Yeshiva Torah Vodaas
The yeshiva was conceived in 1917 and formally opened in 1918, by friends Binyomin Wilhelm and Louis Dershowitz, to provide a yeshiva education centering on traditional Jewish sacred texts to the children of families then moving from the Lower East Side to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. From the diary of Binyomin Wilhelm (as cited by his great-grandson, Rabbi Zvi Belsky), Louis Dershowitz is credited, not only with giving early financial and moral support for the founding of the yeshiva, but for the very idea of establishing a yeshiva in Williamsburg. The two friends contacted prominent local Rabbi Zev Gold of Congregation Beth Jacob Anshe Sholom  and together they formed a board and established the Yeshiva on Keap Street in Williamsburg as an elementary school. The Yeshiva later moved to a new building at 206 Wilson Street and remained there until 1962, when it moved to its current location at 452 and 425 East 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218. Rabbi Gold was elected as the Yeshiva's first president and suggested the name of the school (which in its English rendering is, Yeshiva Torah Vodaath), after the yeshiva founded in Lida in 1905 by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines, which combined secular studies with Jewish studies and traditional Talmud study. During this first period in the yeshiva's history, the yeshiva was modeled after those in Europe, with religious studies in Yiddish and Talmud taught in the Hungarian style of the European yeshivas. [[personal experience]]
The founding members of the yeshiva soon offered the principalship of the institution to Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, who headed the yeshiva from 1922 to 1948. Under Mendlowitz's leadership, a Mesivta (yeshiva high school) was opened in 1926. Later he opened a Yeshiva Gedola as well. Rabbi Dovid Leibovitz, a notable torah scholar from Europe was brought in to head the yeshiva's beit midrash (study hall) in 1929 but left after only four years to start his own yeshiva (Yeshivah Chofetz Chaim) after personal conflicts with Rabbi Mendlowitz. Two years later, in 1935, Rabbi Shlomo Heiman became rosh yeshiva (head of the yeshiva), a position he held until his death in 1944.
When Rabbi Mendlowitz's died in 1948, he entrusted the yeshiva to Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky and Rav Reuven Grozovsky as roshei yeshiva, Rav Alexander Linchner as the financial rosh yeshiva and secular studies principal, Rav Gedalya Schorr as menahel of the yeshiva, and Rav Nesanel Quinn as the principal of the high school.
The yeshiva has since expanded to include a beit midrash in Monsey, an elementary school division in nearby Marine Park, and two summer camps all serving a student body, from nursery to postgraduate kollel, that numbers nearly 2,000 students.
"Torah im Derech Eretz" historically influenced the yeshiva's philosophy, but today it is strongly influenced by the haredi, or ultra-orthodox, philosophy. However, Torah Vodaas is one of the many major haredi yeshivas that allow its students to attend college while studying at the yeshiva. The great majority of the yeshiva's graduates go on to work in fields that are not related to the torah education that they received in yeshiva.
The current roshei yeshiva are Rabbi Yosef Savitsky, a prominent student of Rabbi Berel Soloveitchik, and Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, Rabbi of Agudath Israel of Madison and author of several sefarim, including The Laws Of Ribbis, and Pathways of the Prophets. Previous roshei yeshiva include Rabbis Yisroel Belsky, Avraham Yaakov Pam, Shlomo Heiman, Dovid Leibowitz, Yaakov Kamenetsky, Shachne Zohn, Zelik Epstein, Gedalia Schorr, Elya Chazan, Reuvain Fein, Simcha Sheps, Moshe Rosen, and Reuvain Grozovsky.
- Joseph M. Baumgarten, Dead Sea Scrolls scholar
- J. David Bleich, Rosh Yeshiva in Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University
- Shlomo Carlebach (musician), rabbi, musician
- Noach Dear, New York Supreme Court Judge
- Zvi Dershowitz, rabbi
- David G. Greenfield, politician and Chair of New York City Council's Land Use Committee from 2013-2017
- Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe
- Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia
- Aryeh Kaplan, rabbi, Jewish thinker and author
- Sholom Klass, rabbi, publisher of The Jewish Press
- Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
- Norman Lamm, rabbi, chancellor of Yeshiva University
- Bernard Levy, rabbi, head of OK Labs
- Yerucham Olshin, a Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey
- Avraham Yaakov Pam, later Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva (see above)
- Nesanel Quinn, later Menahel of the Yeshiva
- Yisroel Reisman, today Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva, and Rabbi of Agudath Yisroel of Madison
- Sholom Rivkin, chief rabbi of St. Louis, Missouri
- Yitzchok Scheiner, Rosh Yeshiva of the Kamenitz yeshiva of Jerusalem
- Nosson Scherman, rabbi, owner and general editor of Artscroll
- Gedalia Schorr, later Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva (see above)
- Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz), co-founder of the rock group Kiss
- Elya Svei, Rosh Yeshiva of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia
- Moishe Wolbrom, noted expert on zmanim, and popular science teacher
- Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel
- Moshe Wolfson, Rabbi of Congregation Emunas Yisrael in Boro Park, and Mashgiach Ruchani of the Yeshiva
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