Initiative Offers Grants to Encourage Younger Marriages

A new initiative will offer grants to Chabad men who get married before the age of 22 and are studying in a recognized Kollel. Organizers say the grant is being offered in order to encourage bochurim to begin shidduchim sooner.

By reporter

A new initiative will offer grants to Chabad men who get married before the age of 22 and spend the first year of marriage studying in a recognized Kollel.

In a letter sent to the hanhala of Chabad Yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, the unnamed administrators of a new “Scholarship Fund for Young Avrechim” wrote that they are “pleased to announce the establishment of a special new fund.” The fund, created with the help of the Meromim Foundation, was also encouraged by members of the Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad of Eretz Yisroel.

In order to qualify for the fund, one needs to be a graduate of a Chabad yeshiva, and have completed Yeshiva Gedola. Applicants are required to get married before their 22nd birthday, and to spend the first year of their marriage in a recognized Chabad Kollel.

“We emphasize that in order to qualify, the wedding of the applicant, and not only his engagement, must be held before his 22nd birthday. They then have to study for a year in a Kollel that has a serious study track, approved by the Scholarship Fund,” they write.

The fund would grant a scholarship of 1,000 shekel (approximately $300) per month for 12 months, which would be in addition to any amount the Kollel offers. Although not specified, it is implied that the fund is only for bochurim from Israeli yeshivos.

The organizers are very clear what their goal is with this fund. “The reason for establishing the scholarship fund is to encourage the advancement of the age of marriage,” they write.

The push for earlier marriages got backing from Rabbonim as well. In an attached letter, signed by Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Yaroslavsky and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluchovsky, heads of the Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad, they applaud the new initiative and the individuals who are standing behind it.

“The initiative comes in continuation to the statement published approximately ten years ago, which was signed by Chabad Rabbonim from Eretz Yisroel and around the world, in which they wrote that the age of marriage should be advanced,” they wrote in a letter dated 11 Av 5781.

The statement they are referencing was released in 5772, and was signed by Rabbi Leibel Schapiro, Rabbi Sholom Ber Chaikin, Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, Rabbi Yaacov Schwei, Rabbi Yosef Braun, Dayan Levi Raskin, Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Yeruslavsky, Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi, Rabbi Moshe Landa and Rabbi Moshe Havlin, and a number of mashpi’im. In the letter, which caused quite a stir at the time, the signers wrote that “advancing the time of their marriage and shidduchim to an earlier age, will surely benefit the building of a bayis ne’amon b’yisroel.”

In the letter released now, almost a decade later, the two Rabbonim say that the new scholarship fund would fulfill the instructions laid out in the earlier letter.

“We hope that this important initiative will bring about the expedition of the geulah very soon, through our righteous Moshiach,” they write.

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