The exciting things happening at Ohr Somayach have caused us to become a little negligent in maintaining contact with our former talmidim. We hope to correct this situation and we begin by offering you this ALUMNI UPDATE:
The fourth decade of Ohr Somayach history began this summer with a record number of talmidim from English-speaking countries in its eight departments INTRODUCTORY, INTERMEDIATE, BEIS MEDRISH, MESHECH CHOCHMA, CENTER, DERECH, OHR LAGOLAH and KESHER.
These departments are mostly headed and staffed by people who started their Torah careers in Ohr Somayach. Together with the students who come during summer and winter breaks and the talmidim in our foreign-language branches the number of students involved in Ohr Somayach programs is in the area of 700 and growing!
THE SPINOFF STORY
In the past three decades Ohr Somayach has succeeded in initiating a significant number of programs and nurturing them until they were capable of becoming self-sufficient or eligible for absorption by another organization. Perhaps you remember the Ivrit, Russian, Persian, Spanish and French you heard spoken in our dormitories and dining hall!
There are serious financial difficulties facing the Yeshiva as a result of cuts in government allocations and the economic recession which has affected fundraising from the general public. This situation compelled us to spin off our foreign language programs to relieve our financial burden while assuring the continuity of these important programs.
Following is the result of our efforts:
ISRAELI DEPARTMENT Rabbi Moshe Rochelson, who directed this program for us for many years, has assumed financial responsibility for it and has moved it to Ezras Torah neighborhood where it is functioning as a self-sufficient branch of Ohr Somayach with virtually the same size student body as in the past.
RUSSIAN YESHIVA GEDOLAH This department now known as SHUVU-OHR SOMAYACH and located in Har Nof, is funded by the SHUVU organization for the education of Russian olim.
OHR-DESSA RUSSIAN HIGH SCHOOL This program has been adopted by Kiryat Noar in Yerushalayim.
ODESSA NETWORK OF SCHOOLS IN UKRAINE The Tikva organization, together with Rabbi Shlomo Baksht whom Ohr Somayach sent to found these schools, have undertaken responsibility for funding these schools.
SPANISH DEPARTMENT After years of directing this program as part of Ohr Somayach, Rabbi Bezalel Blidstein has assumed financial responsibility for its independent continuation in Telz Stone.
HARAV BULMAN, ZATZAL
The tears we all shed at the passing of our beloved mashgiach, Harav Nachman Bulman, zatzal, have still not dried. His levaya, held in the Beis Medrish of Ohr Somayach, brought together thousands at one oclock in the morning. A hesped for the talmidim, alumni and the general public was held at the yeshiva where hespeidim were given by his son and the Roshei Yeshiva, Harav Schiller and Harav Weinbach. Many former talmidim wrote tributes to his memory and some of them were featured on the Ohr Somayach Website and in the "Jewish Observer" along with Harav Weinbachs appreciation of this unforgettable mentor.
NEWS FROM ALL OVER
PERSONNEL: With the decision of our revered Rosh Yeshiva Emeritus, Hagaon Rav Dov Schwartman, shlita, to give up saying the top Beis Medrish shiur we made a concentrated effort to find a suitable talmid Chochom to take over this shiur. We were fortunate in engaging the services of Harav Moshe Rosmarin, an American-born and educated talmid chochom and author of highly regarded seforim on a number of Meshectos. His impact on the Beis Medrish and the entire yeshiva has already been felt and we wish him continued hatzlacha.
OUTREACH: The JEWISH ENRICHMENT CENTER in Manhattan, headed by alumni Mordechai Mindell and Lawrence Hajioff, is the latest outreach post of Ohr Somayachs international network.
The OHR LAGOLAH LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM, which has already placed well over 200 outreach people, rabbanim and educators in positions throughout the world, achieved record high enrollment for this year. Ohr Somayach Ohr Lagolah products continue to fill important positions abroad. Johnnie Ross has joined the team at Ohr Somayach Jewish Learning Exchange in London and will be working with youth in the local schools. Menachem Sosnovik and Danny Sackstein have joined the Outreach Kolel of the Ohr Somayach Center in Cape Town.
In addition to its five shuls and outreach programs, Ohr Somayach Johannesburg has also taken over the citys largest Charedi Day School now located on the beautiful new central campus.
There is an Ohr Somayach Center in Sydney, Australia and there is even an outreach program in Berlin headed by Ohr Somayach alumni!
The Ohr Somayach Website ohr.edu is in the process of being made even more attractive to subscribers and surfers. We invite you to invite your friends and associates to visit our site. A specially designed newsletter for alumni will be sent on a regular basis. New features such as the Yeshivas perspective on current events and top quality audio shiurim should make you feel at home on our Website and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
We extend to all of our alumni the traditional post Sukkos blessing of "a healthy winter and a good year".