About Matan

Women's Institute for Torah Studies

Matan has been at the cutting edge of Torah learning for women since it was established in 1988.  What began as a small group studying around a dining room table with Rabbanit Malke Bina, has developed into a dynamic, broad based institute with intensive Beit Midrash programs and a wide array of innovative and challenging learning opportunities for women of all ages and from all backgrounds. We are inspiring generations of women through multifaceted transformative Jewish study.

Matan is changing the conversation in Israel about women and Judaism.  We are empowering our students with the knowledge, tools and the self-confidence to become teachers, spiritual guides, leaders, role models and change agents in Jewish communities throughout Israel.

Matan has an open and nuanced approach to Torah studies.  Our Batei Midrash create an atmosphere that encourages independent thought, inquiry and discovery.  We have become the address for Israeli women seeking to delve into Tanakh, Talmud, Jewish Law and Philosophy, taught by faculty who are renowned experts in their fields.

Matan also provides ongoing education and community programs such as our summer Tanakh institutes, multiple cohorts participating in the mother-daughter Bat Mitzvah program in Israel and abroad, a wide array of weekly lectures and learning series, seminars, Tanakh learn & tour programs and more.   We are impacting tens of thousands of people annually.

Matan graduates are part of the contemporary Jewish conversation, spearheading change, shaping and strengthening future Jewish generations and informing Jewish life. 

 

Rabbanit Malke Bina

Chancellor of Matan

Rabbanit Malke Bina, Founder and Chancellor of Matan, is a true pioneer. She was born in Baltimore, a child of Holocaust survivors. She earned her M.A. in Bible and History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University. Malke was part of the initial group of foreign students at the Michalala College for Women in Jerusalem. After making aliyah in 1971 she began teaching at the Evelina de Rothschild High School and within a short time started teaching post-high school students; she stood out as one of the first educators in Israel to teach women Talmud and Halakha and imbuing them with Zionism and a love of learning Torah. In 1982 she was sent as part of one of the early delegations from Israel’s Foreign Ministry to Russia to support and encourage Russian Jews to be ready to leave for Israel, helping to light the spark of Judaism and Zionism.
Rabbanit Bina had a revolutionary dream to open a Beit Midrash for women to learn Torah at the highest levels, developing and empowering sought after educators and leaders who would become change agents for women in Jewish society. In 1988 her dream was realized; she founded Matan: The Sadie Rennert Women’s Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem. Since that time Matan has expanded nationally with branches in Ra’anana, Beit Shemesh, Hashmonaim, Zichron Yaakov, Netanya, Modiin, Beer Sheva and Rehovot.

Matan has created innovative advanced Beit Midrash programs that influence and transform the Jewish world, in Israel and beyond, as well as multifaceted community programs that bring Torah learning beyond the walls of the Beit Midrash to students from wide-ranging backgrounds, all united by their thirst to learn Torah, Talmud and Halakha.

Over the years Rabbanit Bina has received a number of distinguished awards including The Hadassah Women’s prize for her important work in Advanced Jewish Studies for Women (2002), an honorary doctorate from Yeshiva University for her lifetime achievement in teaching Torah to women, Aliyah, education and social service (2006), Emunah’s Woman of the Year (2008), the Bonei Zion Prize for outstanding Anglo Olim who have contributed in a significant way towards the State of Israel (2014) and the Manhattan Jewish Experience Torah Leadership Award (2018).

Malke and her husband Rav Aharon Bina, Rosh Yeshiva of Netiv Aryeh, have five children and many grandchildren.
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HaRabbanit Oshra Koren

Director of Matan HaSharon

Oshra Koren is the founder and director of Matan HaSharon: the Mindy Greenberg Women’s Institute for Torah Studies where she teaches Talmud and Tanakh.
In 1994, in answer to requests from the community, Oshra founded the Matan Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzvah program, Jewish Women through the Ages, in order to make the Bat Mitzvah milestone meaningful. The program was so successful that it quickly expanded to locations around the country and it continues to grow. In 2004, the program crossed the ocean and since then has been operating in over 80 communities in North America and around the world.

Oshra leads the Gavna Ensemble; is deputy head of the Raanana Religious Council and a sought after speaker in Israel and around the world. She is married to Rav Tzvi Koren, Rav of Kehillat Kinor David in Ra’anana and Rav of the AMIT Raananim High School. Together they have raised four children.

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Sara (Sadie) Rennert z”l

Matan Women’s Torah Institute in Jerusalem is named in honor of Saide Rennert z”l, a remarkable woman whose memory is a beacon of light that guides and inspires us. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to Sadie, the matriarch of the Rennert family, and to the generations that followed her and embody her Torah values and Torah learning.
Sadie Rennert was born in Warsaw in 1902 and immigrated to the US as a young girl. She grew up in East Flatbush, New York. From an early age she was referred to as an “Angel” because of her devotion to her family and community, her wisdom and acts of loving kindness. These qualities defined her throughout her life and live on in her family.

Ira Leon Rennert, Sadie’s son, describes his mother as a model of love who received joy by giving to others. He recalls with longing their warm and welcoming home, full of the light of Torah and Yiddishkeit, values that came from the heart and are the bedrock of the lives of Sadie’s descendants. Ira and Ingeborg Rennert are leaders and visionaries of many communities in Israel and around the world. They support and immeasurably strengthen the Jewish people in countless ways. They enable the growth of Jewish learning through their commitment to Yeshivot, Midrashot and Torah centers. They have built many mikvaot and synagogues throughout Israel and have had countless Sifrei Torah written that have been donated to diverse communities around Israel. Inge Rennert devotes time and effort to a wide range of Jewish causes in Israel and the US. We at Matan are deeply grateful for the inspiration and encouragement she has given to advanced Torah learning for women. She has motivated and challenged us to aspire to ever greater achievements.

Sadie Rennert’s life values are being transmitted from generation to generation. Her grandchildren Tamara (Tami) , Yonina (Nina), and Ari and great grandchildren Mia, Alexander, Bezalel, Gabriela, Eliana, Yehoshua, Calev, Yeshayahu and Samuel live lives steeped in Torah and Jewish tradition and are devoted to Jewish causes.

Sadie’s granddaughters, Tami and Nina, were amongst the first group of women who studied with Malke Bina in the summer of 1988, prior to the establishment of Matan. This group was the driving force behind the establishment and development of Matan Jerusalem, helping us to become the leading Torah Institute for women.
Matan’s dream is to continue to find ways of answering the needs and challenges that we face through pioneering Torah studies, promoting and strengthening Torah scholars and leaders.

Memories of Sadie and the values that she embraced, encourage us to continue working towards achieving these goals.
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Mindy Greenberg z”l

Mindy Greenberg z”l was a central figure in the Raanana community who recognized that there was a need to establish a place for women to study Torah and believed in its importance. After she passed away, her husband David and the rest of her family decided to commemorate her by generously supporting the establishment of Matan HaSharon, a women’s Torah institute that is recognized by its progressive and forward thinking approach and its commitment to outreach; it plays a central role in Raanana’s community life. Matan HaSharon started out in the home of Debbie and Elliot Tanenbaum, Mindy’s sister and brother in law.
In our mind’s eye, Mindy’s memory is like a spring – pure, calm, gentle and alive. Mindy had the ability to filter out the noise of modern life and hone in on what truly mattered. She seemed to know how to rejoice in the essence of life - compassion, a search for the spiritual and family. At various times and in different places throughout her life, Mindy was a partner in a number of communal activities, with extensive and wide-ranging connections within the community. In the days when she needed to heal and regain her health, she made a conscientious choice to withdraw from the fast track into her home where she could focus on her health and her wonderful family – David, Sasha, Keren, Itai, Yael and Noam. Family and friends who came to visit were always warmly welcomed and felt that holiness lay within the walls of her home - it was the place where the important was truly important.

Mindy was extremely perceptive. She was sensitive to the nature and temperament of each child, enabling them to grow in their own unique manner. She was attentive but never overbearing. At times she chose restraint which can be the most challenging response of all.

It always seemed that Mindy approached each new day refreshed and invigorated. She was both self-assured and humble, aware of what she knew and that tomorrow she might know more or perceive her knowledge differently. Her desire to learn and gain new perspectives, the knowledge that what was apparent yesterday might appear different today, was so evident in her actions that even written words could not have expressed it more clearly.

Mindy lived as she believed - consciously, morally, kindly, fully accepting others, despite their shortcomings, in the belief that our faults are part of who we are. The perfection and completeness of who she was, the purity and true devotion in the way of life she chose to live, are as eternal as the flowing water of a spring.

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