About Kollel Toras Dovid
In just a few short years, Toras Dovid has emerged as the premiere yeshiva for ba’alei teshuvah in North America. From its humble beginnings as a kollel inside of Ohr Somayach in Monsey, NY, Toras Dovid has become its spiritual successor. When Ohr Somayach Monsey closed its doors, Toras Dovid took on the great responsibility of upholding its legacy, absorbing its students and allowing them to continue growing in their Yiddishkeit. Since then, Toras Dovid has miraculously transformed the lives of many young men, fulfilling its mission to raise up a new generation of ba’alei teshuvah.
In order to service more students, Toras Dovid has purchased a dormitory and beis medrash that, with Hashem’s help, will serve as the home to countless neshamas waiting to be kindled by their undiscovered Jewish heritage. But, they need your support to achieve this milestone. Your donation will help the yeshiva renovate and expand its new home and allow in all the students waiting to grow to great heights.
Originally founded as a Kollel program for ba’alei teshuvah, Toras Dovid evolved into a full time learning program in order to meet the growing need of ba’alei teshuva seeking a genuine yeshiva experience on American soil. Having started with just a handful of beginners, it has rapidly become the premiere address for those eager students who were never afforded a Torah chinuch in their early years and have a thirst to make up for lost time. From basic alef-beis to advanced gemara study (with five levels of Gemara shiurim), Toras Dovid’s stellar staff of expert teachers and mentors support each stage of the blossoming baal teshuva’s growth with unique sensitivity and understanding. It provides the foundational building blocks for each talmid’s secure long term growth and wholesome integration into the Torah community.
Currently, Toras Dovid hosts over fifty full-time students hailing from all walks of life and educational backgrounds across the Western hemisphere. Together, they form a vibrant Torah atmosphere – the common bond being their genuine quest to forge themselves, as strong links, into the golden chain of generations that spans back to Har Sinai.
Beyond the formal yeshiva, Toras Dovid offers a wide variety of programs designed to meet the needs of the burgeoning ba’al teshuva community. In addition to its impactful N’shei program, semicha mechina program, Spanish-speaking study program and community enrichment shiurim, Toras Dovid is now expanding as it offers most of its daily shiurim to a global audience through its streaming live website. While the pandemic has ravaged people’s ability to participate in Torah study sessions in traditional settings many are turning to Toras Dovid in ever increasing numbers to quench their insatiable thirst for Toras Chayim from our cadre of master educators.
Toras Dovid is named after Reb Dovid Winiarz z”l, who reached out to Jews of all backgrounds to bring them closer to Hashem.
Many ba’alei teshuvah would like to learn for more than the initial two or three years they spend learning in the kiruv yeshivos and catch up for all the lost years, but they simply do not have a place to go. Some don’t have the skills, and almost none have the connections necessary to join the mainstream kollelim. As a result, many ba’alei teshuvah lose that connection that was so painstakingly nurtured.
The Ba’al Teshuva population is growing and each year more unaffiliated Jews are being brought back to their rightful inheritance. However, despite all the great strides being made, there is still a gaping hole in the overall picture. The two or three years spent in the “kiruv yeshivos” are simply not enough to create a fully-developed, well-rounded and settled member of the frum community. Many Ba’alei Teshuva would like to stay in the “world of learning” for a few more years, but have not yet developed the learning skills, nor do they have the sufficient “fit” that is necessary to join mainstream kollelim.
Millions of dollars are donated annually to kiruv organizations to help inspire Jews to live a Torah life. But there is typically little or no support once the Ba’alei Teshuva get married and try to settle down into a frum community. Consequently, there are many Ba’alei Teshuva who, after marriage, lose that precious connection they so painstakingly attained. After only a few years in yeshiva, many Ba’alei Teshuva get married and try to integrate into mainstream frum communities, with little guidance or mentorship. The results can be disastrous. Desperately trying to conform and integrate, they take on changes and challenges beyond their ability. These sudden and quick transitions often result in an ongoing identity crisis, marital strife, extreme religious practices, and even resentment towards the frum community. In addition, the wives often have no social group or mentorship, leaving them feeling isolated, lonely, and rudderless. Finally, as if these problems were not enough, statistics show that these issues often extend themselves to the next generation, as they lack the stability and clarity to provide a healthy, frum upbringing.
Advancing the Growth and Integration of Married Ba’alei Teshuva
Toras Dovid, launched in September 2016, was founded to be the next step in the growth and integration of Ba’alei Teshuva. Our goal is to provide them with a place where they can continue to study Torah at their individual level and receive Torah guidance in a warm and communal framework. When the yungerleit are ready to move on to the next step, Toras Dovid will assist them in the process of integrating into a community in which they will be able to thrive. Additionally, the Rabbinical staff of Kollel Toras Dovid will stay in contact with these families to provide them with continued mentorship throughout their growth. With proper guidance, placement, and transitioning we anticipate putting an end to the harmful trend described above. The overview below presents a specific strategy on how Kollel Toras Dovid proposes to solve the issues at hand.
The kollel provides a warm and serious environment where a Ba’al Teshuva can come and continue growing at his own pace and at his own level. We provide a carefully structured program of shiurim, vaadim, workshops, and mentorship which will enable them to develop into true Bnei Torah.
The kollel provides a carefully structured program geared to the specific needs of Ba’alei Teshuva. In addition, we have created a Rabbinic Advisory Board so that each member of the kollel will have a mentor to guide him and his family through these formative years.
Toras Dovid is part of a network which works on helping young families find a place in a community suited to them. When a family is ready to move on and settle down, their potential for success will be maximized by the assistance they will receive from the kollel in finding the appropriate place to live and in transitioning smoothly and naturally into a Jewish community. In addition, the Kollel yungerleit are put into leadership positions where they give back by learning with new Ba’alei Teshuva at Ohr Somayach, Monsey, solidifying their self-assurance and building their leadership skills.
The Kollel has formed a ‘Neshei Toras Dovid’ in which the kollel wives get together for events, shiurim
and workshops. This provides an opportunity for the women to forge friendships, while simultaneously infusing them with guidance and a sense of community.