Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy

Coordinates: 40°51′06″N 73°55′42″W / 40.851804°N 73.928446°W / 40.851804; -73.928446
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Yeshiva University High School for Boys
The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy
Manhattan Talmudical Academy
2540 Amsterdam Avenue


Coordinates40°51′06″N 73°55′42″W / 40.851804°N 73.928446°W / 40.851804; -73.928446
TypePrivate, Yeshiva, Day
Religious affiliation(s)Judaism
DenominationModern Orthodox
Sister schoolYeshiva University High School for Girls
ChairpersonMiriam Goldberg
PrincipalRabbi Daniel Konigsberg
Head of SchoolRabbi Shimon Schenker
Faculty44.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Student to teacher ratio6.8:1
Color(s)Blue and White
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools
AffiliationsYeshiva University

The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, also known as Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB), MTA (Manhattan Talmudical Academy) or TMSTA,[3] is a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school (or yeshiva) and the boys' prep school of Yeshiva University (YU) in the Washington Heights neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is the brother school to the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls.[4]


The Talmudical Academy (TA), as it was originally called, was founded in 1916 by Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel. He had become president of the institution that was to become Yeshiva University a year earlier, in 1915, when the "Rabbinical College of America" (a short-lived name) had been formed from the merger of two older schools, an elementary school founded in 1886 and a rabbinical seminary founded in 1896.

TA was the first academic Jewish high school in America, and the first to have a dual curriculum, now standard in Jewish schools, of Judaic and secular studies. It was originally located on the Lower East Side, and moved to Washington Heights with the rest of Yeshiva in the late 1920s. The building originally planned for the High School alone was shared with the other schools of the University for many years before the campus expanded; today, that building is almost entirely occupied by the High School, and the other buildings of the University's main campus (including a dormitory for college students) surround it.

TA was later joined by a brother school, the Brooklyn Talmudical Academy ("BTA"), founded in the 1940s. Two girls' high schools were founded as well, Central Yeshiva High School in Brooklyn in the 1950s and a Manhattan school in the 1960s.

In 1967, the Brooklyn school moved to a joint campus created by repurposing the historical Vitagraph Studios in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. In the 1970s, they were closed and merged into their Manhattan counterparts. In the 1980s, the girls' school was merged into a Queens school. The latter is now called "Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls" (or simply "Wang"), but is still commonly referred to as "Central," while the boys' school, since the 1970s, has been known as "The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy- Yeshiva University High School for Boys" (or simply "TMSTA" or, more recently, "MSTA" and now, "MTA"), but is still commonly referred to as "MTA." Principals of the school included the founding principal, Shelley Safire, and Rabbis David Weinbach (1973-1987), Mordechai Spiegelman (1987-1991), George Finkelstein (1991-1995), Michael Taubes (1995-1999 and 2011-2016), Michael Hecht (1999-2005), Mark Gottlieb and Yaakov Sklar (2005-2011), and Josh Kahn (2016-2023). After the resignation of former Head of School Rabbi Joshua Kahn, Rabbi Shimon Schenker was appointed Menahel of the Yeshiva (school).

The school's enrollment peaked during the 1960s and 1970s, when relatively few competitor schools existed. However, with the growth of competing institutions, enrollment declined, and by 1999, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, President of Yeshiva University, wanted to close the high school down. When word of the closure leaked out, Rabbi Michael Taubes, MTA's principal at that time, together with senior instructor, Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen, led a student protest and recitation of Psalms in front of the YU's main building at that time, Furst Hall. Although the protest led to Rabbi Taubes' dismissal, and eventually to the dismissal of Cohen as well (both became instructors in other divisions of Yeshiva University, and Rabbi Taubes in 2008 became a teacher at the high school and became principal again in 2011), their action is credited with swaying Rabbi Lamm to keep the school open.

Rabbi Michael Hecht, who had been teaching at the school for many years and also served as a Dean in Yeshiva College, became Dean of MTA. In September 2005, Rabbi Mark Gottlieb assumed the role of Head of School. In February 2011, Rabbi Mark Gottlieb announced that he would be stepping down as Head of School/Menahel at the culmination of the 2010-2011 academic year. His successor was former principal Rabbi Michael Taubes, who took over as Head of School (now also known by the Hebrew title of Rosh HaYeshiva at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year. In March 2016, it was announced that the school's next leader would be Rabbi Joshua Kahn. Rabbi Kahn began his tenure in July 2016. In the 2022/2023 school year, Rabbi Kahn announced his resignation as Head of School. Rabbi Shimon Schenker was promoted to Head of School and Rabbi Daniel Konigsberg was promoted to Principal.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations[edit]

In December 2012, a scandal developed alleging widespread sexual misconduct by two high ranking male faculty members and perpetrated on multiple male students. The alleged misconduct, which occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, was claimed to have been known about, but ignored, by the highest levels of administration at the high school and at Yeshiva University.[5] The former president of Yeshiva University issued a statement stating that the university will examine the allegations.[6] The Jewish Week uncovered a story, further alleging knowledge of the inappropriate behavior by the university. The story alleges that the door to one of the abuser's offices was removed, possibly, to prevent a private environment where further misconduct could continue.[7] The lawsuit against Yeshiva University was dismissed before trial in January 2014 by a federal judge who stated that the statute of limitations had expired.[8] However, when New York State passed its new Child Victims Act in 2019, the suit was refiled by 38 former students.[9]

Beit Midrash Katan[edit]

In the '06-'07 school year, MTA (also known as Mesivta D'Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan) started an advanced Talmud Shiur for the top 12th grade students called the Beis Medrash Katan, dedicated in memory of Julius Wrubel. The Beis Medrash Katan, commonly referred to as "BMK," has more hours for Torah study. The purpose of the program is to give the school's top Talmud students a feel for a real beit midrash, which many of the students will be enrolled in the following year and possibly many more. The Beis Medrash Katan also encourages its students to develop habits of "budding Talmidei Chachamim." The Rebbe who teaches and supervises the Beis Medrash Katan is Rabbi Tanchum Cohen. In 2011-2012 Rabbi Michael Hecht joined the BMK staff, until his retirement in June 2014.

Student activities[edit]

There are many extracurricular activities and clubs. For sports, these include Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball, hockey, and wrestling, baseball, softball, and soccer teams. In other areas, there are College Bowl, Torah Bowl, Mock Trial, Model UN, Model Congress, Chess, SABR, Debate, MTAhackers (the high school team won the 2022 university hackathon[10]), a 3d printing club, a Math team, as well as the Business and Finance Club. The Chess team won the Yeshiva League Chess Championship in both 2017 and 2018. The school has 2 robotics teams that participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge (teams 5361 and 13475).

The students publish a number of publications including The Polis (multidisciplinary academic journal), The Academy News (school newspaper), Shema Koleinu (weekly Dvar Torah newsletter), Yagdil Torah (Torah essay journal), HaTzioni (Zionist publication), Pearls of Wisdom (book of students' literary works and, as of 2011, artwork), and the Elchanite (yearbook).

The school organizes international trips for students. In 2004, a group of students spent Shavuot in Belarus in coordination with YUSSR. In 2005, the HaTzioni club, in cooperation with the Palau Mission to the United Nations, arranged a trip for its members to Palau to show the Jewish community's gratitude for Palau's support of Israel.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alan Dershowitz, lawyer, author, and Harvard Law School professor


  1. ^ Data for Yeshiva University High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed September 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Welcome to MTALIONS.COM".
  3. ^ "Our Name – Yeshiva University High School for Boys – MTA". Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  4. ^ Ain, Stewart (15 January 1999). "Y.U. May Close Its Boys High School". Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  5. ^ "Student Claims of Abuse Not Reported by Yeshiva U." 13 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Yeshiva University News » Statement from President Joel". Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  7. ^ "The Jewish Week | Connecting the World to Jewish News, Culture, and Opinion". Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  8. ^ "Judge tosses $680M sex abuse lawsuit against Yeshiva U." 30 January 2014.
  9. ^ DeGregory, Priscilla (2019-08-22). "38 former students sue Yeshiva University over alleged sex abuse". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  10. ^ "MTA Takes First Place At Yeshiva University Hack-A-Thon!". Yeshiva University. Retrieved 2024-02-07.
  11. ^ Eleff, Zev (2008). Mentor of Generations: Reflections on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. ISBN 9781602800113.
  12. ^ "El Al's new owner: Eli Rozenberg, a 27-year-old yeshiva student from New York". The Times of Israel.
  13. ^ "22 MTA Community Members Receive Semicha at RIETS Chag HaSemikhah".
  14. ^ Besser, Yisroel (12 March 2019). "We Can All Sing". Mishpacha Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Committees – YUHSB Centennial". Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2022.

External links[edit]