I really loved Snorkel and Study. It was life altering and all together a positive and challenging experience. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to learn what it means to be a Jewish woman in her twenties.
I went to a Bais Chana program called Snorkel and Study. It really impacted me tremendously and motivated me to eventually study in Israel for several months at a seminary.
I joined Bais Chana as a volunteer for the teens, and womans sessions and was, to say the least, blown away! The atmosphere is incredibly positive and warm. The classes, deep and yet entertaining, so much so that they could go on for hours without anyone noticing. I love Bais Chana for the fact that it is an escape from a world of turmoil and a place of spiritual growth for all those passing through it's doors.
Bais Chana was a great program that gave me the space to learn more about my religion and about myself through their Winter Break Workshop. The teachers were some of the best in the world, and they provided a setting for us to get personal help and advice that made us stronger, wiser, and more informed citizens of the world and ourselves.
Bais Chana is a warm home that women from all walks of life can come to to get the spiritual and emotional nurturing they need to face the challenges of the world.
I was introduced to Bais Chana through the Rabbitson at my shul and took a chance and went only a few short weeks after finding out about it. Bais Chana has changed my life in many ways. It's elevated my learning and grounded my existence.
They offer exceedingly well rounded educations within Judaism to women who may have not had that type of opportunity otherwise. The staff is passion and compassionate. The women they attract are hungry for learning and kind.
This is an amazing organization.
I heard of Bais Chana many years ago and that they organise seminars gathering women from around the globe, from all walks of life and reach out to each and everyone to get reinforced in their religion, learn Torah and reach to new levels of spirituality for all ages! I became exited and absolutely wanted to attend a seminar! A person helped me to connect with Bais Chana and they helped me to go. The seminar is everything that it's reputation says about it and so much more! Since my first seminar 4 years ago i have kept most of the solid friendships made, i got to travel and Tour Israel with Bais Chana and i got to stay and additional 6 month to learn Torah in Israel with referals from Bais Chana.
You should know that when all this started, i was 33 years old, from a completely secular traditional family, i went to a convent high school, being the only jew there, then went to secular college and University, had a glamourous life working on film sets, working as a fashion photographer and having many famous friends from Hollywood. My older brother and sister intermarried assimilated and later at 30 i nearly lost my life from a sever head injury.
So when i went to Bais Chana, i started to let go of my entire past and was ready to rebuild my jewish life which i knew absolutely nothing of. I had a new whole new world to gain. Within a year i learned how to live a spiritual life according to Torah, visited Israel from a full Torah perspective and kevers of Tsadikim. Most of all Bais Chana took our group to Hevron at Maharat Hamachpela and othet sites which has also dramaticaly changed my life. The book of Torah was no longer a book of tales and legends.. Here we were by the caver of Avraham, Isaak, Yaacov aveinou, Sarah, Leah, Rivka imenou, and of Adam Arishon and Chava. No need to be convinced, there is somthing about the land of Hevron which cannot be explained. We must just go with the right people to learn and understand and sense the truth of the Torah. Once in Hevron, one can no longer deny its existence, its absolute truth! From this trip with Bais Chana, i became completely tsniout, shomer negya, and finally got married within the year in Israel! I now live a spiritual life of Torah and mitsvot, have a beautiful baby and am so Thankful , Grateful for Bais Chana to have been such incredible shluchim of Hashem to have paved the way along for me to live a full life! May they continue to do the work they do and get sponsorship to help more people who were so lost as i was. They have educated me and it has saved my life and Barouch Hashem now also brought new Jewish life (our baby)!
Thank You Bais Chana. There are no words i can say that can come to the level of the limitless life you have tought me to live!
AMAZING organization dedicated to embracing our lives as productive women who can and will make a difference in whatever we do.
I participated in the Snorkel and Study program run by Bais Chana in January, 2010. The most memorable aspect of the program was its knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers. The topics were interesting and relevant. Some classes expanded my academic knowledge of my religion, while others helped me contemplate lifestyle choices. I met fellow participants who were also exploring their Judaism, and together we discussed the topics we had been learning about in class. All of the staff at Snorkel and Study were helpful, gracious, and clearly dedicated to making the program as positive an experience as possible.
Bais Chana was an unbelievable experience that taught me how important it is to have a strong jewish foundation and was a candid forum for me to interact with my peers and see their view and relationship with religion
the classroom experiences were amazing, I learned so much and was able to ask an question to the guest speakers and introduced to new concepts, but the most important part of my learning came from the down time I had with my peers and the counselors for the trip.
I learned so much from my counselors and peers. We would stay up late every night and talk about different jewish customs and laws and how others viewed their importance and it was a forum to air grievances about difficulties practicing religion in such a secular society.
Bais Chana was a 24/7 learning opportunity and I met some of my best friends on that trip.
I spent time at the Bais Chana Womens Program almost 4 years ago and then again 3 years ago. I am mentioning this from the very beginning because even though my time there was not recent, I still carry all of the amazing and truly inspirational messgaes that I learned. Most of all I made friends that will last a lifetime and are active people in my life and the community that encourage women's studies and participation. The program changed my view of the Jewish woman as a dated and uneducated stereotype that only has one role in the community. Now I understand and practice myself the TRUE role of a Jewish woman in my daiy life, thanks to Bais Chana.
I was introduced to Bais Chana for the first time in Israel, and I thought the concept itself was fantastic! Just women, of all ages and different backgrounds learning and bonding together in a very relaxed and pleasant athmosphere. Rabbi Manis Friedman is one of the most special educators out there - he has a unique approach to Judaism and relates to each student on an individual level and that is not an easy task to fulfill. I've been involved with different organizations throughout the years and had very different experiences with Jewish educators - Bais Chana is by far on top of the list with the efficiency and depth of learning and really touching the lives of their students.
What an enriching experience Bais Chana Provided!
Meeting so many inspirational woman. engaging in stimulating Learning and discussion.
I walked a way a stronger and smarter woman!
Bais Chana helped me when I was in need of guidance and direction. The people there were supportive, insightful, wise, open minded and warm. I was invited to think about things in new ways, and encouraged to grow and become more. I have been part of bais chana for a couple years now, but and i will always consider them my family.
As a young girl, I attended Bais Chana classes with my mother. Even then, I was impacted by the sincerity of the personnel and the quality of the participants. As an adult, I worked for Bais Chana for over 7 years as their media producer. I attended over 10 sessions, interviewed over 100 participants, and recorded over 60 hours of meaningful dialogue, classes, and interactions. Consistently, across all demographics, the women I interviewed shared the same things: The learning is dynamic, insightful and personally meaningful beyond their expectations; the staff is incredibly insightful and supportive; the women who attend are sincere, warm and non-judgmental people with which a sisterhood instantly develops; there is a strong sense of ''coming home'' to a place that welcomes you with open arms and it is "life-changing". Last year, for the first, time, I left my video equipment at home and I came to Bais Chana as a participant. Although I had spent hours over the years talking to so many women about their positive experiences, I was still blown away. It truly was everything described to me- even more! Bais Chana is a unique, valuable, tremendous asset to Jewish women worldwide. It is unparalleled and I feel privileged to be have worked with, and benefited from, this organization.
In Bais Chana, you're given a foundation...a foundation to learn and to grow. Bais Chana isn't just an amazing program, it's so much more than that. Jewish women from all different backgrounds come to Bais Chana to learn, to grow and to connect with Jewish women all around the world. I first came to Bais Chana six years ago, in the summer of 2005 for the teen program and then I returned for a second time in the fall of 2005 for their thanksgiving retreat. Bais Chana gives women the essential tools to empower their lives. Hinda Leah Sharfstein is one of the most dedicated, determined and understanding women that I know—she puts her heart and soul into the program, she makes sure that everyone's needs are met.
The counselors are not randomly chosen. They are specially selected from the camp's amazing director for unique personalities. They are emotionally stable and are there for their girls physically and mentally. They are also there to laugh, cry and joke with them. The atmosphere in Bais Chana is refreshing, it's open and non-judgmental. And, the seminars and workshops are stimulating and full of meaning. Bais Chana offers programs to teens, women and couples.
I can think of so many ways to begin this. Some of these ways include Bais Chana is an amazing experience, or Bais Chana is an incredible program, or Bais Chana has really changed the way I look at life. I should probably pick one of these and go on to write the rest of this review. However, the more I ponder and think about what exactly Bais Chana has done for me, the more I realize that none of those beginning sentences would really be correct. Bais Chana isn’t an amazing or incredible experience; it is so much more than that. Bais Chana hasn’t just changed the way I look at life; it has changed my life itself. Bais Chana is my life, or at least a major part of it.
Where do you find a group of teenage girls who stay up late at night learning Torah? Or sitting around talking with the counselors and other campers about different Mitzvos? Where do you find a group of girls who are so eager to know and to learn? Where do you find an environment in which they are able to do so? The answer to all of these is at Bais Chana.
I loved Bais Chana. Loved it. But it wasn’t only that I loved it, I needed it as well. My soul needed it. I had spent so many years of my life just…confused and wanting to understand things that I couldn’t wrap my head around. For so many years of my life, my soul was hurting. It was crying out for the truth. Then, I went to Bais Chana, and questions that had been on my mind for years suddenly got cleared up. Bais Chana gave me answers, and it also gave me the willpower to continue searching. Bais Chana is the kind of experience that you spend the rest of your life living and growing from. Friends made there are friends forever and things learned there remain with you forever. Bais Chana changes lives. While doctors and surgeons revive people physically, Bais Chana revives people spiritually. And this is definitely just as important.
Bais Chana is a not a place or a mere organization. It's a way of life. The warm staff and people who run the program are truly doing it with love and sincerity.
Bais Chana is the place where everyone can feel safe and at peace; mind, body and spirit.
As a counselor, this is what I always and continue to hear months perhaps years after any program.
''You get the taste of truth and then....you never want to leave; never want to return to the real world.''
''Everyone is given the chance to express themselves in their own way and the magic of it all is that no one feels judged! Everyone gets their moment to shine and no one leaves feeling like a nobody.''
''The world seemed so different after Bais Chana but it made me so strong; I actually felt like I can stand for something. I think people would be much more happy if they stood for at least something!''
''I can't imagine my life now without Bais Chana''
''When I met other girls at the program; it almost felt like we knew each other from the past.''
''Educate a woman and you'll have educated a generation!''
Bais Chana gives women a chance to discover the best lifestyle all the while letting each one's own light lead the way.
What makes it different is that it's not inspiring
It doesn't change you...it only makes you stronger!
Bais Chana is by far the best womans outreach organization I have ever been involved in. From the moment I arrived at my first retreat you are treated very special. All your needs are taken care of, and the learning is amazing. Hinda Leah, the director works hours upon hours to make a difference in womans lives across all generations. Bais Chana is one of the best places in the world. From my Bais Chana experience I grew individually, and as a couple.
There are couple retreats as well.
When I went to Bais Chana my first time I had recently made a big change in my life. I was raised one way, and then as teenagers go, I went down a path opposite from how I was raised. Things came to pass in my life that brought me full circle to realize I had the truth from my family, but I didn't see it for a lot of years.
When I went to Bais Chana, I was new going down this path, and Bais Chans helped to solidify things, and give me the answers I needed to know I was doing the right thing now.
From my personal expereince at Bais Chana I decided to be a donor, so I could be apart of this experience to also help make a difference for other woman as well.