After an incredible year that surpassed all expectations, Mesivta Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury’s new Durham campus continues to resonate with the Kol Torah, as several camps and yeshivas are taking advantage of the state of the art facility and its many amenities during the summer months.
Wowed by the Durham campus and its many possibilities, Rabbi Avraham Deutsch booked the facility for the entire summer, bringing in a yeshiva high school program for the first few weeks of the summer and running his own Camp Degel Hatorah in Durham for second half.
From the moment that Rabbi Deutsch’s staff arrived at the yeshiva campus, they knew they had come to a wonderful place.
“The very first night the yeshiva sent each family a platter of food so that they would have supper ready for their families,” said Rabbi Deutsch.
With eight ball fields, rolling acres of grass, a beautiful beis medrash, a state of the art dining room and comfortable accommodations, the Durham campus combines the best of the camping and yeshiva worlds in a single facility designed specifically for teenage bochurim.
“The setup is really great,” noted Rabbi Deutsch. “You can see how much the yeshiva is investing in the campus in order to make it beautiful. They pushed hard to get everything ready on time and we are already looking forward to coming back next year.”
The Mesivta Kol Yaakov program has been thriving at the Durham campus over the past few weeks. It is comprised of students from Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Toras Emes Kaminetz, Far Rockaway’s Yeshiva Derech Chaim and Baltimore’s Mechina High School of Ner Israel, who have been summering together for the last several summers.
“We have been to different facilities over the last four years but we have never been to any place like this,” said program director Rabbi Dovid Finkelman. “It is a paradise here, really beautiful, and the learning facilities are by far the best we have ever had.”
In addition to its many on-site amenities, the Durham campus is located in close proximity to several attractions including a trampoline park, laser tag, hiking trails and kayaking. But the true beauty of the facility is its continuation of the mission of Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury’s Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Ahron Kaufman, who is striving to make the Durham campus available to every member of klal yisroel.
Rabbi Kaufman admitted that the idea of opening up the campus during the summer was met with concern by some who were leery of the added responsibilities and associated expenses. Undaunted, Rabbi Kaufman pressed on with his plan, giving an even larger number of bochurim an opportunity to tap into the Waterbury Yeshiva’s trademark warmth and enthusiasm.
“This was about how we can give” explained Rabbi Kaufman, we have a beautiful campus and it should be used for Torah 24/7. There shouldn’t be a day when the campus isn’t being used for limud Torah.”