Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic

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Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic
55 Ascension St.
Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic, New Jersey 07055
Established 1973
Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Stern
Mashgiach Rabbi Nosson Weissman
Affiliation Orthodox
Bachurim 160-180

Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic is an advanced yeshiva in the Passaic Park neighborhood of Passaic, New Jersey catering to post-high-school-age men. Founded in 1973 by Rabbis Chaim Davis and Gershon Weisenfeld, and further developed by Rabbi Meir Stern who replaced Rabbi Wiesenfeld when the latter became ill before the yeshiva's opening, it developed into one of the leading yeshiva gedolas (advanced Talmudic institutions) in the United States[1][2] and revitalized the small Orthodox community of Passaic.[3]


In 1973 Rabbi Shneur Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Rabbi Nosson Meir Wachtfogel, mashgiach ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha, and Rabbi Dov Lesser supported the idea of opening a community kollel in Passaic. These Gedolim chose Rabbi Chaim Davis, founder of the Toronto Community Kollel, and Rabbi Wiesenfeld, then a rosh mesivta (head) of Beth Hatalmud Rabbinical College,[4] to head the new institution. In mid-1973, however, Rabbi Wiesenfeld became seriously ill and was replaced by Rabbi Meir Stern.[5] Rabbi Wiesenfeld died at age 49 on 24 September 1981.[6]

The Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic opened with 10 unmarried students in the yeshiva section and 10 married students in the kollel section. By the mid-1980s enrollment had reached nearly 100 students.[1]

In 1989 the yeshiva relocated to its own campus, including a beth midrash (study hall), dining room and dormitories.[1]

The growing yeshiva, together with the installation of an eruv and a mikveh, turned Passaic into a more desirable location for Orthodox Jewish families. Passaic's close proximity to New York (it is located minutes away from the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel) also appealed to breadwinners who commuted to New York daily.[1][3] Beginning in the mid-1980s, more and more Orthodox families began moving to Passaic. As of 2006, the Jewish community had mushroomed to 1300 families in a two-square-mile area, with a net gain of 80 families per year, making it the second fastest-growing Jewish community behind Lakewood, New Jersey.[3]


  • Rabbi Meir Stern, rosh yeshiva[3]
  • Rabbi Nosson Weissman, mashgiach ruchani[1]
  • Rabbi Osher Dovid May, rosh kollel[1]
  • Rabbi Yechiel Mintz, Executive Director

Noted alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rockove, Moshe (25 September 2001). "Passaic, NJ: A Profile of a Growing Torah Community". Dei'ah VeDibur. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Helmreich, William B. (2000). The World of the Yeshiva: An intimate portrait of Orthodox Jewry. Ktav Publishing House. p. xix. ISBN 0-88125-642-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d Berman, Rachel (22 November 2006). "Passaic/Clifton: The new Jewish boom town". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "משפתי ישנים". קובץ מורנו עם התורה (in Hebrew). Am HaTorah. 1985. p. 5. 
  5. ^ "History". Bais Medrash L'Torah. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Rabbi Gershon Avroham Weisenfeld". 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Administration". Hebrew Academy of Cleveland. 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Smilow Family Presents Pesach 2010". Smilow Vacations. 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Rabbi Moshe Taub". Buffalo Vaad Hakashrut. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

Coordinates: 40°50′55″N 74°07′39″W / 40.8487°N 74.1274°W / 40.8487; -74.1274