Karen Wasserstein, one of our wonderful Halacha Mastery Program students, recently completed all the course requirements and received her certificate. A psychologist who specializes in fertility counseling and has a speciality in third party reproduction, she is originally from New Jersey and has lived with her husband and children in Maryland for 22 years. She practices in Maryland and Virginia.
“When I turned 40 I looked at my life and wanted to see what pieces I should add to it. As I looked to redouble my efforts at my learning I found the Halacha Mastery Program which seemed like such an opportunity. Although I have attended amazing Modern Orthodox schools growing up, there was never a focus on halacha and to be honest, I never wanted to focus on halacha before. But now it spoke to me,” she said.
“Furthermore, I didn’t really have any interest in learning halacha as a “yes you can” or “no you can’t” kind of way. I wanted to understand the underlying concepts and how they relate to each issue and each question, and often how they interrelate. In that there is the beauty.”
Regarding the program itself Wasserstein added, “It has been wonderful to learn online at this level at a time when I was ready to engage in it in a more mature way than I would have when I was younger. The teachers have been amazing and always available to help me piece together the halachik pieces of the puzzle. The more I have learned halacha the more beauty I have found in our halachic process.”
The Halacha Mastery Program is a special advanced track of study open to men and women committed to a halachic lifestyle with some background in learning Jewish texts.
Developed by Rabbi Chaim Brovender, the Halacha Mastery Program provides the literacy and knowledge of the underlying halachic concepts and principles that stand behind the halachic system and guide modern poskim in determining the law. It emphasizes the importance of knowing practical halacha from the sources: how to recognize when a halachic question arises and how to access an answer and act in such situations, including explaining halachic issues to our children.