Yeshivat Orayta/Isralight—S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program

At Yeshivat Orayta students get a classic Yeshiva experience and beyond. We offer an extraordinary program that balances and blends together mastery of textual skills, depth of Jewish thought and profundity of spiritual inspiration. Our faculty fosters a warm and open atmosphere and develop life-long relationships with our students.


Goal of Program
At Yeshivat Orayta students get a classic Yeshiva experience and beyond. We offer an extraordinary program that balances and blends together mastery of textual skills, depth of Jewish thought and profundity of spiritual inspiration.

Our faculty fosters a warm and open atmosphere where no questions are out of bounds.

Attitude Towards Israel and Medinat Yisrael
The Land and State of Israel is of central importance at Orayta. Our Roshei Yeshiva and Rebbeim have proudly served in the IDF. Rabbi Binny Freedman, one of Orayta's Roshei Yeshiva, is an IDF Company Commander continuing his reserve duty to date. Through various classes, shabbatonim and tiyulim students become acquainted with and develop a strong bond with the Land of Israel.

Attitude Towards University Studies
Orayta strongly encourages the students to pursue a college education.

Attitude Towards Extracurricular Activities
Sports facilities including basketball courts and a soccer field are within a 2 minute walk from Orayta's dorm. As part of the Orayta philosophy of a healthy mind and healthy body, we encourage students to utilize these and other exercise opportunities. As well, a weekly volunteer opportunity during the afternoon break slot is offered for students to participate in.

Preparation for Post Israel
A weekly Leadership Training class is held to better equip students with campus life and life after Israel. We encourage the parents to take an active role in the education of their sons. Orayta staff members are in regular contact with the parents.

The "Successful" Student
As part of the S. Daniel Abraham Joint Israel Program, we will continue to work together in creating a new generation of inspired and inspiring Religious Zionist young men who will lead the Jewish Community forward both in the Diaspora and here at home in Medinat Yisrael.

In order to respect the environment of the Yeshiva, we ask students to please not wear T-shirts, sweatpants, or shorts in the Beit Midrash.

Guidance Personnel
Students meet on an ongoing basis in private one-on-one meetings with the Rosh Yeshiva, the mashgiach, and their Rebbeim. Topics discussed during these meetings include student development, both emotional and academic, as well as their general well being.

The faculty is always aware of where students are, including during "out" shabbatot. Attendance to all classes and events is required. There is a midnight curfew and rules of behavior must be adhered to. We have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY regarding substance and chemical abuse.

Orayta has an exceptionally high dorm staff to student ratio.


Our curriculum aims to develop both comprehensive knowledge and skills. We enable our students to probe and discover the deeper meaning of Chumash, Talmud, Halacha, Jewish Philosophy, and Mussar, while developing the skills to study independently.

Courses Offered
Students choose from one of two tracks of learning in the morning: Talmud or in depth Chumash studies. In addition, we have daily courses in Philosophy & Mysticism, Philosophy of Mitzvot and Siddur Analysis.

Daily Schedule

  • 7:30 Shacharit / Breakfast
  • 9:00 Character Development / Rambam Hilchot Deot (alternating days)
  • 9:45 Track 1 Gemara / Track 2 Chumash
  • 12:45 Lunch / Afternoon Break
  • 3:00 Mincha
  • 3:15 Philosophy of Mitzvot / Track 1 Chumash / Track 2 Gemara (alternating days)
  • 4:45 Philosophy & Mysticism (alternating days)
  • 5:30 Siddur Analyisis (alternating days)
  • 6:00 Chevruta with Orayta Fellow
  • 7:00 Maariv / Dinner / Ulpan Torani (alternating days)
  • 8:15 Night Seder

Language of Instruction
Classes in the Yeshiva are taught in English.

Ulpan or Hebrew Class
The Yeshiva operates an Ulpan Torani enabling our students to improve their conversational Hebrew.

Assessment and Grading
Grades and transcripts, upon request, are given by the Rebbeim based upon class attendance, participation and progress.

Shana Bet
Currently not available

Joint Program
Our Yeshiva is part of the Yeshiva University Joint Israel Program.


Rav David Aaron, Rosh Yeshiva, Founder and Dean of Isralight
Our Rosh Yeshiva, Rav David Aaron, is a world renowned author of over 8 books on Inspiration, Spirituality and Psychology.

Rav Moshe Kornblum, Dean of Students

Rav Noam Himelstein, Talmud Instructor

Rav Sam Shor, Chumash Instructor

Scott Apfelbaum, Administrative Director

Extra-Curricular Activities

Interaction with Israelis
Students spend several Shabbatot during the year in Israeli communities in addition to enjoying Shabbat placement throughout the country. This affords them the opportunity to get to experience real life with Israeli families.

Special Informal Programs
Orayta has many guest lecturers on a variety of topics, plus regular Q&A; sessions. In addition we have dinner once a month in the home of a faculty member.

Sports Facilities
Orayta dorms are located two minutes away from a basketball court. Many students use the gyms and weight rooms located in and around the Old City.

Programming for Shabbat and Yom Tov
Orayta spends many Shabbatot and most chaggim together as a group either in the Old City of Jerusalem or in a local Israeli community with Rebbeim and their families.

Field Trips
Orayta believes in the importance of loving the Land of Israel. In order to familiarize students with various parts of the Land, we offer monthly trips including a post Sukkot, winter and post Pessach, overnight trips.


Level of Learning Offered
Beginner – Intermediate - Advanced

Hebrew Knowledge Required
Hebrew is not necessarily required, depending on the course level chosen.

Religious Observance Required
Orayta is looking for modern Orthodox students who are deeply passionate about their Judaism and looking for a place to strengthen their skills while exploring life’s most challenging questions.


Type of American Student
Most of our students come from North America after graduating high school. In addition to the one year Post High School Yeshiva students, Orayta students have a daily Afternoon Seder with the Orayta / Isralight Fellowship members. The Fellowship is made up of Young Rabbanim and Semicha Students.

Overall Number of Students (Kollel, Israeli, Foreign)

Foreign Student Percentage
No information provided

Number of 1st Year American Students

Number of 2nd Year American Students
We currently do not offer a Shana Bet program

Other Nationalities

Number of Students per Class


The Yeshiva is housed in a 900 year old Crusader building that was recently modernized and equipped with a modern Beit Midrash, classrooms and offices. From our rooftop one can enjoy the vista of the entire Temple Mount, The Kotel, Mount of Olives and much more. The rooftop with its spectacular view is the venue where we greet Shabbat with a spirited Kabbalat Shabbat davening.

Living Quarters
The students live in dorms within the Old City and have free access to a student recreation lounge. We currently have 3 madrichim with our 22 students.

The dorms are open virtually throughout the Academic Year. The dorms are always manned by the madrichim. During vacation periods, a daily check- in system is initiated via the SMS system. All students must check in daily – without exception. Students are encouraged to visit other communities throughout Israel during these times. As always, the homes of the staff and Rebbeim are always open.

Availability of Private Kitchen Facilities
Students have use of a refrigerator and a microwave.

Facility use during Shabbat and Yom Tov
Orayta has a rotation of In-Shabbatot, Optional and Out-Shabbatot where we help place students requiring assistance. During the Sukkot and Pesach breaks the dorm is open if the students need a place to stay (no meals are provided).

Students are required to be in the dorms every night no later than midnight. This includes Motzei Shabbat. Students must notify their dorm counselors where they are going for Shabbat and vacation periods.

Security Arrangements
All dorms and the learning center are monitored by a CCTV system. Security alerts and advisement is brought to the attention of the students as necessary. We insist that all students acquire a cell phone from the same carrier in order to send group SMS text messages. These messages vary in nature but include emergency notices. All students are required to text their madrichim in the event of a security threat.

Our responsibility to you and your parents requires that we know your whereabouts at all times. Spending a night out of the dormitories is not allowed without prior consent from the dorm counselor.


Orayta is a division of Isralight International founded in 1986 by Rav David Aaron.

Accrediting Universities

Orayta is a Yeshiva University S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program School


Tuition: $23,500 (Room & Board)

Financial Assistance:
Scholarships are available. Please fill out the scholarship form available from the office. In addition to YU financial aid, we are recognized by MASA which awards grants of $1000 and needs based up to an additional $2,700 (for those that qualify).

Room and Board Fees:
The room and board fees cover your dormitory room as well as meals during time.

Additional Information

At Orayta we take an active role to include the parents and grandparents in the educational programming. To demonstrate this we have introduced the following initiatives:

  • We have weekly Divrei Torah written by a different student which is included in the Weekly Orayta News and emailed each week to parents.
  • There are numerous call-in classes that we arrange at convenient times for parents to dial in and partake.
  • Parents are called and emailed on a regular basis. We also organize "Parent Evenings" in the USA when our Rebbeim travel there.

Parent’s Weekend - a groundbreaking event was held at Orayta this past winter. We held a Parents’ Retreat that was attended by over 50% of the families including grandparents and siblings. The schedule included 2 field trips, Shiurim, learning time with their sons. In addition the program culminated with an unforgettable Old City Shabbaton and Kumsitz with Friday Night Davening on our roof overlooking Har Habayit and The Kotel.

Contact Information

Yeshivat Orayta/Isralight
U.S. Office
Devorah Moss
Phone: (212) 444-1660
Fax: (561) 892-0333

Israel Office
Rabbi David Aaron / Rav Binny Freedman
Scott Apfelbaum
25 Misgav Ladach Street
Old City, Jerusalem 97500
Phone: (02) 627-4890
Fax: (02) 627-3875