Americans at Mercaz HaRav

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    Is anyone familiar with the experience of American bochurim at Mercaz? How do they fit in with Israeli shiurim and hashkafically with the Israeli talmidim? Are there many Americans there?


    Mercaz has lots of different types of Israeli bochurim


    There have been many Americans at Merkaz over the years. “Fitting in” is less of an issue in reagrds to hashkafa and classes. This is because anyone whom chooses to learn there most likely, shares the ideology and already has a strong grasp of Hebrew.

    Getting used to dorm life, the food, lack of certain western comforts is more difficult. As opposed to Yeshivas that cater to American boys.


    There is no American program, and hence no Americans. I define that as a bochur who lives in Chutz la’aretz and is spending a year or two in Israel. If one comes on Aliyah, he is an Israeli, accent and all. Everything is in Hebrew, as it should be. If a bochur can carry on a basic conversation in Hebrew, he has a chance to succeed. If not, try a different yeshiva.
    Hashkafically, a talmid will be much happier if he agrees with the yeshiva’s hashkafah, but that is not a requirement. Many excellent yeshivas have talmidim who are yotzei dofen.


    There are very few American Bochurim at Mercaz.
    There are, however, Israeli born bochurim who grew up in English speaking homes.
    Many of the Bochurim come from a few specific yeshivot ketanot.
    It’s a large Yeshiva and sometimes may be not so easy to fit in (even for Israeli’s).
    As for the learning, it’s considered one of the top Yeshivot in the Dati Leumi community (along with Yeshivat Har Hamor and Yeshivat Beit El.
    Har Hamor is newer, very popular and has set up communities and numerous Yeshivot Ketanot and Talmudei Torah as well as girls schools. (I’m not so familiar with it)
    Yeshivat Beit El is a bit smaller, but perhaps has a more cohesive and warm atmosphere. There too there are very few Americans (but again, there are Israel born Americans- English speakers). As it’s in a yishuv, it has more of a community feel and a clear strong hashkafa.
    Any of the Yeshivot would be a great learning and ruchani experience as אווירא דארץ ישראל מחכים.
    Of course, there are numerous Hesder Yeshivot- KBY, Shalavim, Hakotel and the Gush that have large American programs.
    Much Hatzlacha!!!

    Avi K

    Rational, a bachur will be much happier in any yeshiva if he fits in with the hashkafa (BTW, there is a yeshiva for English speakers called Shappell’s/Drachei noam whose hashkafa is that is doesn’t have one). As for the Bet-el yeshiva, so far as I know it soes have a program for English speakers but the expectation is that they will make aliya if they haven’t already. The yishuv has many English-speaking families, most of whom have lived in Israel for many years so it might be a good choice for someone who wants to get into Israeli life gradually.


    Yesivat Beit El does NOT have a program for English Speakers.

    If I’m not mistaken Shappell’s is a Ba’al Teshuva Yeshiva- the level of learning is not the same.

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