Kerem B'Yavneh—S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program
Goal of Program
The Yeshiva aims to produce bnei-Torah who combine a high degree of Torah learning, proper observance, and character refinement, and who are able to cope successfully with the modern challenges encountered in their respective professions while contributing to the building of Israel and the strengthening of Diaspora Jewry. The Yeshiva’s many alumni proudly demonstrate that it is possible to be a ben-Torah with a clear religious outlook in the modern world.
Attitude Towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
The Yeshiva expresses a clear Zionist message, stressing the central role Eretz Yisrael plays in the destiny of Am Yisrael, and viewing Medinat Yisrael as an important step towards it. Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim are commemorated with the appropriate tefillot, followed by a special se’udah for the entire Yeshiva community at which a guest speaker discusses an event, institution, or personality connected to Israel. (On Yom Hazikaron, representatives of the Yeshiva attend the commemorative ceremonies for the talmidim who gave their lives serving the nation.)
Attitude Towards University Studies
Almost all of KBY’s overseas alumni attend college afterwards. While the Yeshiva views Torah as the supreme learning ideal for those capable of it, it recognizes the practical value of a college education and degree in order to succeed in the world, and values the application of Torah in all professions and worldly endeavors as Am Yisrael’s unique role. The natural course of most American talmidim is to attend YU, with a small percentage going to other combined programs such as Lander's College, etc.
Attitude Towards Extracurricular Activities
The Yeshiva has a food g’mach in which the talmidim deliver food packages to needy families on a weekly basis. On Chanukah and Purim groups of talmidim go to dance and read Megillah in a nearby Geriatric facility. Shabbatonim in Yesha and development towns such as Yerocham are intended to foster social awareness.
Preparation for Post Israel
Towards the end of the year, Rebbeim dedicate a large amount of time, through both personal discussions and group sichot, to prepare talmidim towards their college experience and their personal interactions with family and friends beyond the Yeshiva setting.
The "Successful" Student
In five years, the ‘successful’ alumnus will most likely be studying for Semicha or doing graduate work. In ten years, he will be beginning his career in Israel or the Diaspora, either as a Rabbi or educator, or as doctor, lawyer, businessman, high-tech, etc.
A “ben Torah” is recognized by his behavior. He must dress in a dignified and mature manner, which reflects respect for the dignity of Torah and those who learn it. T-shirts and clothing with emblems should be avoided. KBY is proud of the Hashkafic variety of its students, as reflected by the blend of various kinds of kipot worn by its talmidim.
The talmidim have the benefit of a wide variety of Rebbeim, Mashgichim, Madrichim and Kollel members to turn to for guidance and advice, both personal and halachic. These figures are readily available in the Beit Midrash for discussion, and also serve as role models with whom to connect.
The faculty oversees the growth of the overseas talmidim through weekly meetings of the Mashgiach, Ramim, and other staff members. Generally, there are two madrichim for the overseas talmidim, as well as an av bayit responsible for the dormitory. It goes without saying that the talmidim are expected to maintain behavior appropriate for a ben-Torah both on campus and when away from Yeshiva. (Given the self-motivation of the talmidim and the secluded location of the Yeshiva, there is little need for official attendance or curfew.)
The bulk of the day (80-85%) is dedicated to Talmud study, including both iyun and bekiut study. (Many dedicate two sedarim to iyun study.) The remainder of the time is divided between mussar, machshava, halacha, and Tanach, which are learned either individually or in the form of weekly (courses) chugim.
In addition to the regular Gemara shiurim, there are additional courses (chugim) offered on a wide variety of subjects in Tanach, Machshava, and halacha. Shiurim are offered on the Megillot and Shmuel. Machshava topics include Kuzari, Nefesh Hachaim, and the teachings of Rav Kook zt"l. Popular courses are offered in Hilchot Shabbat and Yoreh De’ah. The complete schedule of chugim is available at the Yeshiva website.
Davening begins with birkot hashachar at 6:50, followed by halacha seder until breakfast at 8:15. Morning seder is from 9-12, followed by shiur until 1:15 and lunch. Mincha is at 3:30, followed by afternoon seder until 6:45 (overseas chug at 6), followed by mussar seder and Maariv at 7:15. Supper and night seder go from 7:30 until 10:30, vechol hamarbeh harei zeh meshubach! Additional chugim are offered during the afternoon break and in evening.
Language of Instruction
The majority of shiurim and chugim are in English with a substantial number in Hebrew.
Ulpan or Hebrew Class
The yeshiva offers an optional Hebrew Ulpan, which meets twice a week upon request. In addition, the interaction with the Israeli talmidim and roommates tends to foster development of Hebrew.
Assessment and Grading
The transcript is Pass/Fail, based on fulfillment of learning obligations, such as attendance at seder and shiur. Optional tests (with “seforim credit” incentives) are administered in bekiut, halacha, Tanach, parshat hashavua and Mishna.
There are Shana Bet and Shana Gimel programs, which are actively encouraged by the Yeshiva, as they contribute greatly to the talmidim’s growth in learning and Jewish personality. Approximately 85% of the students usually stay for Shana Bet, with about 25-30% of those staying for Shana Gimel.
There are joint programs with YU and with HTC (Skokie).
The Roshei Hayeshiva, Rav Gavriel Saraf and Rav Aharon Friedman, have made tremendous efforts to continue and build the Yeshiva since they took over from Rav Mordechai Greenberg, who served as Rosh Yeshiva for over 20 years. The two Roshei Yeshiva invest much of their time in giving shiurim and getting to know their talmidim of both the Israeli and Overseas programs. Rav Yehuda Lapian, the Dean, and Rav David Zahtz, the Director of the Overseas program, directly build the daily schedule and yearly schedule. Aside from the administrative work, they help Rav Zvi Davidson, the Mashgiach of the program, in helping each and every talmid in their personal journeys and growth into Bnei Torah.
There are four excellent overseas Ramim: Rav Menachem Mendel Blachman, Rav Shlomo Friedman, Rav Shalom Rosner and Rav Moshe Stav. Each comes from a different background and has a unique approach to derech halimud, as well as a varied hashkafic outlook, and all take a concerned interest in their talmidim. There are talmidim who can cope sufficiently with the Hebrew language and request to be placed in the Israeli shiurim. Aside from the Ramim, Rav Dani Zuckerman is an additional Shoel U'Meishiv and Rebbe who is around all day for the talmidim. Rav Daniel Apfel serves as a night seder Rebbe and Shoel U'Meishiv. All are available and find many opportunities to shmooze with the talmidim and give chaburot.
Interaction with Israelis
KBY encourages integration with the Israeli talmidim, while respecting the special needs of the overseas students. Rooms can be shared; the entire Yeshiva eats and davens together, and shiur klali and many sichot are given to all the talmidim together. Other chugim and sichot are given in English to meet the needs of the overseas talmidim. Many talmidim ultimately establish friendships and even chavrutot with Israeli talmidim. Because the State of Israel is viewed as playing an important role in the Jewish destiny, its welfare, security and completeness are viewed as a religious issue.
Special Informal Programs
On most Shabbatot there are Melaveh Malka programs, which often feature guest speakers. Guest speakers are also invited on Chanukah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim and other special days. There are a number of Yemei Iyun throughout the year, most notably on 7 Adar, the Yahrzeit of founding Rosh Hayeshiva, Maran Harav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht zt"l.
The Yeshiva has a basketball court on campus and a weight room, which are open after seder hours. The nearby Givat Washington has a pool, which some talmidim use on Fridays in the summer.
Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
Two out of three Shabbatot are ‘in’. There is a special Shabbaton usually once every six weeks. During the Succot and Pesach vacations the Yeshiva is generally closed, and a major tiyul provided (see below). Talmidim who do not have relatives in the country are almost always able to link up with friends who have places to stay. If not, then we assist in placing those in need.
The Yeshiva has two major tiyulim during Bein Hazmanim, one to the Galil and one to the Negev. In addition, there are a number of tiyulim on Fridays, often as part of Shabbatonim. The goal of these tiyulim is to develop a connection to Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael and to bring to life the setting of the Tanach narrative.
Level of Learning Offered
The Yeshiva caters to the advanced talmid, who is able to independently learn a Talmudic passage and also to intermediate students. Additionally, the Yeshiva has begun to offer a mechina track for individuals who are extremely motivated and serious but lack experience and knowledge of basic skills.
Hebrew Knowledge Required
Intermediate shiurim are in Hebrew and English.
Religious Observance Required
A full commitment to shmirat Torah U’mitzvot is a prerequisite
Type of American Student
Approximately one half of the American talmidim are from the NY/NJ area. The other half come from other major Jewish cities (e.g., Chicago, Los Angeles) and from small Jewish communities across the country. They are alumni of many high schools, including MTA, DRS, HALB, TA, TABC and Ner Yisroel.
Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)
450 (including a group of about 35-65 serving in the army, depending on the time of year).
Foreign Student Percentage
100 Foreign / 33%
Number of 1st Year American Students
Number of Returning Overseas Students
England, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Brazil
Number of Students per Class
The faculty to talmid ratio is about 1:20. The average shiur is 20-25 talmidim, although the more elementary shiurim tend to be smaller, and the more advanced larger.
There are six dormitories on campus. Each room has four talmidim, two overseas and two Israeli. Upon acceptance, a talmid may submit a request for a roommate, which the Yeshiva tries to honor when possible. Talmidim may invite guests (for Shabbat, etc.) in a reasonable measure after clearing it with the madrich.
Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
There is a refrigerator on every dormitory floor. Electric cooking appliances are not allowed except in specific kitchen locations in the King David.
Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
The Yeshiva, including the dining hall, is open every Shabbat. The Yeshiva is closed during the Succot and Pesach breaks. In exceptional cases, students may stay for an extra day or two.
Talmidim are expected to be on campus during the entire week, including Thurs. night. (If a student needs to leave for some reason, he is expected to notify his madrich or Rebbe.) There is no official lights-out hour, although talmidim are expected to show consideration to their roommates and to limit noise in the dorms past 11:30.
KBY is in a relatively secluded area, yet maintains certain security precautions to ensure the safety of its talmidim. Throughout the day a pair of Kollel or Israeli talmidim observes shemira (guard-duty) with weapons, and another armed person remains in the Beit Midrash. Talmidim may travel on buses and other transportation as they and their parents see fit, but must have parental permission if they intend to visit past the Green Line. In the unfortunate event of a terrorist incident in Israel, the school verifies the safety of those who may have been traveling out of the Yeshiva via cellular phones, and says chapters of Tehillim for the full and speedy recovery of those injured.
Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, the first of the Yeshivot Hesder, was founded over fifty years ago, under the auspices of the Hapo’el Mizrachi movement, by Maran Harav Hagaon Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht zt"l, one of the outstanding disciples of the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rav. It is located on a secluded campus near the cities of Yavneh, Ashdod and Rechovot, close to the place of the Sanhedrin in the time of R. Yochanan b. Zakai, after the destruction of the Second Temple. The Yeshiva has produced thousands of outstanding alumni, talmidei chachamim and professionals who have had a profound impact on both Israeli and American Jewish life.
Kerem B'Yavneh is a Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program School. There is a joint program with HTC (Skokie) and Lander’s College.
Fees for 5780 - 2019/20 are US$26,500. The fees cover tuition, maintenance, meals, dormitory, laundry, medical and hospitalization insurance, and field trips.
KBY is the ideal place for the conscientious, serious, talmid with a good background, who aspires to become an earnest ben Torah and talmid chacham, and sees Torah as the focal point of his existence. KBY has a vivid, high-powered staff, which is very involved in the lives of the talmidim, and provides mentors and role models for years to come. It is backed by a sixty-year tradition of producing well-balanced bnei Torah and talmidei chachamim with clear commitments to yiddishkeit. In short, it is a Yeshiva in the full sense of the word - one that addresses both the heart and the mind of the aspiring talmid.
American Friends of Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh
1418 Avenue N, Suite 1
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Phone: (718) 645 3130
Fax: (718) 645-2757