Nearly a quarter of a century ago, a handful of students began
meeting with a cadre of teachers in unheated rented quarters.
There was warmth and genuine caring, and the studies were conducted
in an atmosphere of frank and open dialogue.
Both of these traits - warmth and open dialogue - have continued
to characterize Ohr Somayach and to bring the warmth and dialogue
of Jewish learning to tens of thousands of students from Capetown
to California. Over the years that original nucleus developed
into a network of colleges and seminar programs spanning the globe.
The learning experience is at the heart of Ohr Somayach, where
every class, every lesson, every new concept a student discovers,
pulsates with the lifeblood of Jewish learning. At Ohr Somayach,
the guiding principle is Jewish identity through Jewish knowledge.
Therefore, it is the quality of education that has made Ohr Somayach
the most prestigious institution of its kind in the world...even
more than the numbers of students who take part in Ohr Somayach
programs around the world which total thousands worldwide.
This prestige is a direct tribute to Ohr Somayach's unique staff
of educators both scholarly and worldly, including noted professors
from some of the leading universities around the world. This unique
team is not only literate, sophisticated and articulate...but
creative, dedicated and wise.
Jewish education at Ohr Somayach is more than mere "study",
it is fully integrated with a profound sense of commitment to
Jewish ethics, the Jewish People, and the Jewish Land.
Ohr Somayach students are leadership quality, coming from prestigious
universities. They have published works in all areas of Judaic
studies that have been hailed by Jewish leaders in Israel and
North America. Graduates are serving in communities around the
world as effective lay and educational leaders.
The main campus of Ohr Somayach is a hub of activity, comprising
a complex of facilities: The Beth Midrash (study hall) building
with three floors of classrooms and lecture halls; food services
wing, including kitchens, cafeteria and canteen; residence halls,
libraries, and the administration block of offices and conference
Situated on Shimon Hatzadik Street and Jerusalem Highway One,
the campus is on a main artery linking old and new Jerusalem.
Its location facilitates easy access to all major points of the
city. Ohr Somayach accommodates a wide and varied student population:from beginning freshman to graduate students doing independent
work on fellowship.
The branches of Ohr Somayach are legally, financially and structurally independent of each other.