Yeshivas Ner Yisroel


Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
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Ner Israel Rabbinical College or NIRC, is a prominent yeshiva in Baltimore, Maryland, founded in 1933 by Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, a disciple of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, dean of the Slabodka yeshiva in Lithuania. It is currently headed by Rabbi Aharon Feldman, a disciple of Rabbi Ruderman.

The yeshiva is an all-male Lithuanian (Litvish)-style Talmudic college and is politically affiliated with Agudath Israel of America.

The yeshiva campus is located at Mt. Wilson Lane, just northwest of the Baltimore city limits. Ner Yisroel has two central study halls, one for the high school and one much larger for the beis medrash and the kollel (also doubling as the main prayer sanctuaries). Enrollment is approximately 250 students in its high school division, 400 students in its bais medrash/under-graduate division, and about 200 members in its kollel/ postgraduate division.

Contents

History and past leadership

Ner Yisroel Beis Medrash

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman, the son-in-law of Rabbi Sheftel Kramer, founded the yeshiva in 1933 with six students. The yeshiva was named after Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin Salanter,[1] the founder of the mussar movement and teacher of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel.

Rabbi Dovid Kronglass, also of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Europe was the yeshiva's first mashgiach ruchani until his passing in 1973.

Rabbi Herman N. Neuberger, also son-in-law of Rabbi Sheftel Kramer and an alumnus of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Europe, was president of Ner Israel, from 1940 until his passing in 2005.

Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg served on the Ner Yisroel faculty for nearly 50 years. Rabbi Weinberg held the position of Rosh Yeshiva from Rabbi Ruderman's passing in 1987 until his own passing in 1999. Rabbi Weinberg was married to Chana Ruderman, the only child of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman.

Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, a disciple of Rav Shlomo Heiman and lecturer in the college, served as the Rosh Yeshiva from Rabbi Weinberg's passing in 1999 until his passing in 2001.

Other notable Rabbis who served on the faculty include the late rabbis: Rabbi Shimon Schwab, later rabbi of the German-Jewish Frankfurt Kehillah / community in Washington Heights N.Y., Rabbi Simcha Zissel Broide of the Chevron Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Rabbi Ephraim Eisenberg, the son-in-law of Rabbi Mordechai Gifter. In addition Rabbi Moshe Eisemann who was Ner Yisroel's second mashgiach ruchani is presently retired as is Rabbi Moshe Heinemann who is currently Rav of the Agudath Israel synagogue of Baltimore and the Star-K kashrus agency.

Present leadership

The yeshiva today is headed by Rabbi Aharon Feldman, who serves as the rosh yeshiva and is also a council member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah. Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger is the menahel (president) of the yeshiva; he succeeds his father, Rabbi Herman N. Neuberger, who held the same position. Rabbi Beryl Weisbord is the yeshiva's mashgiach ruchani. Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz is a senior lecturer. Rabbi Yosef Tendler is the principal of the high school and Rabbi Simcha Cook is the assistant principal of the high school.

Activity outside of Baltimore

In 1959 Rabbi Sholom Gold established a branch of Ner Yisroel in Toronto. In 1964, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg became the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel of Toronto until 1971. This yeshiva still functions but is no longer affiliated with Ner Yisroel in Baltimore.

In recent years Ner Yisroel has sent alumni to kollelim across the United States and several have founded their own institutions.

Major student projects include "PROJECT YAHUD", a spring break fund-raising effort for the religious schools in Yahud, Israel, and "PROJECT SEED", a summertime outreach effort in smaller communities across America.

Accreditation

Ner Yisroel is also a Maryland state accredited college, and has agreements with Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, Loyola College in Maryland, University of Baltimore, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County allowing undergraduate students to take night courses at these colleges and universities in a variety of academic fields. The agreement also allows the students to receive academic credits for their religious studies.

Curriculum

A student studying inside the Bais Medrash

The yeshiva's studies are primarily Talmud texts and relevant rabbinic literature. The yeshiva has a rotating cycle of eight different Talmudic tractates it covers in the course of eight years.

Degrees granted by Ner Yisroel are a Bachelor of Talmudic Law (four years), Master of Talmudic Law (six years), Doctorate in Talmudic Law (ten years and authoring a commentary on Talmudic or Rabbinic texts). Rabbinic ordination (Semichah) can also be conferred in Ner Yisroel.

Ner Yisroel's Machon program trains religious educators for Jewish communities and schools and students earn a Torah Umesorah recognized certification.

Student body

Ner Yisroel attracts students from the United States, Canada and other countries of the world. There are also students of Persian background.

Most undergraduate students in Ner Yisroel will have studied in Israel for two or three years prior to their arrival, or plan to upon completion of their studies in Ner Yisroel.

Prominent alumni

  • Mr. Jeff Ballabon – political consultant and community activist
  • Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz – maggid shiur, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
  • Rabbi Shmuel Bloom – Past President of Agudath Israel of America
  • Rabbi Eliezer Breitowitz – Rosh Yeshiva, Darchei Torah, Toronto
  • Rabbi Moshe Brown – maggid shiur, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
  • Rabbi Abba Cohen – Washington Director and Counsel, Agudath Israel of America
  • Rabbi Hillel David — Rabbi, Khal Sharei Tefillah, Brooklyn, New York
  • Rabbi Aharon Feldman – rosh yeshiva, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel and member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah
  • Rabbi Dr. Emanuel Feldman – Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, Georgia, lecturer and author
  • Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman – Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta
  • Rabbi Yissocher Frand – maggid shiur and lecturer, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
  • Howard Friedman – Past President of AIPAC
  • Rabbi Eliezer Gibber – rosh yeshiva, Providence Yeshiva
  • Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt – Rosh Kollel, St. Louis Kollel
  • Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt – Chief Rabbi of Moscow
  • Rabbi Gavriel Goetz – Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva High School of Arizona
  • Rabbi Avrohom Horowitz – Chief Rabbi of Chile
  • Rabbi Moshe Hochman – Rosh Kollel, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel of Toronto
  • Rabbi Shmuel Irons – Rosh Kollel, Kollel Avreichim of Detroit
  • Rabbi Mordechai Jofen – rosh yeshiva, Novardok yeshiva, Brooklyn
  • Rabbi Joseph Kalatsky – Dean, Yad Avraham Institute, New York
  • Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky – rosh yeshiva, Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, and member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah
  • Rabbi Daniel Korobkin – Senior Rabbi of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto; author of the foremost English translation of the Kuzari; prominent mohel
  • Rabbi Avraham Kosman – maggid shiur, Slabodka Yeshiva, Bnei Brak
  • Rabbi Zalman Leff – Rosh Kollel, Boston Kollel
  • Rabbi Pesach Lerner – President, National Council of Young Israel
  • Rabbi Dov Loketch – Rabbi, Agudas Yisroel Magen Avraham of Detroit
  • Rabbi Yeruchem Uziel Milevsky – former dean, Ohr Somayach, Toronto
  • Rabbi Dr. Chaim Milikovsky – Dean, Talmudic studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  • Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger – President, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Perman – maggid shiur, Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia
  • Rabbi Nachum L. Rabinovitch – Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivat Birkat Moshe, Maale Adumim, Israel
  • Mr. Sol Reich – media executive and CEO of FastLaunch
  • Rabbi Nota Schiller – Rosh Yeshiva, Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem
  • Rabbi Mordechai Schwimmer – mashgiach, Mercaz Hatorah, Jerusalem
  • Rabbi Avi Shafran – Director of Public Affairs, Agudath Israel of America, author, blogger
  • Rabbi Moshe Sherer – former president of Agudath Israel of America
  • Rabbi Shmaryahu Shulman – Talmid muvhuck of Rav Ruderman
  • Rabbi Yaakov Shulman – Rav, Talmud Torah of Flatbush
  • Rabbi Avraham Steinberg – maggid shiur, Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey)
  • Rabbi Baruch Taub – Past director of NCSY and Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto; now residing in Israel
  • Rabbi Shalom Tendler – Rosh Yeshiva, Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok, Los Angeles
  • Rabbi Noach Weinberg – Rosh Yeshiva, Aish HaTorah
  • Rabbi Gershon Weiss – maggid shiur, Yeshiva of Staten Island
  • Rabbi Mordechai Wolmark – Rosh Yeshiva, Shaarei Torah, Monsey
  • Rabbi Yochanan Zweig – Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Bais Moshe Chaim, Miami

In popular culture

In the book "The Forgotten" by Faye Kellerman the son of protagonist Rina Lazarus applies to Ner Israel. In the book, World of the Yeshiva, and other writings, sociologist William B. Helmreich writes about Ner Israel.

References

  1. ^ Sefer HaYovel - HaPardes. Jubilee Book HaPardes - Rabbinical monthly journal, pg. 397. New york, NY: 1951. Can be seen here: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=3153&pgnum=404


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