American Askanim Travel to EY, Launch Emergency $10 Million Campaign to Save Mir-Yerushalayim

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mir-yerushalayim-1Less than 48 hours after the sudden petirah on Tuesday of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim, a group of dedicated American askanim departed for Eretz Yisroel to address the unprecedented financial crunch faced by the yeshiva.

This past summer, Rav Finkel, despite his debilitating physical condition, traveled overseas as Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim found itself with debts of $15 million.

With a current debt of approximately $10 million, the yeshiva of 7,600 talmidim – the largest makom Torah in the world – is in dire straits. Yungeleit at the yeshiva haven’t received stipends since Pesach time.

The $10 million campaign to assist Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim has been undertaken l’illui nishmas the unforgettable rosh yeshiva, as the askanim look to enlist others to join in the effort to raise the desperately needed funds.

The world financial situation being what it is has prevented previous donors of the yeshiva, who had dispensed millions each year, from continuing their support of the Mir.

Askanim today met with Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman and Rav Chaim Kanievsky, who encouraged them and wished them much bracha and hatzlacha in their holy endeavor to continue the work of the rosh yeshiva zt”l, who had shouldered the budgetary responsibilities of the Mir.

The group of American askanim – some of them talmidim of the Mir – have arrived in Eretz Yisroel with half a million dollars to launch the campaign. Among those leading the group is Reb Eddie Betesh of Flatbush, noted supporter of Torah around the globe.

At the same time, Rav Malkiel Kotler and Rav Yeruchem Olshin, roshei yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, the largest yeshiva in the United States, have traveled to Eretz Yisroel. They will be menachem avel the family of Rav Dov Schwartzman zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Bais Hatalmud and father-in-law of Rav Olshin. Rav Schwartzman was niftar this past week. Lakewood Mayor Menashe Miller accompanied Rav Kotler, as well, on visits to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, and Rav Shmuel Auerbach. Rav Kotler is scheduled to deliver a hesped on Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l at Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim.

{Yair Israel, Shmiel Newscenter}


  1. Why do they need to go to Eretz Yisroel to collect? They should collect here in the USA and then if the big askonim want to go to deliver it to the new Rosh Yeshiva tovoi aleihem bracha.

    They should have hatzlacha and we should all have a cheilek in saving the Yeshiva in anyway possible.

  2. Beautiful. Mi keamcha Yisroel. I understand, however, that the Mir is $20 million in debt. Who knows if this tzar is not what caused R’ Nosson Tzvi’s early petirah.
    Anyone who runs a Yeshiva today knows that there are so many parents that are out of work; that used to pay full or partial tuition, and cannot pay at all today.
    It is a shrek.
    It is really up to the klall to give proper ma’aser. I am sure that if every Yid in Klall Yisroel was makpid on giving proper ma’aser the Yeshiva’s would not be oif gehakte tzoros.
    May the Baalei Batim that are doing this huge mitzva get paid back many times over with parnossa and gezunt.

  3. Every Yeshiva, whether in the U.S. of A., or in Eretz Yisroel must develop long range plans. Yeshiva University (Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonan) has MORE than Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000) in its endowment fund. That is because Rabbi Norman Lamm chose to build YU’s endowment fund (getting YU put into wills) rather than schnorr for handouts.
    The Askanim on their way to Yerushalayim on behalf of the Mir Yeshiva should study and replicate what Yeshiva University has accomplished.

  4. Why don’t they create a process where they sign people up for automatic monthly donations?

    The mir has many 10,000’s of alumni. If you have 10,000 people give $1000 a year 1,000÷12
    =83.33333 so 10,000 donating $83.33 a month (everyone can afford that, its $21 a week!) over 12 months can smoothly raise $10,000,000 a year. If people want to donate more they certainly can and the Roshei Yeshiva won’t have to go with a heavy heart about the millions that they are in debt! A simple solution!

  5. To Insider:
    You’re right that YU’s approach is financially smarter- however it is virtually unfeasible. People with limited connection to Yiddishkeit will give for a “jewish” university (as collages all over the country get huge donations). But a learning only yeshiva such as the Mir only appeals to a far more narrow donor base.
    Is the money there? Yes, but the big time supporters of Torah who have that means are stretched in all directions- there are too many Yeshivas reliant on their large donations for them to give a massive sum in order to establish endowment fund

  6. Thank you GREAT IDEA.
    The reality of collecting automated donations as you intelligently described is problematic. A young man, married with a family, is usually unable to designate anything more than pocket change for tzedakka. Remember, he went to a yeshiva before he came to the Mir. Also, he has to pay tuition for his own children, and that today is substantially more than peanuts.
    Building an endowment fund would be a more secure category to aim for. It’s a long range program and easier to achieve than collecting for rent money every month.

  7. Raboisai, stop making everything “the askonim’s” problem. WE are the ones that have to come forward! Thousands of comments from different people “how much they loved the Rosh Yeshivah” if you loved him DON’T LET HIS MESIRAS NEFESH GO TO WASTE!! Write a check now! ANY AMOUNT! THERE IS NO GREATER WAY TO MAKE SURE THE ROSH YESHIVA STANDS BEFORE THE KESAY HACAVOD AND BEGS THE REBONO SHEL OLAM FOR THE YESHUOS WE SO DESPERATELY NEED!! Show that you really care to help support Torah!!!
    Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim
    5227 New Utrecht Avenue
    Brooklyn NY 11219


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