faith that everything is in His control and that He leads us everyday in His plan for this time), Balance between study, work and family life, Non-materialistic, Rural and ecological interests (love for the (physical) land of Israel. Searching for further spiritual depths en insights to live and act (also in personal prayer and meditation) more according to the will of HaShem to live close to HaShem just like king David who also lived for a time in this area before he became the king of Israel. This is the area where the 12 spies climed 'HaHar' (the Hevron Hills). It was meant that from here they would take the land in possesion. Just like that this is a place to learn and practice faith and trust in HaShem to settle in the land.


For Noachides, Messianics, Hebrew-Roots Christian, Evangelical Christians, Non-denominationals and for those who want to learn about the actual situation based at the Tanach, Machon Har Tsion offers a choice of subjects:


Ø Differences between Christianity and Judaism. Why Orthodox Jews have difficulty with the so called 'New Testament'

Ø Emuna and Bitachon, faith and trust in the Jewish perspective

Ø Israel, land, chosen by HaShem

Ø Jerusalem, place chosen by HaShem

Ø Yehuda, land of the Jews, a political view based at the Tanach.

Ø Land for peace? A honest analyze based at historical facts of the recent history

Ø Lets try it at Gods way. The biblical concept of peace.






Studyprogram for those who prepare for a giyur (conversion)


For those interested in giyur we have a studyprogram according to the guidelines of the National Giyur Rabbinate



First taste  
Jewish History Bereshit
  from Egypt to destruction of first Tempel
  Babylon exile till Bar Kochba revolt
  From Galut to Geula
Oral Thora The Jewish books
  Tradition and Halacha
  Different traditions; Ashkenazim, Sefardim
  Machloket in Halacha
Israel and the Nations Chosen people
  Attitude to goyim/gerim
the Holy Mitswot Shma Israel as base of Emunah
  the Needs of Mitswot by acting
  the holiness of person, place and time
Introduction Visitors in the world of HaShem ask for permission and say Thank you
  Nothing is guaranteed/the capability of controlling your needs (eating, fasting, kosher)
  Spiritual meaning for physical acting (sexual life, eating, sleeping, drinking)
Bless of enjoying Netilat Yadaim
  Blessing before and after meal/ Zimun
  Blessings on food and smells
  What comes first, corrections
Bless of mitswot Right to be obliged to do the mitswot
  Bless before action
  Blessing of the Torah
Blessings of thanks Ha Gomel
  Asher Yatsar
Different blessings Birkat HaBanim
  Birkat Cohanim
Introduction How prayer influences and how it is useful
  Contact with HaShem
  Prayer as a trial, as a way to judge yourself
  My prayer or the prayer of the Siddur?
Timing of prayer Needs for time  and definitions of times
Period of the Prayer Names of the prayers
  Structure of prayer
  Difference between Shabbath and Moadim and workdays
Reading the Torah Needs and times
  Blessing of the Torah and number of people
Special prayers Prayer for the State of Israel
  Kiddush Levana
  Avinu Malkenu
Different books Siddur
  Different nusachs
Women prayer Prayer of Hannah
  Not obliged to do time binded mitswot
Tefillat Haderech Needs and rules
Kaddish Meaning, types and language
13 principles of  faith Torah from HaShem, taking care of the world, prophecy
  Messiach, miracles. Natural and super natural (e.g. Purim and Yetsiat Mizraim)
10 commandments Difference in positive and negative mitswot
  Difference in mitswes between a person and God and between a person and another 
Mitswot Loving your neighbor, Tsadakka, Chesed
  Receiving guests, visiting the sick
  Care for animals
  Returning of lost property
  Guarding your tongue
Man and his connection to  Good urge and bad urge
God Principles you have to give your life for, Hollowing the Name of God, Disgrace of the 
  Name of God
  Return to God (teshuva)
  Fear of God
  Way of life
Hebrew calendar Age of the world, the counting of the years
  Beginnings, the meaning of the word Bereshit what stands for 'what for'
  The Jewish influence on time; Kiddush HaChodesh, adding another month-"adar"
  The year of the sun and the year of the moon
Beth Knesseth and holy Items
Holiness of Beit Knesseth Behavior during prayer and attitude to the place itself
Structure in Beit Knesseth Names and order of the items according to the different traditions
Tallit & Tsytsyt Tchellet, meaning and central mitswe of tsytsyt
Tfillin Meaning and way it is done and put & Halachot
Sefer Torah Parts & Halachot
Messuza The way you write it and where you put it
Font of Torah The Holy name of HaShem on leather of cow
Introduction Holiness of time
  Spiritual day for the neshama of the family
Erev Shabbath Preparation, lightning candles and times of Shabbath
Kaballat Shabbath Different soul, Shalom Aleichem
Shabbath meals Kiddush in the place you eat means spiritual and fysical needs combined
  Two breads, three meals and Joy of Shabbath
Shabbath prayers Reading the Torah and Haftarah
  The people who come to bless, the reader, the who holds the Torah and the one
  who closes the Torah, the Gabai
  Blessing at certain people and Prayer for the State of Israel
Forbidden activities on Creation is forbidden, not hard work
Shabbath 39 priciples of forbidden activities, adding's from Oral Torah
  Muktze; cooking, platta, hot water
Motsé Shabbath Havdallah,and adding to the Shabbath
Non-Jew and Shabbath Non-Jew who want to keep Shabbath
Technology and Shabbath Shabbath clock, Shabbath elevator etc.
Special Shabbats Shabbath meverachin (before Rosh Chodesh), four parashiot, Shabbath Teshuva,
  Shabbath Bereshit, Shabbath Shira, Shabbath HaGadol etc.
Introduction Holiness of food, capability of controlling your needs, the food for the body has to fit 
  the needs of the soul
Meat Eating meat limited legitimacy
  Which animals we eat
  Schita, the way we slaughter animals, the way we clean it from the blood, what 
  is 'bashar chalack'
Meat & milk Forbidden from the Torah, time we wait between meat & milk
  Seperation of vessels, making vessels kosher
Forbidden culture influence  Wine, milk , bread and vessels
through food  
Vegetables & fruits Insects, orla, shvit, Challah, trumot & maaserot. New wheat/grain
Industrial adding's Gelatine, fragrances, tastes, preservatives
Products of animals Eggs, milk, honey
Supervision of kashrut Teudat kashrut, marks on products
Kosher kitchen Practical advise
Cyclus of life  
Birth Brit Mila (circumcision), meaning, timing, Eliyahu's Chair
  Hebrew name
Pidyon HaBen Idea and when we do it
Education Mitswat Chinuch, Educational institutes
Bar/Bat Mitswe Age, differences between boys and girls
  Alyah LeTorah, Tfillin, Baruch Shepetarany
Teenager Modesty regarding sexual tempts
Marriage Sexual life; holy or sinful
  Engagement, Chuppa and Kiddushin, Ketubah, Kosher witness and 7 Brachot
  Mikwe and purity
  Modesty in covering the head
  Mitswe Ona and Pru Urevu (having children)
  Forbidden marriage, mamzer (bastard)
  Divorce, Get
Death Burial
  Mourning, on who, time, customs
  Kaddish, Shiva, Thirty, A year, Jahrzeit, Reminding the soul
Teshuva Life of teshuva, Slichot
Rosh HaShannah Judgementday, Confession
  Remarks of the festival and other Halachot
Ten days of teshuva Fast of Gedaliah, Shabbath Shuva
Yom Kippur Halachot
  Kol Nidre, Work of High Priest, Yom Kippur prayers
  Jona, Neilah
Sukkoth Meaning and Halachot of Sukkah
  Meaning and Halachot of Arba HaMiniem
Chol HaMoed Meaning and Halachot
HoShannah Rabbah Meaning and tradition
Simcha Torah Meaning and tradition
Prayer for Rain Declaration and begging for rain
Chanukkah History, The Maccabean fight
  Halachot and traditions
  Actuality of Chanukkah story
Tu BiShvat Meaning and tradition
Purim Meaning and tradition
  Megillah story
Pesach Forbidden of the Chametz, meaning and halachot
  Kashrut of the kitchen
  Chol HaMoed and last day of Pesach
Sfirat Ha'Omer Meaning of counting, Halachot, mourning during Omer
Yom HaShoah Memorial day of Shoah, Stories, Facts and Faith during Shoah
Memorial Day The price we pay for Independence
Yom Ha'Atsmaut Independence Day. Spiritual meaning of the State of Israel
Lag Be'Omer Bar Kochba Revolt, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
Yom Yerushalaim History till today
  Yerushalaim as the center of the world
Shavuot Meaning, Halachot and tradition
Fastdays 10th of Tevet, 17th of Tamuz, 9th of Av, Gedaliah, Esther






Susya in Har Hevron area is situated, by car, one hour south of Jerusalem and half an hour north of Be'er Sheva (and an hour and a quarter drive from Ben Gurion Airport).


















I really had a great time studying at the Beth Midrash in Susya. I also enjoyed it very much to study ”Right on the spot” at the Kever of King David, Yerushalayim, Hevron Machpela, Ancient Susya and in the wonderful area. Very interesting were the lessons with Ary’el, Rav Ishai and Rav Merzbach and fellow ‘Sussyans’. I learned a lot about Jewish life. For me it was a great experience and a wonderful time of study. I’m looking forward to the next times in Susya !!!

John, 20 years
The Netherlands




I learned a lot during my stay in Susya, studying Judaism at the historical places. I learned how to read the Thora and Tenach. It was different than I was used to read it. About my expectations of the study: Actually I didn’t know what to expect. The whole period here was a big lesson, I learned a lot during the lessons but also through what I saw in the Jewish daily life her in Susya, from the people in the synagogue, from the people I got a lift, from the lessons the fathers gave to their children during the meals, from the mothers who were walking with their children, from the people on the street. Wonderful.

Vanessa v B.




I participated in the program because because I wanted to experience life in a Jewish community in Yesha. Soon I will hopefuly finish my giyur (conversion to Judaism); however at the moment I am not officialy Jewish yet. Being in this position I did not know what to expect of the program. After the experience I can say, if you are a Jew searching for your roots or a ger tsedek (convert) you will be surprised in a positive way. The community of Susya is warm and very welcoming. Not only will you learn a lot in terms of Torah and Judaism but you will also get a taste of Judaism how it is meant to be, in the hilltops of Judea. You will visit chupot (Jewish weddings), visit the graves of tsadikim and much more. Also you can rest assured that you will not spend one Shabbat alone. The people of Susya will invite to their homes and will want to hear more about your connection to Judaism and Israel. If you are motivated the local rabbi's will be more than happy to teach you Torah, Mishna and Gemara. In short a unique opportunity that you don't want to miss.

Chaim v S
The Netherlands




My name is Hagar C. and I come from Holland. I have the wish to become Jewish. This I knew already a long time but we were considering taking steps in this direction beginning 2009. I heard a story about a man from Holland who was a Christian before but now had become a Jew and living in Israel. His name was Ary’el Tsion. I phoned him and told my story. Then my family and I decided to study at Beth Midrash Susya. We studied for a week in Susya. We stayed at their accommodation and were received very friendly and enjoyed their hospitality. We studied at different locations such as the Machpela, Jerusalem and ancient Susya. All kinds of topics we were able to look into and found a lot of answers to questions we had. Aryel was able to reveal to us many things about the messiah, Oral Tora, Prophets, and Halacha. We also met many inhabitants of the village and even had a nice interview with the main rabbi. Also I went to the synagoge and the visit to Susya was in fact a confirmation for me that I am on the right path.

Hagar C.
The Netherlands



Article Jerusalem Post




















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