Yeshiva Torah Vodaas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hershowitz school

Yeshiva Torah Vodaas (or Mesivta Torah Vodaas) is a yeshiva in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.


The Yeshiva was conceived in 1917 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. The two friends contacted prominent local Rabbi Zev Gold of Congregation Beth Jacob Anshe Sholom [1][2] and together they formed a board and established the yeshiva in Williamsburg as an elementary school. Rabbi Gold was elected as the yeshiva's first president; he suggested the name Torah Vodaas after the yeshiva founded in Lida in 1896 by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines, which combined secular studies with Jewish studies and traditional Talmud study. That yeshiva closed in 1903.[3] 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.[4] Later he opened a Yeshiva Gedola as well. The Yeshiva later moved to 452 and 425 East 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218, where it is located today.


"Torah im Derech Eretz" historically influenced the yeshiva's philosophy,[5] but today it is strongly influenced by the haredi or, ultra-orthodox philosophy. It has slowly become more ultra- orthodox because of the positions being taken by graduates of bais hatalmud. However, Torah Vodaath is one of the many major haredi yeshivohs 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.

Rosh Yeshiva[edit]

The current roshei yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, 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. The yeshiva has had many prominent roshei yeshiva, including Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Pam, Rabbi Shlomo Heiman, Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rabbi Shachne Zohn, Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rabbi Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Elya Chazan, Rabbi Reuvain Fein. Rabbi Simcha Sheps, Rabbi Moshe Rosen, and Rabbi Reuvain Grozovsky.

Notable Alumni[edit]


Coordinates: 40°38′17.56″N 73°58′9.54″W / 40.6382111°N 73.9693167°W / 40.6382111; -73.9693167