Yeshivaworld ran a story last week regarding the famed Volozhin Yeshiva building in Belarus which was to be confiscated by the government due to lack of funds needed to maintain the building. Due to the quick thinking of Yeshivaworld, things have taken a turn for the better. Not wanting to see the historical Yeshiva end up in the hands of the Belarus Government, Yeshivaworld quickly contacted Daas Torah who informed us to contact the Agudah Israel of America and inform them of the crisis. Boruch Hashem, the Agudah has just release the following press release:
A threat of government confiscation of the historic Volozhin Yeshiva in Belarus will likely be averted due to the quick formation of an ad hoc committee that has pledged to raise the funds to make immediate exterior repairs to the vacant 200-year-old building, allowing it to remain under the control of the local Jewish community.
The ad hoc committee, comprised of representatives of Agudath Israel of America, the American-Canadian Foundation for the Education and Welfare of Jews of the CIS, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, conferred this week with Yuri Dorn, President of the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations in Belarus, to plan for the raising of the $20,000 needed for initial external repairs to the structure that town authorities insisted must begin this month or the building would return to the municipality.
A full renovation of the Volozhin Yeshiva building is expected to cost well over $100,000. This would be undertaken later in the year if a plan for the proper use of the building can be developed by the Jewish community in Belarus together with international Jewish organizations.
Parties interested in participating in the rescue of the structure, which housed the famed yeshiva founded in 1803 by Rabbi Chaim Volozhin, a student of the Vilna Gaon, are encouraged to write checks to any of the three organizations comprising the ad hoc committee, earmarked for the Volozhin project.
The committee members also invited the public to propose ideas for appropriate use of the building once it is renovated. The Volozhin Yeshiva is regarded as the model for the numerous institutions of higher Jewish learning that comprise the “world of the yeshiva” to this day.
NOTE: Yeshivaworld would like to thank the many readers who offered their assistance in various ways. –YW Editor.