Yeshivat HaHesder Yerucham
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (November 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|This article does not cite any sources. (November 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
In the early 1970s, a group of Religious Zionists settled in Yeruham with the goal of minimizing socioeconomic gaps that divide Israeli society. Over time, the group grew in number and expanded its activities by taking on educational responsibilities as well. After establishing "Midreshet B'Yahad", a Seminar Center of Judaism, Society and Zionism Studies, the group realized the need for a yeshiva as the next step in strengthening the existing projects by bringing youth to Yeruham.
The leader of this group, Shmuel Friedman Ben-Shalom, approached Rabbi Eliyhau Blumenzweig, who at the time taught at Yeshivat Har Etzion, with a proposition to lead the future yeshiva, which he accepted. The yeshiva subsequently opened its doors in 1993.
Yeshivat HaHesder Yerucham emphasizes the importance of learning Talmud in depth, specifically through applying the Brisker Method. A typical day in Yeshiva will include two sessions of intensive Talmud study (iyun) and one of extensive study (bekiut).
The yeshiva guides its students to base their perspective upon the teachings of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi and the Maharal of Prague in accordance with the ideology of Rabbi A.Y. Kook, as is often customary in Religious Zionist yeshivas. With the goal of educating students to deal independently with the challenges they face living as an observant Jews in modern time in mind, the yeshiva encourages a broader study of Biblical, rabbinic, and other classical and modern sources. Hence, the yeshiva curriculum contains weekly classes in Tanakh, Medieval Jewish philosophy, Hasidic philosophy, and the works of contemporary scholars such as Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
The yeshiva educates its students to be aware of their surroundings and attentive to the needs of society in general. The yeshiva believes that the keys to solving Israel’s socioeconomic gaps lie in integration and education. All the students volunteer in the community mainly in the field of education. Many of the yeshiva's alumni settle in Yeruham instead of heading to the country's central cities.
The yeshiva also promotes other programs, among them:
- Ye'adim (goals) - Concern of the Ethiopian Jewry in Israel's situation led Yerucham students to create a leadership training program for Ethiopian students with the intention of their returning to their communities. During the 5 years of Hesder the students synchronize their full Yeshiva studies with a B.Ed. degree in Herzog College.
- Young Study Partners - First and second year students dedicate 2 hours weekly to studying Torah subjects with children from the local elementary school. They also serve as positive role models for the local youth and look to form a connection with their families.
- Charity Fund - The goal of the Fund is to help the needy of Yeruham become self-sufficient and better managers of their money. The Fund uses the cooperation of the local welfare and professional financial advisors to this end.
- B'levav Shalem Yeshiva High School – Because of the lack of high quality religious high schools in the Negev, and as a part of the integration program the Hesder Yeshiva believes in, it was decided by alumni, residents of Yerucham, to open a Yeshiva High School for the local and general population.
In addition to Rabbi Blumenzweig, rabbis who teach in the Yeshiva include Rabbis Uriel Eitam, Chaim Wolfson, Yair Ya'acobi, Meir Kahana, Shai Gnizi and Shmuel Gleizer. Rabbis Gnizi and Gleizer themselves began as students in the yeshiva. There are also rabbis who come from afar to give weekly classes: Rabbis Joseph Elitzor, Eliyahu Bazak and Ehud Barzilai. Previously there were other teachers who have since left. These include physicist and philosopher Rabbi Dr. Michael Abraham, and Rabbi Nir Weinberg (who left to establish and head the Hazor'im Yeshiva High-School in the lower Galilee).
- Kutanot Or (Coats of Light) - "A Jewish Perspective on the meaning of modesty and its value", collection of essays edited by Yeshiva's students.
- Mimidbar Matana (A Present From The Desert) - A monthly newsletter which is sent out to students in the IDF and alumni.
- Meisharim (Righteous) - A journal of articles on a variety of Torah topics, written by the students and teachers, published annually by the Yeshiva.
- Hahazit ShebaOref (The Home-Front Front) - A collection of essays dealing with the trials and challenges of a non-combat soldier. The book’s intention is to answer some of the questions that soldiers serving in non-field units, such as the importance of their service, and halakhic perspective on different situations.