New friends, ancient texts, endless fun!

The Drisha Summer Middle School Program is scheduled for July 2nd through July 21st in 2024, at the Labadorf Center in West Milford, New Jersey.

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Program Overview

The Program

For over thirty years, Drisha has offered young Jewish women an opportunity for immersive and intensive textual study over the summer. Our programming has expanded to include middle school students. Students in the Middle School Program join our buzzing Beit Midrash, growing their skills in Talmud study and building community with a diversity of Torah-loving peers. We're happy to announce that the program is back for another year!

Students will have the opportunity to engage in serious study of Jewish texts beyond the scope of a middle school classroom. They work in chavruta and practice reading, listening and analytic skills as they study classical Jewish texts in their original languages. Mornings will be full of classical Talmud study in our supportive and energetic Beit Midrash. The afternoons and evenings will feature classes in Tanakh and Halakha emphasizing hands-on and creative opportunities for learning, mixed in with good old campy fun like bonfires, swimming, ropes course and field trips.

Our Students

During the year, our participants study in Yeshiva day schools, Jewish community schools, public schools, private schools and homeschooling. Some have studied Talmud before and are looking for an immersive environment that will push their learning and skills forward. Other students enter our Beit Midrash excited to learn Talmud for the very first time.


All of our students receive a substantial subsidy covering most of their tuition. We ask families to contribute $1,800 towards program costs. Scholarship is available upon request.

Application Process

To apply to the Drisha Summer Middle School Program, students submit applications as well as one reccomendation from a teacher. Applicants will then have an interview with Ms. Tzophia Stepansky, the program director. Applications are due March 15th, 2024 and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received after March 15th will be considered as space allows.


The Drisha Summer Middle School Program is located at the Hands In 4 Youth campus in West Milford, NJ. Our main space at Labadorf boasts a spacious Beit Midrash, two classrooms, our own commercial sized kitchen, housing for staff and the high school program as well as a loft and porch for relaxing. Middle School Program participants will sleep in bunks staffed by madrichot.

The Experience


At Drisha, we view Tefillah as a core feature of every learning environment. Our students will experience tefillah in a meaningful and empowering environment. They will have opportunities to lead davening, partake in the communal beit medrash tefillah, pray in the beautiful nature that camp has to offer and more. There is also daily study about prayer immediately before prayer, to deepen students’ understanding of the siddur.

Morning Seder

Two and a half hours each morning are divided up into chavruta time and class time as students study yeshiva-style Talmud and commentators under the guidance of master educators. These classes are divided up by level and learning style, ensuring that all students are in environments where they will grow. Morning seder is the heart of our program, offering middle school students unparalleled yeshiva-style Talmud immersion. Morning seder will be a very new experience for all of our middle school students, and our faculty and Beit Midrash staff will structure the time to make sure they have a great experience suited to their capabilities.

Hands-On Halakha

Text study can sometimes feel so removed from any practical application and therefore difficult to envision or connect with– that is what the afternoon course comes to address. Students spend an hour in chavruta and shiur learning about Halakhic concepts and then spend an hour getting their hands dirty in real life. For example, learning about making textiles from the Mishkan and then learning how to make dye and weave themselves!

Stories from the Talmud

Students will learn riveting stories from the Talmud, get into heated discussions, and catch a glimpse into the worldview of the people of the Gemara – all while trying to decipher what messages it might contain for us today! 

Camp Activities

In the early afternoon, after a leisurely lunch and break, we take advantage of our camp environment, go outside and get active. Afternoon activities include options like gaga, swimming, archery, kickball, a water fight or ropes course.

Arts & Texts

Judaism has a long tradition of interpreting texts visually. In this course, guided by a master educator, students will use visual media to elaborate on texts and concepts in the Jewish library. Our program uses arts to tap into student creativity, interest, and skills and connect them to our Torah learning.

Night Activities

Following our night time educational programming, students have fun night activities! The Madrichot organize things like improv, flashlight tag, bonfires, talent shows, paint nights and more. 



Shabbat begins with students reading Song of Songs and a gorgeous student-led Kabbalat Shabbat. Dinner is accompanied by a Dvar Torah and followed by a student-led tisch. Shabbat morning features communal Tefillah, a shiur at Kiddush, and free time before lunch. The long summer afternoon has plenty of time for rest, bonding in the bunk, learning with a high school peer, and singing! There are endless opportunities to take part in the Shabbat experience: whether a dvar Torah, through davening, or even having a special opportunity to build an eruv!


Three delicious and healthy meals as well as snacks are served each day out of our private on-site kosher kitchen. Our kitchen staff accommodate all the food needs of our students and faculty, accounting for allergies, gluten intolerance, veganism, etc. Students may bring hechshered snacks with them, but they must be kept in closed, labelled containers in the kitchenette. No food or drinks other than water can be stored in student rooms.


If you have questions about the Drisha Summer Middle School Program, including but not limited to concerns about student accommodations, please feel free to reach out to our director, Ms. Tzophia Stepansky, or Drisha’s American office.