Weekday 9:00 AM Rubin Shul Shacharis Minyan Removed from Official YU Zmanim Listing, to Persist as IBC Class
As of Monday, March 12, the 9:00 AM Rubin Shul Shacharis weekday minyan will no longer be promoted on the YU Zmanim website. Though the minyan will remain open to all who wish to attend, it will persist as a minyan specifically intended for Isaac Breuer College (IBC) students registered for the “Explanation of Prayer” course, according to IBC Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Beny Rofeh, who currently runs the minyan.
Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus currently features many Shacharis minyanim from sunrise until 9:00 AM, in the Fischel, Glueck, Morg, and Sefardi Batei Midrash, Zysman 101, and the Rubin Shul. These minyanim, each with differing paces and locations, offer the many different types of YU students unique niches where they can daven in the morning. These prayer times are listed and periodically updated on www.yuzmanim.com, a website sponsored by the Yeshiva University administration. For many students, this website (accessible online and on an app) is their source for zmanim information.
The 9:00 AM Rubin Shul Shacharis minyan—the latest minyan on campus—is designed, on weekdays, specifically for IBC students. IBC, one of the Wilf Campus’s four undergraduate Torah studies programs, offers students the opportunity to study non-Gemara Judaic courses in areas ranging from Bible and Hebrew to Jewish philosophy, Halacha, and Jewish History. The minyan, officially listed as a course titled “Explanation of Prayer” and taught by Rabbi Rofeh, currently has 63 registered IBC students, but can feature as many as 100 students who show up on any given weekday morning.
“The Explanation of Prayer course is an IBC class whose intent is to strengthen our students’ understanding and experience of prayer,” wrote Rabbi Rofeh to The Commentator. “Removing the course listing from YU Zmanim was intended to dispel the misunderstanding and expectation that it is a regular YU minyan. Given that this is an IBC course, we prioritize the educational and spiritual needs of our IBC students and run the course accordingly.” The 9:00 AM IBC Rubin Shul minyan, according to several registered students, currently implements certain educational policies, such as skipping Tachanun and offering short divrei Torah on either Halacha or Machshava on non-leining days. “Having the course listed on YU Zmanim,” explained Rabbi Rofeh, “was only reinforcing the mistaken assumption and expectations of many of our guests” that the minyan operates like the other Wilf Campus minyanim.
The 9:00 AM Rubin Shul minyan has been listed on YU Zmanim since at least Spring 2016, although a source close to the website told The Commentator that this was not always the case. On March 7, a notice on the YU Zmanim website appeared with the title “9:00 Minyan Update,” offering the message: “Starting next week the 9:00 Minyan will take place on Sundays and Fridays only.” Though the IBC minyan will still take place at 9:00 AM on Mondays through Thursdays, it will no longer be officially promoted by the YU Zmanim website.
“The IBC minyan allows me to daven in a calm, yet serious setting,” described Jonah Stavsky, a third-year Yeshiva College student majoring in Biology and currently enrolled in Explanation of Prayer. “It creates a conducive atmosphere for those interested, but at the same time a nonjudgmental atmosphere for those still on their journey.”