That "there is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisroel" has
become a byword for Jews everywhere. Each year, thousands of
bochurim from around the globe flood the yeshivos of
Eretz Yisroel, to absorb Torah as they can absorb it nowhere
else in the world.
But their choice of yeshivos is not arbitrary. Each yeshiva
has specific advantages to offer, and bochurim and
their parents investigate any yeshiva they are considering to
find out what is the level of learning there, the social
atmosphere, the staff, the degree of personal attention, and
a host of other factors.
Those who have investigated Beth Medrash Govoha of Eretz
Yisroel have surely been impressed with its reputation for a
high level of learning, a warm atmosphere and the tremendous
amount of personal attention given to each and every one of
its talmidim. It has become the yeshiva of choice for
many bochurim, who speak of the Rosh Yeshiva and his
dedicated staff with love and enthusiasm -- so much
enthusiasm, in fact, that they insist this is the very best
place for them, although the physical space afforded them is
extremely limited. Yet soon, be'ezras Hashem, Lakewood-
Yerushalayim will be housed in a facility that will do honor
to the special quality of Torah that is learned there.
The yeshiva will begin construction of its new building on a
large tract of land that it has been granted by the Jerusalem
municipality in Yerushalayim's Ramot neighborhood,
overlooking the broad, inspiring landscape of the scenic
The yeshiva, with its over 65 talmidim and 30
yungerleit, is currently located in a small, rented
building in the Mattersdorf section of Yerushalayim -- the
very building it has occupied since the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav
Yaakov Eliezer Schwartzman, founded it sixteen years ago. As
its enrollment grew, the yeshiva expanded its cramped
quarters to their limits; in fact, there is some sort of
construction going on in the building during almost every
vacation break. Hallways have been widened; room additions
have been built; a new level has been added underground; and
walls have been broken through to expand the beis medrash,
which has been made into a multi-level area. In addition,
the yeshiva borrows space in shuls around the
neighborhood to use for shiurim.
At present, there is no unified dormitory facility.
Bochurim are housed in various apartments that the
yeshiva rents throughout the neighborhood. Besides being an
overwhelming expense to the yeshiva, the rented apartments
are certainly not ideal housing for the bochurim. They
are not designed to be used as dormitory rooms, nor are they
adjacent to one another or to the yeshiva. This situation
makes proper supervision a challenge.
None of this seems to have affected enrollment at Lakewood-
Yerushalayim. "While student applications continue to pour
in," explained mashgiach Rav Simcha Ellis, "the
yeshiva's current location simply does not allow for further
expansion." The new building will solve all of these
difficulties. "It will allow the yeshiva to expand, both
physically and in the quality of the total spiritual
environment it can offer talmidim."
The building that will house the yeshiva in Ramot has been
expertly designed by experienced architects, who have drawn
up plans for a building worthy of housing a true mikdash
me'at. It will lie in Ramot's burgeoning Torah community,
and is set against the expansive hills that surround the
area. "The beautiful, scenic background will give talmidim
a special feeling of menuchas hanefesh and
harchovas hada'as," says Rabbi Yosef Knepelmacher,
menahel of the yeshiva.
The focus of the main entrance floor of the new building is
the Kedoshei Kletsk Hall -- the main shiur room,
dedicated to the memory of the martyrs of the Lithuanian city
of Kletsk, whose distinguished yeshiva thrived under the
leadership of Rav Aharon Kotler, grandfather of the Rosh
Yeshiva. On the second floor we find the beautifully laid out
beis medrash, spacious and practical in its design.
Upstairs is a roomy ezras noshim that overlooks the
beis medrash, as well as a large otzar haseforim
and shiur-vaadim rooms.
The lower levels take full advantage of the sloping, terraced
terrain, and are all open to light and air. Directly below
the entrance level we come to a spacious dining room with an
attached succah courtyard. The dining room will be
serviced by a fully-equipped modern kitchen. The four
dormitory wings have been designed for privacy and
"In an environment where their physical needs are taken care
of comfortably and pleasantly," says mashgiach Rav
Menachem Glick, "the atmosphere is more conducive to
spiritual growth. When a bochur has the opportunity to
learn in a beautiful, spacious beis medrash, furnished
so as to enhance the learning environment, he can better meet
the challenge of learning on the intense level which our
yeshiva requires of its talmidim."
The building process will get under way on Tuesday of Chol
Hamoed Succos, with a grand hanochas even hapinah
ceremony, which will be held in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Hershey
Friedman of Montreal, Canada. The Friedmans have dedicated
themselves to building strongholds of Torah scholarship
throughout the world.
This milestone hanochas even hapinah groundbreaking
event will take place on Tuesday, the 18th of Tishrei,
September 28th. It will begin at 6:00 p.m., at the building
site on Rechov Rubin in Ramot Daled. Gedolei Torah
from both Eretz Yisroel and America will participate in
this most unique celebration.
Following the ceremony, the yeshiva will host its annual gala
Simchas Beis Hashoeva, coinciding with the yahrtzeit
of the Vilna Gaon. The renowned chazan, Reb Chaim Eliezer
Hirshtik, will sing with his sons, joined by a boys' choir
and live musical accompaniment.
"This will be a very special event," says Rav Glick. "The
combination hanochas even hapinah and simchas beis
hashoeva will allow everyone to join in the yeshiva's
great simcha of expanding its physical structure, to
enhance its spiritual influence, and to give so many more
bochurim the opportunity to learn in Lakewood-