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Eretz Yisrael: Roshei Yeshiva Concerned – Kollelim May Close

ntf.jpgKollelim are among the mosdos already feeling the painful realities of the growing global economic crisis, with some already facing closure.

Last motzei Shabbos, a number of prominent roshei yeshiva headed for North America, instructed by Maran Rav Aryeh Leib Shteinman Shlita to make an attempt to raise badly need cash from givirim in North America in the hope of preventing the closure of mosdos Torah in Eretz Yisrael.

The funds will be distributed in the fashion the Kerem Yad Avraham uses, direct deposit in the bank accounts of avreichim on erev Yomtov. The effort results in the establishment of a large umbrella fund, which will absorb all the funds collected and permit equal distribution among Kollelim.

Gedolei Torah view this as a “Keren Hatzolah” effort to keep mosdos Torah in Eretz Yisrael operational. The project will place an emphasis on smaller Kollelim, who heads are unable to raise the needed funds. The exact particulars of distribution are still to be finalized.

Other decisions will also have to be made, for example, if the monthly stipend paid to avreichim will be reduced, or will they receive their regular wage in addition to the Keren Hatzolah payment.

Unfortunately, as was reported HERE by YWN, for some mosdos it is may be too late, such as the Yechavei Daas kollel of Rav Dovid Yosef Shlita, in Har Nof. Rav Dovid Shlita informed avreichim that there monthly stipend will only include the amount contributed by the Ministry of Religious Services, not enough to support them, explaining he has been unable to raise funds during recent months.

Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Shlita was also among the prominent roshei yeshiva seeking to raise a large sum, but unfortunately, he did not succeed. YWN has learned Rav Finkel had hoped to return with $5 million to address the difficult realities in The Mir, but unfortunately, it does not appear that he succeeded. A number of major contributors in the past are no longer able to continue supporting the institution due to their current bleak fiscal realities.

For mosdos Toldos Aaron for example, a message has been sent in the name of the Rebbe Shlita to increase tefillos and learning, explaining the Rebbe Shlita has too flown abroad in the hope of raising funds to same the beis medresh.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

25 Responses

  1. not sure if that came out sounding right. i meant that I would like bli neder to donate and was wondering if YWN or a/o else has info on how to do so.


  2. I wish them Hatzlocho, but the reason the money stopped is because the gvirim aren’t such gvirim any more.

    Example: I know of one gvir who used to support a number of mosod ina big way. He just lost about $100,000,000. This gvir is out!
    Recently we read about the gvir who was supporting Lubavitch very generously; he lost half his fortune. Lubavitch isn’t getting so much any more.
    I hear story after story like this.
    Many who were well off, aren’t. They are giving up their second car, struggling to pay tuitions to which they are commited, etc. etc.
    It’s not that the gvirim don’t want to give, but when you’ve lost so much, even if you still have a few million left, you feel very poor.

  3. Not to be rude, but tsadakas that fund yeshivos and kollels aren’t the most critical, since if they go broke the students will keep learning (let’s be honest, they don’t learn for the money, they learn because they are highly motivated Bnei Torah). The tsadakas that provide for things like food and medical care (albeit with some overlap, as when one providing food provides food to kollel families) are more critical since without them the people won’t be able to afford food or medical care.

  4. I have been saying this for years. It’s nice to have a Yissocher/Zevulun partnership. But the Mosdos are responsible to educate the Kollel boys with something else, in case the money stops coming in. As a matter of fact, if they were all working and learning, not only wouldn’t they need money from Gvirim, but there would be more money in the pot, as these Kollel boys might be Gvirim themselves!

    The system is broken, and we have to fix it now, before it gets worse. We re not allowed to stand by, and see young families ruined because the Roshei Hasyeshivos are turning a blid eye to the real world! All Kollel boys must be able to pursue a parnassah besides sitting and learning. IM AIN KEMACH, AIN TORAH!


  5. Yasher koach to #6 and #7.
    on a related note to #6, we need to take a step back and gain a real perspective on thousands of years of jewish history. many people today claim that we must continue to push every single bochur who gets married into kollel (for an indefinite amount of time) because we “need to foster the next generation of gedolim.” the assumption is that without having every able-bodied male in kollel, we will somehow not have a new generation of “gedolim.”

    the fallacy of this argument is obvious – anyone with even the most basic knowledge of jewish history knows that never in jewish history has such a phenomenon existed, whereby every male has been expected to learn in kollel (thereby having no means of parnassah). yet, somehow, each generation throughout jewish history has had its “gedolim”!! in fact, not to compare, but many would say that perhaps our gedolim of hundreds of years ago may have been even better than our gedolim that we are producing today. yet the gedolim of years ago did not live in a day and age with institutionalized kollel, like we have today – so it seems that klal yisroel can still produce gedolim, even if every man is not in kollel!!

    we all know that after the churban of the holocaust, when the yeshivos of europe were destroyed, there was a need to “rebuild” what was lost. however, it is universally recognized that the yeshiva/kollel world has been rebuilt several times over what it ever was (in terms of yeshivos/students, etc.) in europe. just like when a disaster happens (i.e. hurricane katrina, 9/11, etc.), the government dedicates extra resources towards rebuilding the damage that was done. however, this is always a TEMPORARY situation. expecting that these extra resources be provided indefinitely is unreasonable and unsustainable. just as 60 years from now it will be unreasonable for the city of New Orleans to continue to expect to receive the same federal emergency aid it received during the months after hurricane katrina hit, so too is it unreasonable for klal yisroel to continue to push every single yeshiva bochur into kollel for life, as (perhaps) was done in the years immediately following the holocaust.

    much like #7 says, the kollel system as it stands is simply broken, and (as we are all seeing now) unsustainable. i think we are not doing our bocurim/avreichim/their families (and all of klal yisroel) by continuing to insist that the system must remain “as-is”, and the only thing that must change is that we need more fundraising. if Rav nosson tzvi finkel shlit”a can’t raise enough money from the thousands all over the world with connections to the Mir, who can??

    just like when we see one of our precious children going down a path which is bound to fail, we do not continue to encourage and appease them – rather, we sit them down, talk to them, and attempt to correct them and set them on a better path. this is true ‘ahavah’. so too, here, when we can plainly see that the current, institutionalized kollel system is broken, we do not do anyone a service by continuing to encourage it without trying to improve and change it. sure, perhaps we can raise enough money to weather the storm for today – but what will tomorrow bring??

  6. It’s true that the Olam HaTorah V’Chassidus is wrong in that they do not teach any trades and professions (which logically should be taught while the yungerman is still in Kolel, but after a year or so of full-time learning). The same problem exists here in the USA, and that too will catch up with us soon.
    There is however, one major difference between the USA and E”Y. In E”Y there are no jobs period. Firstly because there are few jobs, and secondly, because the corporate and professional businesses refuse to hire Chareidim – due to the “sinah” for them. In the USA, there are still jobs available, even if they will pay less than before.
    The other problem we have to face, which is true both in the USA and in E”Y – we have sadly learnt to live on a much higher standard of living than we should, and definitely more than we can afford to. The older generation will still remember and learn to adapt – the younger generation has no clue, and will get deeper and deeper into touble – Hashem Yerachem.

  7. Note to the Rohei Yeshivos and Admorim -:
    Instead of emergency fundraising for your Kolelim and Mosdos, which will only get harder and harder if the situation continues as is – why don’t you collect to set up emergency training and parnossa centers for these couples? Why lead them head on into disaster? When you run out of funding, you will throw them out onto the street to fend for themselves. Where is your “achraiyus”?!
    Teach them trades and professions right now!!
    That would be the biggest chesed and the most responsible thing to do!

  8. It’s not sinah that the chilonim have. It’s the impression on their part that chareidim don’t really want to work for their money but take from others. Not that it’s right.. but that’s the way they see it.

  9. Zalmy, hold your breath. akuperma is an individual who has limited mental capacity.

    This is one of the few times that I read something on Yeshiva World News and tears came to my eyes. This is awful, awful news. It is only because of the z’chus of Limud Hatorah can we survive any type of attack of the Iranians, Chas V’shalom.

  10. #11-there are hundreds of charedim who are qualified and would lov eto work for the chevrat chashmal,bank of israel etc. where the salaries are very high,but there are zero charedim in these places,what doe sthat have to do with charedim not wanting to work.
    i have several freinds who are trying to leave kollel for a job,what do you want them to do,sweep floors?because thats what the outside world has available.
    while on the job issue,i know of two very sucessful enterprises that can grow and provide more parnassah for frum yidden,both have very strong sales growth month over month and cant fill half their orders,but they have no way to get the additional of them needs to get machines that will automatically pacakge instead of manual,the banks wont look at him in israel,another doesnt even advertise because they ar eworking 3 shifts a day to supply the demand and still are short,ye sin th eterrible recession many things are still doing well

  11. # 13
    im very interested to know more about the 2 people…
    how do i make contact.
    [im not a bank or a gvir but bsd there might be a way to help.

  12. Balance, my friends, balance. I have on my desk appeals from several organizations and institutions – those that are seeking to provide food and rent for the needy will receive my priority attention; I will next contribute toward senior citizens homes that provide care for the elderly who have no one else on whom to rely; elementary education institutions come next, because speaking generally a child should be in a yeshiva ketana and not a public school. The same holds true through high-school. But, I cannot take away from a family’s rent or Shabbos food; or a zaken’s food or medicine; or a child’s primary education; to support an able-bodied man who wished to learn. I wish to be clear – I support the proposition of kollel for select young men. And I agree that limud Torah is our shield. But I cannot in good conscience feed an able-bodied man and neglect an unemployed family or older person.

  13. What is wrong with sweeping floors etc? if that is what is putting food on the table.. I would do that if it meant my kids not going without food.

    Could it be that chareidim don’t have the credentials and that is why they aren’t being hired?

  14. A man who desires to learn in kolell should either be able to pay for his expenses or have a sponsor or group of sponsors who will support him. That requirement should be part of the application process. Then,if that is feasable,he should be tested by the roshei yeshiva to ascertain his honest desires and then let him join. The kolell must also train them for some job or trade so they will be able to live on their own without dependency. Remember the Great Depression. Remember how our grandparents struggled? If more people work and earn a living.more people will be responsible for themselves and be able to help those who are in n eed.

  15. a- in today’s economy many working people cant pay their rent & medical bills – so even if the kollel men were working who is to say they would be better off?

    b- its so easy to knock something you dont understand or appreciate its chashivus.

    c- # 16 telegrok –
    you contradict yourself!
    “But I cannot in good conscience feed an able-bodied man and neglect an unemployed family or older person.”

    look at that – what about if the unemployed family has an able-bodied man? and what about the woman? (notice how you use the word family for the unemployed )

  16. frimchebubche (?)

    You seem to be suggesting that people should stay in kollel and take money from the community since they would probably not make the money from working anyway.

    This is along the lines of many others on this site that insist that it is more practical to take from the government / gvirim than it is to work for a living.

    This is a frightening line of thinking which will lead to absolute disaster. It is time for people to wake up and realize what is happening. It is time to take serious preventative action so that you do not have an entire generation of young people that are “on the take”

    Yes, we all need to do our part to help people that are suffering, however: “give a man a fish and feed him for a day; Teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime”

    Hashem Yaazor.

  17. #19- “in today’s economy many working people cant pay their rent & medical bills – so even if the kollel men were working who is to say they would be better off.”

    With logic like this, why get out of bed?

  18. #19 – I was unclear and regret any confusion. Please permit me to clarify: I meant to distinguish between a person who is physically able to earn a living, but chooses to learn, and a person who is physically able to earn a living, but unable to find a job.

    So, where I was not clear about “an unemployed family,” I meant a family whose father is looking for work.

    I also think that the privilege of learning should not be reserved only to those who are financially able to not work – perhaps we should look toward a model used in the goyishe velt by people who want to study but be supported by a university or organization – they submit a grant proposal – they explain what they want to achieve, the value it will bring to that particular academic discipline, how much it will cost, etc. – and the university or government has experts and they review numerous applications and say, “This guy gets a lab for a year to study, this one does not.” In this model, prospective yungerleit seeking public support would give such a proposal to the hanhala of the yeshiva – and maybe the yeshiva would say, “we have funds to support 30 men in learning full-time,” and they would pick the most promising

  19. Just to set the record straight:

    I would just like to inform the “experts” above that in Eretz Yisroel there are a LOT of Chareidim in the work force – and more are needed.

    Chareidim are not punished for being Chareidim. Personally I have worked in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (at HOT – a Chiloni “stronghold”) in Hi Tech and I was not alone. I was not despised nor looked down upon.

    There are plenty of people in full Chasidish Levush in Hi Tech, and they don’t work on Chol HaMoed, they go home early for Chanuka licht and have great relationships with their employers.

    I have picked up many Chiloni friends over the years.

    The only problem I have ever encountered is the invented hatred by people who would like it to exist; but in the field it’s not there.

    Please stop trying to invent a problem that doesn’t exist.

  20. I think a model along the lines of sponsoship combined with grants for a select few is the way forward for kollelim. Here is an example of how it could work… For the first two years, no-one should get a kollel stipend directly from the kollel, but should rather have to raise their sponsorship money themselves, and this would be their annual wage. After two years, they would be eligible to apply for kollel funding, and the kollel can select 10% of their yungerleit to receive a grant, and the others would need to continue to find their own sponshorship. This method would give the yungerleit an incentive to be among the top 10% in their kollel, and would leave the top boys able to focus on their learning, the ones from rich families will continue to be supported by their families, and those who need to raise their own sponsorship will realise it is not an easy option, and it may even motivate them to learn better. Alternatively, they will decide that they are not cut out for learning and will go off to work. In this scenario, the Yissachar in the partnership will know exactly who is supporting him, and may therefore feel more guilty for wasting their money by not learning 100%, so I feel that this format will weed out the few freeloaders (they may be a small minority, but they give other kollel yungerleit a bad reputation), and will give further motivation to the remaining yungerleit.

    I know that some kollelim operate systems like this, and would be curious to hear feedback…

  21. -#22, I should think that learning Torah all day has more value than remaining in bed.

    -Telegrok, you make me nauseous. WE are the Am kadosh, mamleches kohanim. Should we look to the goyim to model our heilige Torah?????

    -What it boils down to is that you all think you make your money. You don’t. This is a friendly reminder that there is a G-d in this world who filled up your bank accounts and, yes, also made the market crumble.

    What we need (contrary to the popular call for complete reformation ch”v of what is better know as “the system”) is for Torah to flourish so that this world can continue. Oddly enough, you all seem to want it to end.

  22. I think there will be less protekzia using this methodology as each individual would have to convince friends, family or acquaintances that they are worthy of their funding for a Yissocher Zevullun partnership. Would you be more inclined to give $10,000 to R’ Steinman or to a kollel yungerman to sponsor his year’s studies. I think individuals would be far more discerning, and the kollel yungerman would feel far more compelled to live up to his side of the bargain than if he was just handed the $10,000 by his kollel. Having gone round collecting, I know how difficult it is, and this would really humble the individuals, and only those with a true desire to learn would be prepared to do this. This method would also spare the koved of the Roshei Kollelim, who would not have to go round begging so much. The potential issue of protekzia would be which 10% of students would be chosen for grants, and there may be cases of the hanhalla selecting family members etc, but if this was done at the expense of better boys, it would devalue that kollel, and attract less boys in the future, thus reducing their scope for selection.

    In reply to #28, I don’t think people necessarily want complete reformation of the system, but there is currently a massive deficit in the mosdos budget, and some practical way of reducing this deficit would be helpful. Obviously the ideal is that there is enough money to go round such that everyone who wants, and is able, can learn for as long as they want. Currently, for financial reasons (amongst other reasons), many boys leave the system. The ones who have a true love of Torah will try to find a vocation in the Torah world. The rest will try to eke out a living, and unfortunately most of these have not had an adequate training, which prevents them from being able to do a vast number of jobs. More facilities are now being made available to help prepare these individuals for the workplace, and this is to be greatly encouraged. There is a fine line between discouraging people to leave yeshiva / kollel, and discouraging it to such an extent that they are left to their own devices with no support network and the risk of going “off”, rather than integrating them into the baalei batish community.

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