Every year, some 250,000 students, of whom 30,000-40,000 are Jewish, attend Boston-area universities. Enter the Boston Kollel. Founded in 1988, the kollel, under the leaderships of the roshei kollel, Rabbis Naftoly Bier and Zalman Leff, has made a major impact on Jewish life, both in the community and on campus.Today, alumni of the kollel are roshei kollel in Miami Beach and Denver; a mesivta and a Bais Yaakov established in Boston are run by alumni of the kollel; and some alumni are involved in positions of kiruv. More than 15 alumni are rebbeim, in cities across the U.S. Others are involved in kashrus and some are rabbanim.
The kollel offers on a weekly basis more than 60 shiurim and classes, which at times are attended by more than 500 people. These classes are held at the kollel and venues such as local shuls, campuses, law firms, and corporate boardrooms. They take place at cities such as Worcester, Natick, Sharon, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Newtonville, and downtown Boston.
Notably, the kollel has enriched the lives of thousands, and many hundreds have become ba’alei teshuvah.
The kollel has in its 20 years at different times hosted classes, lectures, and programs at Harvard, Northeastern, Brandeis, Boston University, and MIT. At the same time, the kollel families have hosted many hundreds of students for Shabbosos. Even after graduation, special Shabbatonim are held to enable those who take positions locally to connect to one another, strengthening their respective commitments to Torah.
In order to expand its outreach to the community and the campuses, the kollel has embarked on a campaign to build a building commensurate to its needs and ideals. Its projected finish date is November 2009. Tonight, at 8:30 p.m., a reception to benefit the Boston Kollel’s building campaign is to be hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Hershy Kappel at their home, 14 Sunset Road in Lawrence. The chairman of the evening’s program is Mr. Moshe Smith, and Rabbi Yaakov Bender is the guest speaker.