By: Eitan Lipsky  | 

Flourishing Night Seder Program Nears 200 Participants

If you walked by the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study between the hours of 8:00-10:15 pm over the past two weeks, you might have wondered why you were unable to hear yourself think. The answer, of course, is due to the overwhelming success of the Night Seder program, which has been producing an audible buzz that very closely resembles the (now world-famous due to the recent 360° video the Yeshiva posted on Facebook) Torah buzz of mornings in the Beit Midrash.

The need for a change in how Night Seder would be run was realized two years ago, when only a handful of students completed Mesechet Ketubot. In response to this, the administration thought long and hard about what they could do to raise the bar for the nightly learning. The Night Seder program began to create a stir last year, when it introduced an initiative for students to complete the mesechta, then called “the Sanhedrin Challenge”. The participants of the program were able to choose between a faster or slower pace for their learning, and were tested every few weeks on the material that they had learned. Students who excelled on the exams received gift cards to the YU Seforim Sale.

This year’s “Kiddushin Challenge” has close to 200 talmidim signed up to commit a significant part of their nights and vacation time to finishing the 4 perakim and 82 daf! This substantial number can be credited to the program’s continuing the model that was established last year, while also adding several new elements. The program is run by Night Seder Rabbeim Yitzchak Radner and David Weiss, both of whom were involved in the operation of the program last year. They are joined this year by new staff members Robbie Schrier and Moshe Abrams, who will serve as Shoelim U’Meshivim.

This month, the intensity level is particularly high, as the Yeshiva spends Elul preparing for the Yamim Noraim. As such, Maariv which takes place at the end of Night Seder is pushed back 15 minutes to allow the talmidim to focus on mussar and personal growth. There are three chaburot, given by Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen, Rabbi Yitzchak Radner, and Robbie Schrier, respectively, which students have the option to attend. Each class is very popular and focuses on a slightly different aspect of this theme.

It’s still not too late to sign up to be paired with a night Seder chavrusa and to complete the Kiddushin Challenge.