• Guide to Israel Schools

  • Torat Shraga—S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program

  • Goal of the Program

    YTS has a tri-partite goal:

    A) To guide its students in developing self proficiency in the examination of Talmudic and Torah texts. This is achieved through methodological techniques of rigorous conceptual analysis while simultaneously providing them the opportunity to acquire a vast knowledge utilizing the bekiut incentive program.

    B) To nurture and foster a close rebbe/talmid relationship and provide them with spiritual and intellectual role models that will anchor them Jewishly and emotionally.

    C) To broaden their knowledge and connectedness to Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael via tiyulim and shabbatonim and a welfare of experiential encounters that will arouse and deepen their spiritual roots. This is accomplished in sync with their deepening commitment to observance of mitzvot and the strengthening of the tenets of our faith.

    Hashkafa
    Goal of Program
    YTS has a tri-partite goal:
    A) To guide its students in developing self proficiency in the examination of Talmudic and Torah texts. This is achieved through methodological techniques of rigorous conceptual analysis while simultaneously providing them the opportunity to acquire a vast knowledge utilizing the bekiut incentive program.

    B) To nurture and foster a close rebbe/talmid relationship and provide them with spiritual and intellectual role models that will anchor them Jewishly and emotionally.

    C) To broaden their knowledge and connectedness to Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael via tiyulim and shabbatonim and a welfare of experiential encounters that will arouse and deepen their spiritual roots. This is accomplished in sync with their deepening commitment to observance of mitzvot and the strengthening of the tenets of our faith.

    Attitude towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael

    YTS is very strongly committed to the teaching of the centrality of Eretz Yisrael in the life of the Jew and the Divine providence and effervescence of the State of Israel. This is achieved through a variety of venues:
    1) Tanach is studied with an emphasis on the geographic lores of historically critical sites in our heritage.

    2) Tours of Eretz Yisrael are conducted, designed to highlight historical vignettes and significant events in our unfolding development as a people.

    3) Shabbatonim are held in varying and diverse communities throughout the country whose thrust is to expose our students to the spiritual and cultural largesse of Am Yisrael.

    4) National events and days including Yom Hazikaron,Yom Ha’atzmautand Yom Yerushalayimare celebrated and Yemei Iyun are devoted to an understanding of these watershed events.

    Attitude towards University Studies

    YTS is fully cognizant of its obligation to elevate the intellectual, spiritual, and moral fiber of its students by providing them with the tools to become autonomous in their ability to grapple with Judaic texts while simultaneously enabling them to function in the world at large. Students are strongly encouraged to continue their studies at institutions like Yeshiva University or at other venues that will enable them to continue the pursuit of their Judaic studies in a directed, supportive and organized framework. Secular studies clearly provide a modality for our students’ continuous development and growth leading to their becoming productive and responsible citizenry of society at large, while concurrently contributing to the Jewish communities of which they are denizens.

    Attitude towards Extracurricular Activities

    YTS recognizes the critical importance of developing holistic personalities who can bring to bear their variegated talents outside the walls of the Beit Medrash. To this end, the Yeshiva has initiated and guided its students in their participation in a number of multi-hued chessed programs including weekly visits to nearby hospitals, volunteering at Yad Sarah, assisting in schools for autistic children etc. Chessed is a sine qua non for a Torah Jew and YTS has made this a priority without impinging on the academic schedule unduly.

    Preparation for Post Israel

    Besides the formal normative learning that is the epicenter of YTS, a significant amount of time is devoted to philosophic and hashkafic aspects of Judaism. To this end, YTS provides many shiurim in these areas, including a entitled “Kiruv Training Seminar”. This provides the student with the background and ability to handle any and all questions that the student may be faced with in the world outside the Yeshiva, including the media’s portrayal of Israel. One of the most beautiful aspects of YTS is the vast amount of time the rabbeim spend talking to students individually and the nexus of relationships that have burgeoned as a consequence of that dialogue. A significant segment is directed towards the students’ reintegration into the ‘real world’ and his ability to deal with profound sensitivity towards his parents and siblings and those friends who did not have the opportunity to study for a year in Israel.

    The "Successful" Student

    The successful student will be confident and proud of his Judaism, of his commitment to the highways and byways, and will be able to demonstrate proficiency in his textual facility. He will have broadened his horizons considerably in his perspective on the Jewish people and their relationship to Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael. All the aforementioned will hopefully propel and impel him to contribute positively to the Jewish community at large and be an ideal role model for others to emulate.

    Dress

    Students are expected to wear shirts with collars, slacks, shoes, and socks. On Shabbat, white oxfords are standard although many students wear suits and ties as well.

    Guidance Personnel

    All of the full-time Rabbeim including the Rosh Hayeshiva and Menahel are in the Yeshiva throughout the day and are available and provide guidance. In addition, Rabbi Yehuda Werblowsky, serves as Sgan Mashgiach and Rabbi Dr. Gil Elmaleh who is a Mental Health professional provides additional support where needed. There is an Av-bayit and dorm counselors who are present 24/7 on the Yeshiva campus.

    Supervision

    The behavior of the students is closely monitored by the faculty. Although there is no curfew, students must spend the night in the dormitory unless he was granted permission to do otherwise. No smoking is permitted in the Yeshiva and there is a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol and drugs.
    Curriculum
    Makeup
    At least two full sedarim are spent on Talmud, which is clearly the major emphasis of the curriculum. There are four different level of Iyun shiurim and three tracks for B’kiyut. The advanced track of b’kiyut aims to finish the entire tractate.

    Courses Offered
    There are weekly classes in Tanach, Chumash, Parshat Hashavua, Machshava, Philosophy of the Rambam, Hebrew Ulpan, the Thought of Rav Soloveitchik, the Writings of Rav Kook, Nefesh Hachayim, and Chassidus.

    Daily Schedule
    A Typical Day in YTS

    7:15am Shacharit
    8:05am Halacha Seder
    8:35am Breakfast
    9:15am Seder B’Iyun
    11:45am Shiur B’Iyun
    12:45pm Mincha
    1:00pm Lunch and Break
    3:00pm Seder B’kiyut
    6:00pm Each night 4 different option Tues. - Chumash B’Iyun w/ Rav David
    7:00pm Dinner
    8:00pm Maariv
    8:15pm Mussar Seder w/ Gruss Kollel
    8:45-10:00pm Night Seder
    Mon. - Shiur w/ R. Haber
    10:00pm Every Night optional chaburot w/ Kollel

    Some Distinctive Highlights of our Daily Schedule:
    Every Sunday there is an Halacha shiur given by the Rosh HaYeshiva to the entire Yeshiva. Rabbi David’s vast experience as both Community Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva creates a rare blend of practical halacha and thorough analyses of the methodology of the halachic decisors. For many the highlight of their week is Rav David’s Halacha shiur which is in the form of an open forum for all halachic and/or hashkafic queries.

    The latter part of the Afternoon Seder is focused on subject matter other than Gemara. Twice a week, in the 6-7pm slot, the Rosh HaYeshiva says a shiur or a sicha in Chumash and contemporary issues. Rav Olshin runs a popular seminar called “Kiruv Training Seminar”. Based on the mishna in Pirkei Avot, every Jew should be equipped with the tools and information needed to present the beauty and philosophy of Torah Judaism to others less schooled in these areas. This class, then, aims to arm the students with the fundamentals of our faith in a clear and cogent manner so that it may be shared and conveyed with the larger community.

    Thursday evenings Rabbi Avraham Willig gives his weekly Parsha “schmooze” which has the students rolling with laughter and yet catapults them to strive for greater spiritual accomplishment. Every evening YTS students are paired with members of the Gruss Kollel for mussar seder.

    On Monday Nights, Rab Yaakov Haber reknowned author and lecturer gives a shiur on the topic of Tefilah. Afterwards all students participate in a vaad/bayit cham at the homes of the Gruss Kollel.

    Language of Instruction
    The Rosh Yeshiva’s daily shiur is given in Hebrew. All the other Gemara shiurim are given in English. There are a couple of shiurim offered at night in Hebrew.

    Ulpan or Hebrew Class

    Ulpan with different levels is offered and compulsory for students on the MASA program.

    Assessment and Grading

    The students receive grades on their transcript at the end of the year. However, they are not based on any formal written or oral exams. There is, however, a b’kiyut incentive programs where students are voluntarily tested on their mastery of the Masechta. These ‘tests’ are not graded for final grades that appear on the transcript but rather to receive vouchers that may be redeemed to purchase seforim.

    Shana Bet

    There is a formal shana bet program; nearly half of the students have stayed for a 2nd year.

    Joint Program

    Yeshiva Unversity joint Israel program, Touro/Landers, Hebrew Theological College.
    Staff

    Rosh Hayeshiva - Rav Avishai David shlit’a
    Rav David was a close talmid of Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt’l and Rav Nisson Alpert zt’l. Rav David held numerous educational and Rabbinic posts in North America. Since his aliya to Eretz Yisrael nine years ago, Rav David has served as the Rav of Beit Medrash Torani Leumi in Beit Shemesh, as Maggid Shiur in Yeshivat Ohr Etzion, Shaarei Mevaseret Zion, Michlala, and as the Rosh HaYeshiva of Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY) where he continues to lecture.

    Menahel - Rav Michael Olshin
    Rav Olshin studied for semicha in RIETS of YU and received a Masters in education from the Azrieli Graduate School for Jewish Education. Formerly, he was a Maggid shiur and Director of Progamming at Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim and Assistant Director of Chinuch at Camp Mesorah. Currently, Rav Olshin spends his summers as a Maggid Shiur in the NCSY Kollel in Israel.

    Dean of Students - Rabbi Dr. Gil Elmaleh
    Rav Elmaleh has a PhD from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and an MS in Clinical Psychology. He is the Director of Tochnit EIT Lilmod and is the Head of the Chinuch staff at Camp Lavi. Before making aliyah three years ago, he served as the Director of Therapuetic Services at Sinai Special Needs Institute in New Jersey for nine years.

    Ramim - Full Time
    Rav Moshe Nechemia Reichman
    Rav Avi Schneider
    Rav Yehuda Werblowsky
    Rav Andi Yudin
    Rav Ephraim Greene
    Rav Hillel Zinkin

    Rav Moshe Willig
    Rav David Shamula
    Rav Judah Goldschmidt



    Ramim - Part Time
    Rav Hillel Rudolph
    Rav Yaakov Haber
    Rav Eliezer Mescheloff
    Rav Benjy Staiman
    Rav Arnie Wittenstein
    Rav Eric Ifrah
    Rav Yossi Fuchs
    Rav Ari Mor
    Rav Ailon Meir
    Rav Avraham Fischer

    Extra-Curricular Activities
    Interaction with Israelis
    YTS arranges Shabbatonim in different communities throughout Israel. There are many opportunities to interact with Israelis of similar age on a daily basis since we share many parts of the campus with Machon Lev, which has 700 Israeli students. Many students have Chavrutot with Israeli students from Yeshivat Har Hamor.

    Special Informal programs
    YTS invites guest speakers regularly. Chagigot are celebrated on Chanuka, Purim, Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. Yemai Iyun take place before some of the holidays.

    Sports Facilities
    There is a full-court Basketball court on campus, a lounge with a ping pong table table, air hockey, and foosball, computers with e-mail and limited internet access, and a weight room.

    Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
    One in every 3 weeks students are expected to stay ‘in’ for Shabbat. Once every 6 weeks there are special shabbatonim in various communities outside the Yeshiva including the Old City, Zefat, Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak. The Yeshiva dormitory remains open the entire year of study. One never has to leave campus as meals are provided throughout the Sukkot and Pesach vacations. Often the Rabbeim will host their students on the ‘out’ shabbatot.

    Field Trips
    YTS has 3 three-day tiyulim along with regular smaller one-day tiyulim throughout the year.
    Eligibility
    Level of Learning Offered
    Beginner: Familiar with some Aramaic and Talmudic terminology
    Intermediate: Beginning to independently study a Talmudic passage
    Advanced: Able to independently study a Talmudic passage
    We have shiurim that cater to all three learning levels. But all the shuirim are demanding for each level.
    In addition, YTS began a track within the Yeshiva for students who do not want to learn Gemarah for two full sedarim. This track offers instead more courses in other subjects and weekly chesed projects. The great advantage of this track is it’s students integration with the larger Yeshiva student body.

    Hebrew Knowledge Required
    Intermediate - shiurim are in Hebrew and English

    Religious Observance Required
    A full commitment to shmirat Torah U’mitzvot is required.
    Population
    Type of American Student
    YTS attracts a wide range of students from across the country approximately half from New York metropolitan area. Some of the high schools that have had graduates in our program; NY - DRS Halb, HAFTR, Hillel, Flatbush, JEC, TABC, Magen David, MAYHS, MTA, Ramaz, Rambam, Frisch, Westchester, YU. Outside NY - Beth Tefila, Rambam (Baltimore), Ida Crown, Skokie Yeshiva (Chicago),Fuchs Mizrachi (Cleveland), Columbus Torah Academy (Ohio), CHAT, Or Chaim (Toronto), YULA, Shalhevet (LA), Toras Chaim (Miami), WYHS (Boca) Toras Chaim (San Diego), Maimonides, Stern (Philadelphia).

    Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
    117

    Foreign Student Percentage
    100%

    Number of 1st Year American Students
    85

    Number of 2nd Year American Students
    32

    Other Nationalities
    Canadian, English, South American, Ukranian

    Number of Students per Class
    There are about 12-18 students in a morning shiur. Teacher/Student Ratio 1:4.
    Accommodations
    Living Quarters
    YTS rents dormitory space on campus from YU. There are 2-4 in newly renovated dorm rooms. Each room has its own bathroom and kitchenette. The students get to choose their own roomates prior to their arrival. Once every 3 shabbatot or so, students are permitted to entertain guests.

    Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
    Each room has its own kitchenette with refrigerator.

    Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
    The Yeshiva is open every Shabbat and Yom Tov from the day the students arrives till they leave. Often members of the Gruss Kollel provide home-hopitality on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

    Curfew
    Although there is no curfew, students must spend the night in the dormitory unless he was granted permission to do otherwise. There are madrikhim who sleep in the dorm to monitor the students. Students must give details of their Shabbat plans to the Av-bayit before they leave for Shabbat.

    Security Arrangements
    There are armed security guards on campus 24/7. The students are allowed to travel based on the permission given by their respective parents. However, certain areas are currently off-limits even with parental permission. All students are required to have cellphones so that they can be contacted immediately in the case of emergency. YTS is in regular e-mail contact with the students’ parents and updates them consistently.
    History
    Yeshivat Torat Shraga (YTS) began in Elul 5761 (September 2001) with 12 students. We are currently in our sixth year and have a student population of 94 students. The Yeshiva was founded by Ohr Torah Stone whose Chancellor is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, however in Sept. 2003 the Yeshiva became an independent institution. We are located on the campus of the Gruss Kollel of Yeshiva Unversity in the Bayit Vegan section of Yerushalayim.
    Accrediting Universities
    YTS is a Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program School. YTS is part of the Israel Program of Landers College/Touro, and the Hebrew Theological College.
    Tuition
    Tuition for 2013-2014 is $23,000, which includes room/board, and tiyulim.
    Additional Information
    YTS has developed a reputation for attracting bright, self-motivated students to its rigorous program. It is the goal of YTS to advance its students to the next level on their way to becoming leaders in the Jewish Community. A YTS student is someone who not only wants to be personally impacted by his education and environment but is someone who would like to share and convey that passion and excitement for learning to others as well. He understands that a strong foundation in Torah learning on the highest level, while simultaneously developing a deep-rooted love of Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael, will be the key to realizing those lofty aspirations. Is there anything else that you would like to say about the Yeshiva?

    Sharing the campus with the Gruss Kollel of Yeshiva University allows the Yeshiva to avail itself of young, dynamic, Rabbinic Students who are eager to serve as role models and mentors to our students. Our students have to opportunity to learn with them daily and are often invited to their home for meals and shabbatot.

    In addition, YTS founded Tochnit EIT (Education and Integration in Torah) Lilmod, a track within the Yeshiva designed specifically for students who cannot learn gemara intensly for three sedarim. EIT Lilmod’s misson is to maximize the strengths of each individual student, regardless of his cognitive of intellectual abilities, in the areas of Torah learning, tefilla, and acts of chessed. Students from EIT Limod are fully integrated with students from YTS, and can choose a variety of courses, such as Chumash, Halacha, Mishna, Talmud, Navi, Hashkafa, and Ivrit. Each student is placed in a chessed site and is given the opportunity to excel outside of the academic environment by volunteering his time to help others.

    For more information about this innovative program, correspond directly with Dr. Gil Elmaleh at EITLilmod@hotmail.com or at 052-618-6666.
    Contact Information

    Torat Shraga
    U.S. Office
    Mrs. Feller
    1 Copperbeech Lane
    Lawrence, NY 11559
    Phone: (516) 569-4320

    Israel Office
    HaRav Avishai David / Rabbi Michael Olshin
    40 Duvdevani Street, Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem
    (mailing address) P.O.B. 16284
    Phone: (02) 642-9907
    Fax: (02) 642-9903
    Email: office@toratshraga.com
    www.toratshraga.com

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