May 17, 2008 — Yeshiva University (YU), the country’s oldest and most comprehensive institution combining Jewish scholarship with academic excellence, will bring its unique message and mission of Torah U’madda, the synthesis of Jewish learning with secular knowledge, to the Chicago Jewish community on Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15. Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel will spend Shabbat in the West Rogers Park area, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future will be scholar-in-residence in Skokie, and Rabbi Reuven Brand, rosh kollel of The Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Kollel in Skokie, will be scholar-in-residence in Lincolnwood, and Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, a rosh yeshiva (professor of Talmud), will be scholar-in-residence in Lincolnwood.
Other members of YU’s administration and faculty will also join alumni, parents and friends in celebrating YU’s new partnership with the Chicago Jewish community which has the largest number of out-of-town students on the YU campus. The celebration continues on Motzei Shabbat with a Melave Malka at Congregation Or Torah featuring “Jewpardy,” a spoof on the popular program “Jeopardy,” and continues on Sunday morning with the first YU Kollel Yom Rishon and Midreshet Yom Rishon sessions in Chicago.
The visit will also highlight the formation of the Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Kollel in Chicago. “The Yeshiva University Torah Mitzion Kollel will consist of a permanent cadre of Torah scholars who will reside in Chicago and enrich the entire local Jewish community with exciting learning programs for men, women and youth,” said President Joel. “The Kollel will foster a transformational experience in Chicago and be an incubator for klai kodesh, lay leaders, by attracting young couples to move to Chicago, seeding the community with educators and rabbis to lead and inspire local synagogues.”
The Kollel will be a satellite of YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and will be a “Beit Midrash (study hall) without walls” serving as a beacon of Torah U’madda and Religious Zionism for the entire Jewish community. Guest shiurim will be led by RIETS roshei yeshiva, HaRav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Beit Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Rabbinical Council of America, and other community rabbis.
“This Kollel represents our continuing efforts to shape the Kollel paradigm and create programs that will enrich Jewish life in Chicago via outreach and inreach,” said Rabbi Brander. “They also represent a vibrant initiative to enable communities to experience the wealth of resources and presence of Yeshiva University right in their backyard.”