Yeshiva Without Walls Bring Jewish Learning to the Nation

YU Torah Seminars in Teaneck, NJ

Jul 6, 2004 — How do today’s busy Jewish professionals—raising families and keeping up with daily activities—face the challenges of incorporating learning Torah into their lives? How does one keep one’s faith vibrant in our not-a-moment-to-spare society?

This summer, more than 200 young scholars from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools and RIETS are enriching Jewish knowledge and observance in Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Omaha, Teaneck, Toronto, and Vancouver, and as far as Dublin, Glasgow, and Sydney. Teams of men and women will travel to, and live in, 26 cities in 16 states and five countries across the globe from June to August. They will relinquish their vacation time and job opportunities to bring Jewish education to the doorsteps of hundreds, hosting a variety of quality Torah learning programs customized to the specific needs of each community. This “yeshiva without walls” will allow people of all ages, backgrounds, and degrees of observance to strengthen their Jewish connection outside the traditional classroom setting.

Through these seminars, Yeshiva University has created a spiritual peace corps to build communities and help them revitalize their commitment to Torah. The program’s hashkafa or philosophy, seeks to support an individual’s efforts to strike a balanced interaction between tradition and modern society—the hallmark of modern Orthodoxy.

Baltimore’s Congregation Shomrei Emunah and Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim hosted Yeshiva University Torah Seminars from June 18 to June 24. Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch, a fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon, the prestigious institute of advanced Torah studies at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), headed the program. Rabbi Maybruch was joined by three YU students.

Rabbi Yona Reiss, director of the Beth Din of America, one of the nation’s pre-eminent rabbinic courts, and a YU alumnus and Yale Law School graduate, heads Yeshiva University Torah Seminars in Atlanta, from June 28 to August 8. Eight Yeshiva University students, four men and four women join Rabbi Reiss. Michael Broyde, professor of law and the academic director of the Law and Religion Program at Emory University, YU ’84, RIETS ’93, an NYU Law School graduate, and also rabbi of Atlanta’s Young Israel of Toco Hills, hosts the group and gives classes to the students.

Rabbi Daniel Feldman, an instructor in the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program, leads the Torah Seminars in Los Angeles, from June 28 to August 15. Eight YU students join him. The YU team learns Talmud daily with Rabbi Feldman and 12 young men from Los Angeles also participate in these rigorous sessions. The Los Angeles Yeshiva University Torah Seminar is the largest in the nation. Programs take place in Beth Jacob Synagogue under the direction of Rabbi Steven Weil.

Rabbi Shmuel Hain heads Yeshiva University Torah Seminars in Teaneck, from June 28 to August 15. Rabbi Hain is a fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon and is incoming associate rabbi at Manhattan’s Jewish Center Synagogue. Fifteen Yeshiva University students join him. Programs will take place at Congregation Keter Torah under the direction of Rabbi Shalom Baum.

Rabbi Baruch Plaskow, rosh kollel (head) of Kollel Torah MiTzion in Montreal leads Yeshiva University Torah Seminars, from July 8 to July 31. Four Yeshiva University students will give lectures to the community on various topics in Jewish law, study Torah with children at Torah MiTzion’s day camp, and learn Talmud daily with Rabbi Plaskow. Programs will take place at Hebrew Academy of Montreal.

Rabbi Mordechai and Shira Hochheimer head Yeshiva University Torah Seminars in Pittsburgh, from August 20-26. Rabbi Hochheimer is a fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon and a member of the Norman Lamm Kolel Le’Hora’ah Yadin Yadin and Mrs. Hochheimer teaches Jewish studies at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls. Programs will take place at Congregation Poale Zedeck under the direction of Rabbi Yisroel Miller.

Yeshiva University is the educational and spiritual fountainhead of modern Orthodox Judaism. One of the chief pillars of the vision of YU’s new president, Richard M. Joel, is that of taking responsibility for bringing the knowledge and experience of the world’s single largest and distinguished assemblage of rabbinical scholars and scholarship to Jewish communities near and far.

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