April 17, 2024
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Heichal HaTorah’s Night Seder Attracts Hundreds to Chavrusas and Shiurim

The Heichal HaTorah Night Seder Program officially launched on February 7, about two months ago. Rabbi Yitzchak Genack reported that a number of components have converged to make the initial offerings very successful.

“The first component directly fostered learning through chavrusas with accomplished talmidei chachamim, and shiurim with rabbeim from Heichal HaTorah, and attracted 15-25 people per night. Parallel to this component, we created a “mobile beis medrash,” where as many as 30 students from Heichal HaTorah’s High School and Beis Medrash joined the Night Seder Program ‘on the road’ at Beth Abraham and Beth Aaron, creating a momentous effect. The local Beis Medrash was packed with as many as 60 people!”

Continuing, Rabbi Genack explained, “We [were surprised to find] that the chavrusa option was the core of the learning experience and drew more people than the shiurim, somewhat counterintuitive!”

What they anticipated was the opposite, because chavrusa learning requires a significant commitment/an agreement to learn one on one on a schedule, with an experienced rebbe each week. It’s not optional to stop showing up, because someone is expecting you. “To me this demonstrates that we are inspiring people to learn and engage by creating opportunities along with high expectations,” he added.

Anecdotally, Rabbi Genack related that he introduced himself to someone in a local shul who had not signed up to participate in the program. “He told me that for over a year he and his chavrusa had been planning to start learning, but it was never the right time. When he saw that the Heichal Night Seder was coming to his shul, he realized that this was the time to re-engage in nighttime learning.”

Rabbi Genack summed it up neatly. “This story captures exactly the impact we are attempting to cultivate. Teaneck and Bergenfield continue to be places of inspiration and learning.”

To learn more or to register for Heichal HaTorah’s Night Seder programs, visit their website https://www.heichalhatorah.org/communitynightseder

By Ellie Wolf

 

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