AISH CAFE - the World's Frst Online Jewish University
This was the original website created to introduce AISHCAFE.COM - the world's first online Jewish University! It's domain registration was allowed to expire when in 2009 AISH Cafe was absorbed by the JerusalemUniversityOnlineUniversity.com. Believing that AISH Cafe and its goals should remain visible on the WWW, I recently purchased the domain with the the goal of recreating some of its original content from archived pages and to point interested visitors to the Jerusalem U (see at bottom of page). Since there was little original content available I have augmented it with information from additional outside sources.
I have several friends who took both the Classic which included units on Love and Relationships, Genesis and the Big Bang, Jewish Contribution to World Values, Jerusalem and others and Positive Psychology and Judaism which included units on Change, Being Human, Goal Setting, Jewish Festivals, Esteem and others. One of my friends, M, would always wear what he called his lucky Batman sweatshirt whenever he took one of the exams. I asked him if he also had a lucky Batman T-shirt, and sure enough he did. Actually he had lots of Batman t-shirts that were really quite cool. I questioned him about his choice of attire while taking these classes. Don't you think you should be wearing perhaps a more Jewish friendly t-shirt with the words Shalom or some other Yiddish saying? Well, he had t-shirts like that, but he found that whenever he wore a Batman t-shirt he would always ace his exams. Oy! So who am I to complain about his sartorial choices.
Anyway, I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the aishcafe.com/ domain and re-purposing it for something that had nothing in common with the original website. I wanted to keep the spirit of the original AishCafe.com website intact.
The wisdom of the ancients - the language of the web - Join us for a latte now at the AISH Café.
With our unique program of fun movies, mp3's and other interactive media, you can finally discover the power of your heritage at your own pace, while being entertained in the comfort of your dorm room!
Upon completion of the program you'll receive either a $250 stipend or $300 towards a subsidized trip to Israel.
About Aish HaTorah:
Aish HaTorah is an apolitical, international network of Jewish educational centers, providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to discover the wisdom and beauty of their heritage in an atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect. 25 branches in 8 countries inspire over 100,000 people each year with the meaning of being Jewish. Aish HaTorah's educational programs are based on the following principles:
- Torah teaches us how to maximize our pleasure and potential in life.
- Jewish belief needs to be built on a rational foundation and not a leap of faith.
- Judaism is a journey where every step counts. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition.
AishCafe.com offers online courses in Judaism for the curious university student. The courses are presented with interactive animations, rich movies, mp3 recordings readings and quizzes. The site, run by Aish HaTorah, an Orthodox Jewish educational network based in Israel, offers students willing to learn about their faith a payout of up to $250 or a $300 subsidy for a trip to Israel upon successful completion of the course of study.
Two courses of study are offered on the site:
Classic – including units on Love and Relationships, Genesis and the Big Bang, Jewish Contribution to World Values, Jerusalem and others.
Positive Psychology and Judaism - including units on Change, Being Human, Goal Setting, Jewish Festivals, Esteem and others.
Alternatively a course may be taken for three college credits.
What are the classes about?
The classes discuss all many aspects of Jewish Wisdom. From Jewish philosophy, current issues, controversial topics, Jewish foundations, a deeper look into the Chumash and more. Weekly classes are geared towards each individuals level so their are a few classes to choose from.
How are the lessons structured?
On Tuesday students will have to attend 2 classes at the Aish Centre. 1 at 7pm and one at 8 15pm. An optional supper will be served before from 630pm.
How does the stipend work?
To qualify for the stipend students must attend all the 10 week classes. In addition there will be two shabbatons during this period. The exact dates will be announced closer to the time. Students are expected to come to a Friday night supper and program and a Saturday lunch and program.
Once all this is completed students will get R1750
How can I be accepted to the programme?
No previous knowledge or background in Judaism is required to participate. Open minded Jews who are eager to learn about Judaism from the ages of 18 -29 yrs old should apply for the programme. Acceptance to educAISHion is based upon a combination of both an application form and an interview. We have the right to accept or not accept anyone we choose.
What is the purpose of the programme?
To strengthen Jewish Identity. Participation in the programme will deepen your awareness of Judaism and you will walk out of the programme a prouder and more knowledgeable Jew. You will also make a whole bunch of new friends.
There is money available for those who finish courses.
Aish Cafe was the old name / brand, it is in the process of transitioning to Jerusalem Online University.
PRESS ABOUT AISH CAFE
By Greg Bluestein, Associated Press Writer
August 14, 2008
ATLANTA --AishCafe's flashy Web presence makes it look more like a gambling site than the religious experience it is.
There are interactive animations, clickable icons and even a mock iPhone to lure in Jewish college students. And, like gambling, it could pay to play.
The site, run by Aish HaTorah, an Orthodox Jewish educational network based in Israel, offers students willing to learn about their faith a payout of up to $250 or a $300 subsidy for a trip to Israel.
AishCafe has shelled out some $300,000 to students since it launched a year and a half ago. Supporters see the approach as an effective way to reach young Jews at a time when a dwindling number have strong ties to their religious roots and community.
"There's a sense today that college students are very busy with their schedules and their lives, and in order for them to take time out, they need to be incentivized," said Rabbi Raphael Shore, the program's director. "It's the same way colleges offer scholarships."
But some Jewish leaders are concerned that paying students to take the courses sends the wrong message.
"If you believe that Judaism is a viable religion for many different reasons -- and you're able to show it in a way that's truly meaningful -- that's truly exciting," said David Katznelson, who organizes innovative religious and arts celebrations in San Francisco that attract many young Jews. "And I don't think you need to pay people to do that."
His battle-tested advice? "Host something interesting and they will come."
Jewish leaders have been struggling for years to reverse the decline in religious observance among young people and stem the high-rate of intermarriage. Offering incentives to learn has become somewhat accepted, partly because of the popularity of the Birthright Israel program.
Since it started eight years ago, Birthright has sent 170,000 Jewish students on free 10-day trips to Israel. Participants must be Jewish, between the ages of 18 and 26, and must have never been to Israel on a similar group trip. Nothing is required of the participants in return.
By contrast, AishCafe puts students through a gantlet of tests on Jewish rituals and history, featuring a dozen classes with catchy titles like "Genesis and the Big Bang" and "Pleasure 101," each offering its own edgy take on Jewish rituals, morals and ideology.
The program isn't easy. Participants must watch seven hour long films, listen to three audio programs and complete two live, in-person classes with a rabbi. Each includes a separate reading and a test. Students only get a full $250 payment if they score high grades.
AishCafe also offers students a separate class called "Positive Psychology and Judaism" by Tal Ben-Shahar, a popular lecturer at Harvard University. The course costs $549 but can reward participants with three college credits.
So far, organizers say most of the 1,500 students who have participated in the classes have fared well. More than 90 percent of students pass their tests, and 97 percent would recommend the course to a friend, Shore said.
"We simply want to try to introduce young Jews who haven't had the opportunity to learn about Judaism," Shore said. "They go to university and might be well versed about science, mathematics and literature, but their Jewish education may be very fragile."
Jerusalem U was founded by Rabbi Raphael Shore in 2009 to address the prevalent and growing need to educate and inspire the new generation about Judaism and Israel so that they gain a stronger Jewish identity and an appreciation of their heritage.
Our mission at JerusalemUniversityOnlineUniversity.com is to educate and inspire our students, broaden their knowledge of Judaism and Israel, and cultivate Jewish identity and pride through engaging and interactive online content. Committed to educational excellence through innovation, we strive to develop future leaders and advocates for Israel.
Their website: www.jerusalemu.org/