July 10, 2024
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Teaneck’s Heichal HaTorah Launches Community Night Seder

Heichal HaTorah is excited to welcome the community to join in their new Community Night Seder program beginning this coming Monday night, February 7. Coordinated by Rabbi Yitzi Genack, the program introduces several unique concepts and opportunities for advanced learning and academic learning support. The program was founded by Heichal HaTorah in partnership with two host shuls in Teaneck: Congregation Beth Aaron and Congregation Beth Abraham.

Rabbi Genack is assistant rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center and eighth grade rebbe at RYNJ.

The Community Night Seder will meet nightly Monday through Thursday and rotate through three locations: Heichal on Mondays and Thursdays; Beth Abraham on Tuesdays; and Beth Aaron on Wednesdays. In all three locations, a choice of four learning modalities will be offered. Heichal will coordinate a one-on-one chavrusa with an aspiring rebbe for all registrants. The customary cost of a personal chavrusa runs between $50 and $150 per hour, but this program is free and is underwritten by Heichal HaTorah in concert with the generosity of sponsors, including Leonard Shaykin in memory of his parents Lawrence Leo and Rose Shaykin. Leonard deeply believes in people and is dedicated to nurturing life-long learners. Heichal HaTorah Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean Rav Aryeh Stechler highlighted the critical role of many community members who are serving as ambassadors to encourage participation among their neighbors and friends.

The Community Night Seder is open to men of all ages. For those who prefer learning in a chaburah/shiur setting, Heichal rebbeim will be offering classes at each location every night. In addition, all members of the community are invited just to come and learn with their own chavrusa, or learn by themselves and add to the Kol Torah.

Rav Stechler commented: “Regardless of background, we believe that every member of the community should continue to grow and be inspired by (a regular schedule of) learning with an advanced chavrusa.” The Community Night Seder program will also arrange a chavrusa for anyone who seeks one, whether yeshiva graduates who want to learn b’iyun (in-depth) or adults who are new to Judaism, including teenagers who just need to review their Jewish studies from school.

Initially, the Community Night Seder will be an eight-week pilot program. If successful, said Rav Stechler, “We hope to repeat this program in future years and in more locations.”

Founded almost a decade ago, Heichal currently operates a high school and a post-Israel institute for yeshiva and college studies, houses the BMT (a learning program for seniors and those with flexible schedules) and has now added the Community Night Seder program to its growing platform. Heichal aspires to continue to create and introduce initiatives that increase Torah learning in the community. The Community Night Seder program promotes Heichal’s core mission of increasing the already impressive commitment of the community to Torah learning.

In the long term, Heichal seeks to encourage and expand Torah learning throughout the Bergen County community. Their mission is to develop Torah study within the walls of the yeshiva, and to partner with existing communal institutions to bring more Torah learning to the community. Rabbi Genack said, “Heichal is especially passionate about this initiative because it incorporates the core learning structures of a yeshiva (individual chavrusas and chaburas with a rebbe) and makes them accessible to the community at large.” Heichal welcomes more shuls and yeshivas to partner with them in more locations in the future.

Forty percent of the 181 students at Heichal HaTorah High School and the 40 students of the Heichal Beis Medrash and College Program hail from Bergen County. Heichal strives to increase its impact on the broader community. To that end, the new Community Night Seder Program will bring Heichal talmidim, rebbeim and aspiring rebbeim on Tuesdays to Beth Abraham and on Wednesdays to Beth Aaron. In addition, Heichal invites the community into its own Bais Medrash at 70 Sterling Place, Teaneck, on Mondays and Thursdays.

The Community Night Seder program will launch on February 7 and run until Pesach.

Registration is strongly recommended. For more information or to register, visit
www.heichalhatorah.org/communitynightseder 

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