April 13, 2024
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Beit Midrash of Teaneck Marks First Year With Inaugural Breakfast

A community daytime beit midrash program for retirees and others with flexible schedules was just a vision in the mind’s eye of a few hardy souls, only a year ago.

On Sunday, May 19, more than 120 members of the community, chaverim at the Beit Midrash of Teaneck (BMT) and maggidei shiur joined together at the inaugural breakfast in support of BMT. It was a beautiful event. The excitement and spirit of camaraderie, so characteristic of learning at BMT, suffused the gathering and made for a most engaging experience for all in attendance. On full display was the love of learning, collegiality and innovative programming that has enabled a diverse group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and skills to pursue and enjoy high level Torah study.

Key sponsorship by the OU and YU and partnering with Heichal HaTorah, the Beit Midrash of Teaneck opened its doors in October of last year. It is now in the midst of its third trimester with well over 100 registrants. Fifty or more chaverim regularly attend shiurim in person and additionally there are also chaverim remotely viewing the shiurim broadcast live via Facebook. The shiurim are conducted by a “who’s who” of living Torah sages, including from YU, Heichal and Touro as well as, our own extraordinary rabbanim from here in Bergen County.

The keynote speaker was Rabbi Hayyim Angel, BMT’s beloved and esteemed maggid shiur and noted expert in Tanach. Rabbi Angel’s exciting and methodical presentation on Chur and his behind-the-scenes, foundational role in Bnei Yisrael was inspirational and most engaging.

Rabbi Ronen Dvash, BMT’s maggid shiur in Talmud, presented a lively discussion of the Vilna Gaon’s perspective on the important contributions of those, like our Chaverim at BMT, who study Torah and play an essential role in building society.

It is obvious why BMT has so quickly established itself as a fundamental part of our community. It serves a vital and growing need. As many retire, they are faced with the challenge of how to maintain levels of activity and engagement that are both healthy and satisfying. Aging in place can be a daunting challenge. In this regard, studies have shown that maintaining high levels of social and mental engagement is a critical element in a healthy lifestyle. Other benefits include a practical method for dealing with the problems associated with loneliness.

BMT’s model of providing a welcoming environment conducive to active learning combined with its creative Torah programming is much admired. It has succeeded in fostering personal engagement socially, intellectually and spiritually. It was gratifying to hear from attendees at the breakfast who were not yet BMT members that they hoped to join, when they retire sometime in the coming year.

BMT is housed at Heichal HaTorah/Teaneck Jewish Center and full morning programs are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, on a tuition free basis. It is a 501(c) (3) qualified New Jersey non-profit religious organization most worthy of our support. Visit Beit Midrash of Teaneck on Facebook or email [email protected].

By Len Grunstein

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