Top Five Yeshivas

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    Are Roster

    What are the top five Yeshivish Yeshivas (Beis Medrash age) in the United States, in terms of which Yeshivas are the hardest to get into?


    Since when is the “acceptance rate” of a yeshiva a good metric of the quality of the lamdus?? Perhaps use the top five in terms of the highest tuition as a better quality metric or alternatively, which ones have the most frequent mentions in the CR.


    Reb Mottel Dick Monsey
    Talmudical Academy of Philadelphia
    Telshe Alumni of Riverdale
    Rav Yagid in Lakewood
    Rav Friedbergs in Monsey

    meir G

    difficulty getting in, has little to do w/ top or bottom – rather its simple supply & demand (which fluctuates as in mi yishofel umi yorum)
    most bochurim decide where to go based on the “OILAM” – if they culturally fit in with all the nuances , whos the rosh is #2 …lastly there are yeshivos where the rosh yeshiva wanted to teach talmidim but with a limited financial burden , so they kept the yeshiva small in an old shul building… so its hard to get in because the facility is simple & small yet if he had a gevir buy him a big building he can double and it wouldnt be hard anymore


    Hardest to get into???????????????????
    For whom?

    The son and grandson of alumni of the Yeshiva
    The son or grandson of a businessman making a multimillion dollar donation?
    The son of parents who can pay full tuition, room and board?
    A scholarship applicant?
    A BT?

    There is no set answer and no level playing field.


    Rabban Gamliel’s yeshiva. Tough entrance requirements that are impossible to fake: your outside = inside. Not sure whether this requirement was both for the Hebrew and Greek departments.

    Are Roster

    I thought Patterson, Slomowitz or Fallsburg would be in the top five.

    meir G

    always ask.. you mixed up the memra the requirement was “TOCHO K’ BARO- meaning the inside should be AS GOOD as the outside.. rav miller explains that baro ” the exterior” always looked more pious than the inside and rabban gamliel wanted only metzuyanim thru & thru. yet the other tanna held that the chitzonius is meorer es hapnimiyos and even if you need a lot of work on the inside .. look the part be part of the yeshiva world anyway.. and that will help
    in the early 60’s the satmar rav was invited to yeshiva torah vodaas in willy and although the bochurim looked very american & not yeshivish , the rebbe was so impressed with the sincerity & ” americaner temimus” , that he gave a brocho to rav mendelovitz that the bochurims “baro should be as good as their tocho”


    Always ask quetions: the thread starter asked specifically about yeshivos in the USA.


    Hardest to get into?
    A much more accurate barometer of quality is the market value of the boys in shidduchim.

    bochur 613

    Yeshiva University in Washington Heights. (YU)
    Talmudical Academy of Philadelphia
    Ner Yisroel (Baltimore)


    I am surprised by some of the responses, especially from CT Lawyer. What makes IVY Leauge colleges the “Top colleges”? Is it not how hard it is to get into? Don’t children of alumni get special privileges there too? Do you really think a major donor to one of the colleges will not have an easier time getting their kid in? Granted their criteria may be different than yeshivas but there are many parallels.

    We also need to address the question based on the meaning of the questioner. He probably meant which have the smartest guys. I believe that anyone with seichel realizes that this means little when it comes to what really counts. Those things are much harder to quantify. Such as

    middos development

    growth development (A yeshiva whcih takes a boy from level 1 to level 6 should be better than a yeshiva that takes him from level 9 to level 10)

    connection to Hashem

    ability to think about and deal with real life issues including emunah and bitachon

    breadth of knowledge (some yeshivas produce guys who know many achronim on shas but are ignorant of halacha)


    1) Philli
    2) Riverdale (telz)
    3) Shaar Hatorah (Queens)
    4) Paterson
    5) Lakewood- Keren and 6) Mesivta of Lakewood
    In no particular order


    1. Troll Yeshiva
    2. Catfishing Yeshiva
    3. Laydikgaing Yshiva
    4. Yeshiva of the Sock Puppets
    5 fill in the blank


    if acceptance difficulty is the barometer, then yes, troll yeshiva is definitely up there. I tried a few times and couldn’t make it.

    then again, there were a bunch of others that I didn’t make it….


    Why did my response surprise you? It was succinct and on point.

    Some of the Ivies have announced that they no longer will automatically accept legacy candidates (as Yale did with GW Bush and then his daughter) keep them in and give them ‘gentlemen’s Cs’ as passing grades.

    My brothers and myself and our sons and grandsons attended the same Yeshiva in Brooklyn that my father and uncle attended before WWII. I assume family name, the fact that full tuition was to be paid and that a number of rooms have plaques with our name as the donor didn’t hurt their chances of admission. BUT, why shouldn’t a Yeshiva want multi-generation families that support the institution and share their hashgafa?

    Unlike a Yeshiva, a college or university that accepts any federal funding has to balance gender, and race in its admissions. They no longer have to factor in whether or not the student needs financial aid, as they used to.




    Some of the top American universities call themselves the Ivy League. Should the top yeshivas be the Wandering Jews? Some American universities with really good football teams call them selves the Big 10 (which has 16 teams, so how smart can they be?) or the Big 12. How about the Big 5?


    There is a Polish university that wanted to become harder to get into, so they made the doorways narrower.

    Reb Eliezer

    Beis Hamidrash Govoah – BMG in Lakewood


    As someone whose family was in business in Waterbury since 1958 and saw its complete collapse and corrupt politicians, I would not be sending a young man to live in learn there. I will say that the Yeshiva is a good repurposed use of a conservative Synagogue.

    BUT…Cooke St is not safe or desirable, nor is the former UCONN Waterbury campus. It was no surprise that a move to Durham has happened,


    So CTL, you won’t support a Makom Torah because of the politics in the 1960s? You should be happy there’s Torah in CT.


    @waterbury – I heard good things about it from graduates and read a short book by Rosh Yeshiva, he sounds like very much a mench.


    meirG, sorry for imprecision, my math mind does not distinguish between A = B and B = A. As your quotes point out, there is a difference between trying to have inside to outside and other way around.

    I understand the merit of the idea of keeping outside appropriate and then inside will follow. Still, you need to be careful with that. When everyone focuses on the outside as a routine, then there is less impetus to work on the inside and you are throwing overboard those (the best) who focus on inside. This would affect shiduchim, yeshivos (“which one is hardest”). This makes Satmarer’s quip a little troubling, hard to judge out of context, I presume it was humorous, maybe based on his prejudice.

    I am may be misremembering, I think in Slobodka they dressed casually, and Novordok innovated dressing up yeshiva boys as if they were talmidei chachamim already, a forerunner of modern “positive”, self-esteem improving education.

    Dr. E

    I am trying to understand the klehr. Was the question which Yeshiva is the most Yeshivish, which has the best learning, which one attracts the richest fathers-in-laws, or which is the one that produces the guys who get the best jobs after leaving?


    AAQ – “Novordok innovated dressing up yeshiva boys as if they were talmidei chachamim already”

    Not. The gemora states that Yosi went off the derech and they dressed him in the cloak of a Talmud Chochom and called him Rebbe and that turned him around. Not an innovation any more.


    putting words in my mouth I did not utter, again

    I did not say I would not support the Yeshiva in Waterbury, I have written yearly checks since its inception. I said I would not send a boy to live in Waterbury, a city I consider and know to be filthy and dangerous.
    I never mentioned politics in the 1960s. I said my family had been in business in Waterbury since 1958. My father opened his first store there in 1958 and eventually had 3. I owned and operated a garment factory there in the 80s and still own commercial property there.
    Just last week I was there to appear in Family Court session of the Superior Court.

    For 100 years Waterbury has been known for hills, mills and dirty necks….the mills closed down after the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 70s, but the hills and dirty necks remain. The local Jews abandoned Waterbury in white flight and the Yeshiva picked up their buildings for a song as well as a bargain political deal for the former UCONN Waterbury campus. Maybe to a Jew in Crown Heights or Bed Stuy Waterbury (the city, not the Yeshiva) isn’t that bad, but to suburbanites it is horrific.


    Twenty five posts later , it is clear that there is no such thing as “the best” yeshiva in the absence of an objective metric. Last time I checked, there is no equivalent to SAT scores or AP credits etc. whereby “lamdus” or “midos” can be measured. Its all the eye of the beholder and those attributes that he/she values most in a yeshiva or kollel.

    Yabia Omer

    This conversation is Divrei Srak


    CTL- Apparently the 250+ families disagree with your assessment of the Waterbury Jewish community. The Yeshiva K’tana there is currently the largest day school in the entire New England with an enrollment that is larger than all the other k-8 day schools in Connecticut combined. The Rabbeim there are top-notch.

    Housing prices continue to rise and new neighborhoods (within the area that you deride) are flourishing and expanding.

    Waterbury is still the most attractive community for a yeshiva style family within a two-hour drive of NY

    Sorry to be so rough, but how are things working out in your part of Connecticut? Outside the compound that is…..


    ctlawyer: i cannot comment on the safety of waterbury but i have both a son and daughter-in-law as well as a son-in-law and daughter living hapilly in waterbury. my mechutan has been there for over 20 years.


    I did not post about families, i write of sending a boy to live in Waterbury, quite a different thing. No student in the Yeshiva K-Tana is sent to live in a dorm in the city.
    That 250 families snapped up cheap housing in a derelict city so they could make a more affordable life and still get to NYC in 2 hours is good for them, but off point form my comment.


    @CTLAWYER-Point taken. It is then a testament to all the parents that “send” their children to learn in Waterbury (all boys in Waterbury are technically adults over 18 and make their own decisions as to where to learn). They choose a yeshiva based on one question “will my son be able to maximize his growth in this institution?”. They do not ask how many beer bottles are littering the streets half a mile away from the yeshiva.

    This question of maximizing growth is answered by examining many different factors such as the Rebbe-talmid relationships, the philosophy of the yeshiva, the atmosphere in the BM and dorm, will they be happy there, what are his long-term trajectory if he attends this yeshiva etc. Kudos to all parents and sons that choose a yeshiva based on the boy and his potential for growth and not on petty factors such as cleanliness of the city where it is located. Even greater credit goes to those who choose a yeshiva based on growth potential and ignore questions such prestige, shiduch points, quality of the food, and “what will my neighbors say?”.

    Granted safety is a factor but speak to any talmid of Waterbury past and present and see how many felt in danger. How many suburbanite families consider safety as a major factor when sending their children to learn in 770 or Gush Etzion?

    Getting back to the suburban dream city in which you live, how is the crime and the filth in that city? Based on this link removed it looks like your city is considerably worse than Waterbury.


    The level of privilege saturating this thread is unbearable.


    @lostspark what are you referring to?


    You do not know which small town in Fairfield County I live in. But, the crime rate is extremely low, mostly car theft, etc in the area closest to the nearby ‘big’ city.
    It is not a ‘bedroom’ town on the rail line to NYC for commuters, it wasn’t developed as a suburban but was a small colonial town, settled in the times before we were a nation.
    It doesn’t have filth, in fact a few times a year civic groups organize for a tidy up day, and clean up any debris along roadways, parks, etc.

    I know Waterbury and have for more than 6o years. My father had businesses there, so did I. I still own commercial property there. I would not send a teenager to live there. Boys leave the dorm and explore, even if it is going to the corner store for a soda.
    None of my comments have any reflection on the quality of the Yeshiva.

    I ask you this, since you are so gung ho on Waterbury……why the move and development in the rural farming community of Durham, when buildings were available so cheap in Waterbury? Some people didn’t want their youngsters living in the city.

    Lastly, how long have you had an association with Waterbury??????????
    I remember when it had a Jewish Center (that went bust and had to be sold to Post University) (I paid for a room there), had 3 Synagogues on or right off Cooke St, had a thriving Day school, kosher butcher and bakery. Do you remember any of this.
    All the small mill towns along RT 8 had Jewish communities and synagogues that started out at orthodox in the late 1800s….Naugatuck, Torrington, Derby, Waterbury. Between the death of northern manufacturing, downtown shopping districts, white flight the Jews abandoned these places and a group of frum Jews saw an opportunity to grab housing and shul buildings for next to nothing and leave NYC for a different life.
    In New Haven, where I was born and grew up, Catholic churches have closed with white flight and lack of funds. Chabad which had previously taken over the failed Young Israel, spent many millions buying the large St Brendan’s RCC and it’s school building for a new Yeshiva complex and dormitory. But for safety, the boys live within a fenced, protected ghetto abutting a neighborhood full of crime,

    Are Roster

    A major factor is whether a particular Yeshiva can get you into Brisk.


    tocho k’voro just showed up In Daf Yoma 72b – both Rava and Abaye say that this is a requirement for T’Ch, or (Abaye) it is a toeva. Nobody seems to contradict here. Maybe the opposite opinion was OK for Tannaim in EY, where they can control behaviors better, but would lead to abuses in Bavel?



    Two last connected items.

    I DON”T live in a city.
    There is no such thing as a “suburban dream city.’ A suburb is smaller than and subordinate to, and dependent on a city for things such as employment, cultural institutions such as museums, entertainment (legitimate theatre, symphony, opera, ballet), certain shopping, transportation hubs, and at times medical care.

    My small town of about 40,000 people doesn’t have a hospital, a train station, museums, concert venues, a university, non-movie theatre, but all of these are available in the nearby city within a short drive.
    The fact that some people commute from one city (such as Stamford (where I don’t live) to another city (such as NYC or White Plains), doesn’t make Stamford into a suburb or the commuters into suburbanites.


    AAQ: It actually is a machlokes in Brachos 27-28. R”G vs. the system installed that day.

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