Yeshivas Beis Menachem Mendel (Tzeirei Hashluchim)
At the Kinus Hashluchim 5757, Rabbi Aryeh Leib Kaplan ע"ה – who has been appointed and sent by the Rebbe to re-establish the Chabad settlement in Tzfas – attended a workshop for Shluchim on the subject of Chinuch. Participants shared their personal experiences, their views and frustrations pertaining to the various challenges associated with raising Chassidishe children in a Shlichus environment.
Many Shluchim articulated their utter frustration and disillusionment with the exorbitant tuition fees that Yeshivos were demanding. Drowning in bills associated with their פעולות, these Shluchim felt trapped in a system that could not accommodate their own growing families ka”h and their inability to pay steep fees for three, four, five or more children attending yeshivos simultaneously.
Without hesitation, Rabbi Kaplan stood up. He announced that he would set up a yeshiva in Tzfas that would cater to the specific needs of the children of Shluchim and the financial considerations of their parents.
Rabbi Aaron Lazer Ceitlin ע"ה – one of the Shluchim which were sent in groups to Tzfas (and Yerusholayim), in the year 5736 – was a participant at the workshop. Upon hearing Rabbi Kaplan’s statement, he was stunned. “Why does he need this? He is so pressured with his own financial worries. Why does he encumber himself with yet another mosad?” Privately, he believed these words to be wishful thinking.
Yeshivas Tzeirei Hashluchim opened its doors for the 5758 school year. Rabbi Kaplan took advantage of available space in the Yeshiva Gedolah, hired Rabbi Sholom Ber Hertzel as Rosh Yeshiva and set the tuition at only two thousand dollars a year! The yeshiva saw immediate success.
Thanks to the generous and faithful support of Rabbi Hillel Dovid Krinsky and Collel Chabad, headed by Rabbi Sholom Duchman, the yeshiva is now housed in the once-being Pisgah Hotel and can accommodate over one hundred bochurim. Any financial assistance provided by the Israeli government is passed on to the yeshiva, helping the tuition remain low.
In 5773, Rabbi Zalman Kaplan – who served as Shliach and spiritual leader at the Montreal Torah Center – took upon himself the responsibility of leading the Yeshiva and towards the 5774 school year moved with his family to Tzfas as Rosh Yeshiva.
In a letter to the Shluchim, Rabbi Zalman Kaplan wrote: “After difficult deliberations, I followed the Rebbe's counsel of asking three Rabbanim who unanimously directed me to move from Montreal this year and open the Tzfas yeshiva for the benefit of Shluchim families and for the sake of Chabad children's Chinuch.”
Indeed, the yeshiva has grown בגשמיות וברוחניות. Yeshivas Tzeirei Hashluchim is well-known for its high standards in learning of נגלה and חסידות. The talmidim have access to a unique and supportive staff of
מגידי שיעורים, משפיעים and Shluchim who pay special attention to their learning, עבודה and Chassidishkeit of each of the individual bochurim, preparing them for their roles as future Shluchim and Chassidishe Yidden.
Four years since the reopening of the yeshiva has ב"ה experienced continued growth and success. Over this short period, over 150 students have studied in the Yeshiva, and our alumni are counted among the outstanding Temimim in Chabad Yeshivas worldwide.
In tribute of this notable success, and the twentieth anniversary since the founding of the Yeshiva by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Kaplan, it has been decided to dedicate the name of the Yeshiva to the Rebbe זי"ע, and is now called "Yeshivas Beis Menachem Mendel Chabad."
The yeshiva is currently undergoing a project of building a new zal and renovating the dormitories.
(Re-edit of an article written by Frayda Kaplan - N'shei Chabad Newsletter, April 2008)