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Oholei Torah ("Tents of Torah"), [properly referred to as Oholei Menachem ("Tents of Menachem") after Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson,] is the common name of the Lubavitch schools Educational Institute Oholei Menachem and Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah. The main branches of the school, and its administrative offices, are located in Brooklyn, New York City.
Educational Institute Oholei Torah is a yeshiva for male students in Chabad-Lubavitch Movement, drawing students from around the world and providing a vast majority of the Chabad Shluchim from amongst its graduates. Oholei Torah's curriculum consists solely of torah study, with a strong emphasis on the teachings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The curriculum has been noted for its exclusion of all secular studies, such as language skills and mathematics. Founded in 1957, at Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson's directive, with four (or three) students, Oholei Torah now enrolls over 1600 students annually.
Oholei Torah was founded in early 1957 by Rabbi Michoel Teitelbaum, following a statement by Rabbi Schneerson (the Lubavitcher Rebbe) that there should be a school focusing on Torah study on the holy purity.
In 1958, the school expanded and a kindergarten for young boys was introduced. In 1964, Oholei Torah added a junior high school division, followed several years later by Oholei Torah Mesivta High School. The Beis HaMedrash, Talmudic Seminary Oholei Torah was founded in 1970, for post-high school Talmudic studies.
In 1975, the school began renting space for the elementary classes at the Brooklyn Jewish Center at 667 Eastern Parkway, built in 1920, and purchased the building outright in 1982. Beginning in 1997, the building underwent a major expansion, with a new wing (known as the Deitsch Campus, after the school's major financial patron Dovid Deitsch) and a study hall for the Talmudical Seminary.
In 1994, the elementary school was renamed "Oholei Menachem" in honor of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, though the old name persists in general usage.
Today Oholei Torah enrolls approximately 1600 students in its various divisions.
Educational Institute Oholei Menachem (Oholei Torah) consists of a preschool grade (Pre-1A) and 8 elementary grades. Each grade has an average enrollment of about 100 students, so there are four or five classes for each grade.
Oholei Torah's kindergarten elementary school and middle school are located in the Deitsch Campus at 667 Eastern Parkway. There is also a smaller kindergarten division at Cong. B'nai Abraham in East Flatbush, a synagogue where Rabbi Teitelbaum served as president until his death in 2005.
Oholei Torah Mesivta is located at 417 Troy Avenue (the Rabbi Jacob J. Reines Shul). There is also a branch of the Mesivta, Yeshivas Beis Dovid Shlomo at 292 Norton Street., New Haven, Connecticut.
The Beis Medrash, formally called Talmudical Seminary Oholei Torah, and colloquially as Oholei Torah Zal (Yiddish zal, [study] hall), is the largest Lubavitch yeshiva in the United States.
The Seminary currently has around 250 students. About 1/3 of the students live locally; the rest come from other parts of the United States, as well as Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Israel, South America and South Africa.
Since 1979 the Beis Medrash has published a journal (formerly weekly, now biweekly) Haoros U'bi'urim Oholei Torah, and an annual volume, which has variously been called Kovetz Oholei Torah or Kovetz Pilpulim. Both contain essays on various torah topics, mostly contributed by current students and staff, as well as alumni. Occasionally prominent non-Lubavitch rabbis, such as Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, submit papers to the journal, which is edited by Rabbi Avrohom Y. Gerlitzky, who also contributes at least one essay to each issue.
The Mesivta publishes a journal a few times a school year called haaros hatmimim v'anash which contains essays by the staff and students.
Notable alumni include: