Yeshiva University Brings Torah Learning to Los Angeles June 30 to August 3

Jun 27, 2008 — Yeshiva University, the country’s oldest and most comprehensive institution combining Jewish scholarship with academic excellence, is partnering with Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills for a special five-week program of Torah learning, June 30 to August 3. With the guidance and vision of Rabbi Steve Weil, the synagogue, at 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., will host the YU Beth Jacob Summer Kollel (intensive Torah and Talmud study program).

Now in its sixth year, this Kollel is one of YU’s flagship summer learning programs, attracting some of the most talented and dynamic students from the University and its Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Under the leadership of Rosh Kollel (Head of Advanced Torah Studies Program) Rabbi Nachum Sauer, the members of the Kollel spend their summer studying practical subjects of Halakhah (Jewish law). In addition, these future leaders of the Jewish community gain professional rabbinic training and mentoring under Rabbi Weil, a master pulpit rabbi who takes an active role in the day-to-day program of the Kollel.

This training includes formal and informal workshops with top educators, physicians, psychologists, and other professionals on topics with which the pulpit rabbi is confronted.

Not only do the Kollel members enrich themselves, they also enrich the greater community by sharing their Torah learning. This includes learning and education programs for community members, classes and activities for youth, and shiurim (lectures) and classes for the community on Shabbat and after daily minyanim (morning services).

Rabbi Weil, as well as Rabbi Uri Pilichowski, the synagogue’s assistant spiritual leader, will also give shiurim for the Kollel members and the community.

The Kollel students have the unique opportunity to interact with the Rosh Kollel (Kollel head), and particularly with Rabbi Weil, “an alumnus of RIETS and master pulpit rabbi, who will spend time mentoring the students, hosting them at his home, and engaging them in discussions with professionals who share their expertise on issues that the pulpit rabbi is faced with,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of YU’s Center for the Jewish Community, which sponsors the Summer Kollel Program in cities throughout the country. “In turn, our Kollel members are empowered to share their knowledge with young students, as well as with interested people of all ages, thereby creating a vibrant and energetic Torah community, one that fosters a caring and inspirational environment for adults and children alike to grow with our students and scholars.”

A special highlight of the Kollel will be a Night Beit Medrash program for youth. Each week, students from first grade through 12th grade will have the opportunity to engage in stimulating and age-appropriate learning sessions with Kollel members focusing on a different topic, ranging from Tzedakah (charity) to Tefila (prayer).

There will also be a Night Beit Medrash program for adults, in which Kollel members will be available to learn one-on-one with community members.

Rabbi Brander explained that “the Kollel, as with the many others we sponsor throughout the country, represent our continuing effort to shape the summer Kollel paradigm and create experiences that will serve as incubators for Jewish leaders. They also represent a vibrant initiative to enable communities to experience the wealth of resources and presence of Yeshiva University right in their backyard.”

This year, the YU Summer Kollel will also be in Chicago, Denver, Edmonton (Canada), Passaic, NJ, Teaneck, NJ, the Hamptons, NY, and Israel.

For more information, call Rabbi Pilichowski, 310-278-1911, or email him at

The multidisciplinary Center for the Jewish Future harnesses the educational resources, commitment to service, and intellectual capital of Yeshiva University, its array of undergraduate schools, its graduate and professional schools, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and Wurzweiler School of Social Work, its affiliates, and its extended constituencies to articulate a vision for the future while working to make the vision a reality. To do so, the Center sponsors a comprehensive series of initiatives focusing on education, research, professional and lay leadership development and service to the community.

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