In response to the needs of today’s Yeshiva bochor,
there has been a demand for a post-high school Bais Medrash yeshiva that caters to offering new opportunities to today’s bochor; one which focuses on setting goals and a sense of accomplishment. There has been a growing need to begin preparing a bochor for life and becoming independent, and most importantly, in learning responsibility. After those fundamentals are developed, a bochor then has the necessary tools to feel equipped for life and marriage.
Modeling a derech
Rabbi Moshe Salfer, gives the daily Semicha shiur and a weekly shiur in Chumash and Hashkafas HaChaim. Through his own Siyum Hashas and Semicha, he models a derech to his talmidim of setting goals and accomplishing them: “A bochor can realize within himself great abilities, but he needs a purpose; we show him that purpose. He goes from one Siyum to the next. That begins to give him the motivation for his lifetime.”
Chavrusa, Chabura, Shiur and Drasha.
“First Seder is used for preparing b’Chavrusa, however there are older bochorim and rebbeim to help answer questions. The Shiur is in the early afternoon and is focused on giving clarity and practical application in Halacha. Night Seder focuses on covering ground and making Siyumim. Every talmid is helped in giving a short weekly Drasha to the other members of his Chabura. There is a lot of interaction.”
Balanced with fun
The Eitz Chaim goals are ambitious, but the incentives are rewarding. There are weekly trips, monthly travel trips and a more intensive trip each Z’man. The Yeshiva goes on a 3-Week trip to Eretz Yisroel to learn and to tour; visiting places which only a few know about. There are water sports, weekly BBQ’s, swimming in the Ocean, sail boating, going to restaurants, and sports activities each day in the Florida sun, through all of the seasons. The bochorim eat well, as they create the menu and prepare the meals. Drivers education is taught to help each bochor get a drivers license. Work internships are offered for those who show an interest in a specific area and opportunities for playing instruments is available and is even taught. Voice lessons are offered for promising voices and there are prospects of recording songs. Yeshivas Eitz Chaim is about offering individualized life opportunities.
This could be you
Three core elements
There are three core elements and goals of Yeshivas Eitz Chaim. The Halacha in Life Path, The Parnassa Preparedness Program, and the Dating & Marriage Planning.
Halacha in Life Path
Yeshivas Eitz Chaim builds a bochor (18-22 years old) into someone who understands Torah, Halacha, and has a Geshmack for Yiddishkeit. A talmid feels a strong sense of achievement from actually earning Semicha within two years, as well as develops maturity through becoming organized and having accomplished numerous clearly set attainable life-goals and making siyumim. There is a strong emphasis on developing a derech in learning, starting from the Gemara and Rishonim and onward through the Tur and Shulchan Aruch; down to the practical application in Poskim. The Yeshiva also offers an accredited college Bachelors’s degree, which can be used to further more advanced levels of education.
Parnassa Preparedness Program
An important aspect of maturity is preparing for the financial responsibility of independent living and having a parnassa. Eitz Chaim helps each bochor to begin preparing for that next stage of maturity and choosing a means of supporting a family.
Part of that preparation is the college courses offered towards a degree. Staff works with each bochor to guide him through the steps to define what direction he would like to go in. There are students in many areas and different directions; such as accounting, computers, sales & marketing, electric, construction, food & culinary, etc.
Eitz Chaim also uses Vocational Interest Assessments to determine each bochor’s interests. Based on the Strong/Campbell, interest areas are measured and compared with hundreds of potential vocations to find a comfortable match.
Dating & Marriage Planning
Today, boys are getting married at a younger age and the need to start developing the tools for the challenges of a relationship begins earlier. Rabbi Salfer teaches his talmidim the lessons for dealing with challenges and relationships through the original challenges of relationships in the Torah; beginning with Adom and Chava: “What is each Man’s purpose that he has the opportunity to achieve? Each bochor is continuing where Adom left off.”
It is a world of new challenges; ones that require new leaders. Each bochor is challenged to become a leader and role model. “He is going to be the leader, influence and role model in his family, to his wife and to his children. Let him begin through being a role model to his friends and the community.”