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Beit Midrash of Migdal Oz

The Stella K. Abraham Beit Midrash for Women, commonly known as Migdal Oz (Hebrew: מדרשת מגדל עוז‎), is an Orthodox Jewish institution of higher Torah study for women, located in Kibbutz Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion, Israel. It is the sister school of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and shares its general philosophy, leadership, and much of its faculty.

Migdal Oz is led by Esti Rosenberg, under the title of Rosh Beit Midrash (literally "Head of the Beit midrash"). Rosenberg's father, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, and Rabbi Yehuda Amital are considered sources of rabbinic guidance for Migdal Oz, and often make decisions on the school's religious policies.

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History

Migdal Oz was established in 1997 by Yeshivat Har Etzion. At the time, the Beit Midrash was located in a trailer, which now serves as the kibbutz's sewing room. The current building housing the Beit Midrash, classrooms, and a dining hall was completed in 2003.

The program was originally intended for Israeli girls who had just graduated from high school and had not yet done Sherut Leumi (National service) or service in the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, it has expanded to include girls who have already completed service, as well as girls from outside of Israel. Many girls continue studying at Migdal Oz for two or three years, often participating at the same time in the Teacher's Training Program in conjunction with Herzog College.

Women Learning Talmud

While many Orthodox groups hold that it is forbidden, or looked down upon for women to learn Talmud, Migdal Oz includes talmud study in its curriculum as per the rulings of Rosenberg's grandfather, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

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