Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah of Teaneck, NJ began the Heichal HaTorah Bais Medrash program with only 20 talmidim for the 19-20 school year. Designed for young men returning from yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, HBM boasts world-class rebbeim, new facilities, serious and friendly chaveirim and an opportunity to earn a convenient and affordable college degree. With 55 talmidim in attendance this Elul zman, this fast growing yeshiva expects more than 60 talmidim for the winter Zman!
Current talmidim of HBM, hailing from yeshivas such as Kerem B’Yavneh, the Mir, Toras Chaim, Merkaz HaTorah and Netiv Aryeh, form a small student body. In the warm and friendly atmosphere, the talmidim enjoy spending Shabbosim together, learning and playing basketball. “I’ve never seen a yeshiva so successful in creating a permeating feeling of ‘you are wanted here, we care about you,’ in the way Heichal HaTorah does,” says Yehuda Assouline, a talmid of HBM.
Rav Aryeh Stechler, the Rosh Yeshiva, describes HBM as a makom Torah where, “talmidim can come and reach their full potential in learning and Avodas Hashem.” And indeed, the rebbeim of HBM are committed to ensuring that each talmid feels comfortable and welcome, a key component to their success in Talmud Torah.
Of course, the core mission of HBM is excellence in Talmud Torah, and the rebbeim of HBM excel at clear and passionate teaching. Several of the rebbeim have published seforim, such as the HBM Mashgiach, Rav Moshe Don Kestenbaum, who wrote Olam Hamiddos, a world-famous mussar sefer.
The Bais Medrash schedule balances iyun, bekius, and mussar, and in addition, the rebbeim offer various chaburos for those talmidim interested in other topics such as Mussar and Chassidus. Because each of the rebbeim is so dedicated to their talmidim, the talmidim have a deep connection with their rebbeim.
“I really cherish my close relationship with the Mashgiach, Rav Kestenbaum,” says Tzviki Liff, who has come to HBM after learning at Merkaz HaTorah and the Mir.
The Bais Medrash has two other shiurim, offered by world renowned talmid chacham Rav Yitzchak Reichman, one of the leading lamdanim to come out of Sha’ar HaTorah in Queens, and son-in-law of Sha’ar HaTorah Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Sholom Spitz. Another morning shiur is offered by Rav Moshe Genack, author of Birchas Moshe, and son of OU CEO, Rav Menachem Genack. In addition, Rav Genack coordinates the Iyun Kal Afternoon Seder Program.
The HBM talmidim enjoy learning in the brand new Rozehzadeh Bais Medrash, recently dedicated by Dr. Joe and Mrs. Lori Rozehzadeh in memory of Dr. Rozehzadeh’s father. “My father would have delighted in the chance to see young men learning Torah in an open environment where they are free to pursue their Judaism and spiritual growth,” says Dr. Rozehzadeh.
“The Bais Medrash believes that talmidim should be equipped with the skills to succeed in their chosen career path,” says Rav Aryeh Stechler. HBM partners with several colleges to afford talmidim the opportunity to earn a B.A. Currently, HBM has four different paths for talmidim to earn their degrees, including partnerships with Fairleigh Dickinson University and Lander’s College. The diversity of options allows for the flexibility that many talmidim need. Rav Stechler encourages all talmidim of HBM to pursue their degrees “at the right time and pace for each individual.” All college classes take place in the yeshiva building or online and are taught by Bnei Torah.
Talmidim at HBM also find plenty of opportunities to enjoy themselves. With a basketball court, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and a close-by dormitory, the chevra of HBM form life-long friendships. Because all of the talmidim are invested in growth of middos and learning, the camaraderie and relationships are unparalleled. “I could not have asked for a better chevra,” says Yoni Sokol, who is learning in the Bais Medrash while pursuing a degree at FDU.
Rav Stechler opened Heichal Mesivta just seven years ago with nothing but a dream. Now, with 160 talmidim registered for the Mesivta and 60 talmidim registered for the Bais Medrash, Heichal is a central makom Torah in the NY/NJ area.
To learn more about the Bais Medrash or register for the winter zman, visit www.heichalhatorah.org/baismedrash.