Derech Institute

At Derech, no two students are alike. A young man with limited Jewish background learns with a student who grew up in a yeshivishe family, or with a modern orthodox yeshiva day school graduate. The common denominator is that each individual wants to be a mensch, to grow in his Yiddishkheit, and to become closer to Hashem.

Hashkafa

Goal of Program
Derech’s approach is based on the verse, “Chanoch lanaar al pi darko” (Mishlei 22:6, “Educate a child according to his unique qualities”). Every student is treated as an individual, and no singular educational approach works best with every individual. There are many legitimate ways to serve Hashem. Some of our graduates continue learning in kollel while others join the Israeli army. Most return to their North America, Europe, or South Africa for university or vocational school. We work with students to help them identify their strengths and talents, nurture these in the course of their studies, and try to give them skills to implement them in the future so that they can become productive members of their Jewish communities.

Attitude Towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
In addition to learning about the holiness of the land, Derech students spend part of the year exploring this diverse, exciting country. A number of students eventually make aliyah as well, and others develop a profound, personal connection to the land.

Attitude Towards University Studies
Positive. Credits are given for attendance and participation in addition to academic performance. While Ohr Somayach is not an accredited institution of higher learning recognized by the US Department of Education, its degree may be accepted by certain universities for graduate school programs in the US and abroad.

Attitude Towards Extracurricular Activities
Positive

Preparation for Post Israel
Intense

The "Successful" Student
Derech teachers encourage students to ask difficult questions, whatever is on their minds. Nothing is off-limits as long as the discussion remains respectful. For those who grew up perceiving Judaism as a series of rituals, or who were told they couldn’t ask certain questions, it can be a revelation to find warm and receptive teachers with thoughtful, often unexpected responses. Students come away at the end of the year having touched on most of the basic issues confronting modern Jews, and can discuss them intelligently and often in depth.

Dress
Look like a mensch.

Guidance Personnel
Derech has a world class staff of personable, multi-talented, and engaging personalities. They are also utterly dedicated to their students, and remain accessible to students who want to form a lasting, meaningful relationship with a rav and this, too, often lasts years after students leave DerechMany opportunities exist for one-on-one learning with rabbis and rabbinic students. The Yeshiva's Psychologist and/or madrichim are also available to students on a 24-hour basis.

Supervision
Students' academic performance is periodically reviewed by the academic staff. In addition, they receive much guidance in the social and interpersonal spheres that enables them to gauge their growth during their time in yeshiva.

Curriculum

Makeup
Well-rounded Yeshiva curriculum, with a focus on acquiring skills to learn Gemara, and a wide range of other topics.

Courses Offered
Gemara, Hashkafa, Jewish History, Life Cycles, Pirke Avos, Navi, Tefilla, Modern Zionist History, Mussar, Chumash Essentials

Daily Schedule
3 Sedarim

Language of Instruction
English.

Ulpan or Hebrew Class
Yes

Assessment and Grading
Written and oral exams

Shana Bet
Yes.

Joint Program
YU, Touro College, Talmudic University of Florida, Hebrew Theological College in Skokie

Staff

Rav Moshe Lazarus, Dean

Rav Nachman Brickman, Director,

Rav Mordechai Pitem, Mashgiach

Extra-Curricular Activities

Private tutoring on all subjects, Melava Malka events, famous guest speakers, practical workshops ranging from making tzitzis to selecting 4 minim.

Interaction with Israelis
Shabbatonim in Israeli towns hosted by native Israelis.

Special Informal Programs
We run chesed activities like serving in a soup kitchen and volunteering in Old Age Homes.

Sports Facilities
Work-out room, game room, local soccer and basketball courts, rented gyms and pools.

Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
Intensive (bi-monthly)

Field Trips
Tiyulim around the entire country include visits to holy cities and locations, hiking, crawling through Bar Kochva caves, and boating on the Kineret

Eligibility

Level of Learning Offered
Beginner to Advanced

Hebrew Knowledge Required
Basic

Religious Observance Required
Shabbat Observant

Population

Type of American Student
A wide range, including students with a strong yeshiva background usually looking to strengthen their hashkafos, Modern Orthodox, Chassidic, and Yeshivishe, as well as students who recently became religious.

Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
100 students

Foreign Student Percentage
10% (mostly British, South African, Australian, and occasionally European).

Number of 1st Year American Students
65

Number of 2nd Year American Students
35

Other Nationalities
As above.

Number of Students per Class
It depends on the class: some popular classes can have as many as 30 students, Gemara classes typically have about 10, and many classes have 2-3 students for more individual attention. Private chavrusas with staff or older advanced students are also common.

Accommodations

Living Quarters
Recently remodelled and comfortable, providing the basics. Excellent, central location in Jerusalem with easy access to anywhere in the city.

Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
We serve three meals a day even on days that there is no programming (vacation and holidays). There are also several restaurants, supermarkets and shopping centers close by.

Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
Yes. The campus is open throughout the year, with all meals provided. Students technically never have to leave, although they’re strongly encouraged to explore the many diverse communities through E”Y.

Curfew
12:30 pm.

Security Arrangements
On our main campus there is a 24 hour security guard. The campus is gated with coded locks at each entrance. It is under constant surveillance, with cameras at every entrance. When necessary, travel limitations are placed on the students, as well as early curfew and any other relevant security measure. We follow the MASA security regulations and have medical and armed escorts for all trips.

History

Derech was founded in 1999, and has expanded its student body steadily over the years as word has gotten out about the rich academic program, and the fine, attentive rabbinic staff.

Accrediting Universities

YU, Touro College, Talmudic University of Florida, Hebrew Theological College in Skokie

Tuition

Tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is $22,500. There are a number of sources for scholarships and financial aid that we work with regularly:

MASA

NCSY

FAFSA (Through our joint program with Yeshiva University or Hebrew Theological College)

Oorah

Jeff Seidel Student Center

Your local Jewish Federation

 
Please contact us for more information on any of these scholarships.

Additional Information

We are located in the Maalot Dafna neighborhood of Jerusalem on the Ohr Somayach campus. Our address is 22 Shimon Hatzadik Street. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to Meah Shearim, 20 minutes to Jerusalem’s City Center, and 25 minutes to the Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall). Many major bus routes and the light rail are right outside our campus doors.
Contact Information

Derech Institute 
U.S. Office
Yitzchok Friedman
PO Box 300462
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Phone: (917) 687-6319
Fax: (718) 854-5981
Email: derechusa@gmail.com

Israel Office 
Rabbi Nachy Brickman / Jonathan Speculand
22 Shimon Hatzadik Street, Jerusalem

Phone: (02) 581-8325
Fax: (02) 636-9100
Email: derech@ohr.edu

Website: http://www.derechinstitute.com/