Fast Facts about Darshan Yeshiva
- Founded in 2013 in Atlanta, GA USA
- First (and only) multi-denominational conversion to Judaism program online
- Based in three countries on two continents (and growing!)
- Educators include Reform, Conservative, Jewish Renewal, Secular Humanistic and Post-Denominational rabbis, cantors, rabbinical students and lay educators
- Average 200+ students per year in a variety of programs
- Focused on “beginner” Jewish learning programs and conversion to Judaism with opportunities for lay leadership training
Darshan Yeshiva was founded in September 2013 in response to the growing demand for an online Jewish school that meets the needs of students seeking formal Jewish learning in a pluralistic context.
Darshan Yeshiva began with the Darshan Training Program (our namesake), empowering students to become lay spiritual leaders serving independent minyanim. Shortly after, Darshan Yeshiva launched the Comprehensive Jewish Studies program, providing students with an overview of all aspects of Jewish life, as well as a Torah study program.
In January 2014, Darshan Yeshiva (through the help of Atlanta based Reform and post-denominational rabbis) began an online conversion to Judaism program. This program has completely surpassed all expectations in providing religiously valid conversions to Jews from all over the world. To date, it is our most popular program. Later in the year, Darshan Yeshiva expanded the conversion program, providing Conservative, Reform, Renewal and post-denominational rabbis all over the US and in Europe.
2015 was a year of internal growth and development. We grew the size of our support team, brought new rabbis into the fold, edited programs to make them better for our students, and developed new policies and procedures that improved our students’ experience at Darshan Yeshiva.
The success of our conversion program has taught us that our students want one-on-one mentorship. We are developing a two-tiered approach to all of our programs where students will be able to choose what we currently offer (the independent study version of the program) or a more rigorous guided study under a rabbi or other Jewish teacher/leader. Our first guided study programs are the Darshan Training program and the Comprehensive Jewish studies program. Additionally, we have hired our first Hebrew tutor to assist both Darshan Yeshiva students and anyone interested in one-on-one language help.
2017 has also seen the beginning of our international approach to Jewish learning. Our conversion to Judaism program is now offered in Italian, Spanish and French, with further support in Canada.
We also added our rabbinical support desk to all of our programs, allowing students access to rabbis throughout their programs. This is in addition to the rabbinic support students receive in their conversion program.
2018-2021 was focused on growing the number of rabbis and students in our program, as well as the development of new programs to be launched in 2021. Our partnership with Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary has also allowed us to focus on being the “yeshiva for beginners” while helping support students who want advanced learning options.
In 2022, we have made several decisions to improve our organization. This included the promotion of current team members, hiring more team members, and changing our software platform to better match the look and feel of our partner website Pluralistic Rabbinical Seminary. To that end, we made reasonable increases to our program prices and increased payments made to our conversion mentors and content providers for their hard work. We have also provided a less expensive Basics of Judaism course to provide a more economical option for beginning students. This program is provided for free in all other programs as an added bonus.