By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Undergraduate Torah Studies to Run YUnite in Teaneck this Month

Yeshiva University Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS) will run a YUnite program in Teaneck on March 25, Shabbat Parshat Vayikra, with students being hosted by members of Teaneck’s Jewish community and programming at a variety of private and public locations, including six shuls.

The second YUnite of the academic year, the program, which will be attended by over two dozen Roshei Yeshiva and YU-affiliated Rebbeim, will aim to give students a good experience, engage alumni and potential students, and showcase YU to Teaneck. Students and alumni interested in hosting students can sign up online

The idea for the event came from UTS Program Administrator Rabbi Herschel Hartz, who has worked on the project since November together with UTS Dean Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky, the UTS development team, and other YU departments, such as events and marketing.

“Teaneck is our ‘Boro Park:’ YU is everywhere in Teaneck and every week there is a ‘Shabbaton’ there,” Hartz told The Commentator. “What is new here is that our students can utilize the facilities and relationships we have in Teaneck to re-create the Romimu experience: amazing achdus opportunities, our world-class Rabbeim, and tremendous conversations that can make us feel part of one Yeshiva.

“It is not so much about Teaneck as it is about what Teaneck can offer us and what we can offer to our alumni: inspiration and a ripe opportunity to unite together as one Yeshiva."

As of publishing, twenty families in Teaneck have agreed to host students, and over 60 students have registered.

While final programming has yet to be released, students are expected to eat meals at various families — or at home, if they are from Teaneck — followed by a Friday night tisch and learning sessions at Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, a town bordering Teaneck. The tisch will be open to the public.

Shabbos morning drashos [sermons] from different Roshei Yeshiva are expected to be held the following morning at multiple shuls, followed by shiurim and luncheons with Roshei Yeshiva at different private homes. 

Following the luncheons, different shiurim are expected to be held at different homes and shuls throughout the afternoon, which will touch a variety of topics, including Jewish philosophy, Halacha, Ashkenazi and Sephardi minhagim and parenting.

All the shiurim throughout the day will be open to the public.

Towards the end of Shabbat, a Seuda Shlishis featuring President Ari Berman is expected to be held, a Melaveh Malkah with Rabbis Mordechai and Simcha Willig after Shabbat, and a final closing session open to students and Alumni.

“Shabbos programming is an essential component of our education and Yeshiva experience,” Rabbi Kalinsky told The Commentator. “It is a time to be with and learn from our Rebbeim as well as connect with each other. Taking talmidim off-campus to another location like Teaneck promotes each of those goals and also provides our alumni and potential students a window into our incredible students and Rebbeim.”

The shuls that will participate in the program are Bais Medrash of Bergenfield, Beth Abraham, Keter Torah, Ohr HaTorah, Rinat Yisrael and Shaarei Orah.

Some of the YU Rebbeim who have been confirmed to attend are Rabbis Hayyim Angel, Ely Bacon, Josh Blass, Yosef Blau, Aharon Ciment, Tanchum Cohen, Daniel Feldman, Meir Goldwicht, Yosef Kalinsky, Beni Krohn, Yaakov Neuburger, Menachem Penner, Michael Rosensweig, Baruch Simon, Zvi Sobolofsky, Michael Taubes, Moshe Tzvi Wienberg, Simcha Willig, Mordechai Willig, and Ari Zhatz. Martin Galla, the associate director of YU’s counseling center, and Rabbi Avraham Kener, a therapist at the center, will also come, as will Yeshiva University President Ari Berman.

Some of the non-YU rabbis who are confirmed to participate are Rabbis Steven Burg, executive director of Aish Hatorah; Yehuda Chanales, director of educational advancement at the Fuchs Mizrachi school; Chaim Jachter, Rabbi at Shaarei Orah and dayin at the Beth Din of Elizabeth; Jonathan Knapp, principal at Yavneh Acadamy; Larry Rothwachs, a rabbi at Beth Aaron and Rabbi Chaim Strauchler, rabbi at Rinat Yisrael.UTS ran a YUnite at Camp Romimu in Monticello, New York this September, the first YUnite Shabbaton since 2007.

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Photo Caption:  UTS will run YUnite in Teaneck later this month

Photo Credit: The Commentator