Q&A with Menahel of new Torah & Trade Program

Rabbi Dovid Barber, menahel of the Oholei Temimim English-speaking program in Kfar Chabad, answers frequently asked questions about the new program.

Q:  What is the idea of the program?

A: In a nutshell, the idea of the program is ‘Torah and Trade’ in the spirit of Tomchei Temimim.

Q: Is learning Nigle and Chassidus together with a trade a new idea?

A: The idea dates back to the year 5712, when the Rebbe initiated the establishment of such a program in a letter, stating the great benefit it would definitely bring.It was later established in the year 5715 in Kfar Chabad, under the Rebbe’s clear directives.
The current program is taking place on the same grounds as the original.

Q: What type of bochur is the program catering to?

A: The program is catering to a bochur who is interested in learning in a Chassidishe atmosphere, without compromising on Yiras Shamayim, with a lighter daily learning schedule.

Q: Although I find it hard to learn full day, I’m B”H fully capable of learning both Nigle and Chassidus on a mainstream level. Would the learning standards be stimulating for me?

A: Yes. The learning in both Nigle and Chassidus is tailored to a standard that would be both stimulating and challenging. At the same time, a bochur who may be less academic would find the learning accessible and enjoyable as well.

Q: Is this a Smicha Program?

A: Yes and No. The older class will be learning and IY”H receiving their Smicha. Though the Smicha is a very important part of the day, being part of this program means getting involved in all parts of the daily schedule, not just the Smicha.

Q: Where is the program taking place?

A: The program is taking place in Kfar Chabad, in a beautiful newly renovated building. 

Q: Eretz Yisroel is a very holy place. However, as a parent, should I be concerned that my child may end up in places where a bochur should not go?

A: We are well aware of this, and understand this concern fully. Therefore we will be taking the proper measures to bez”H ensure every bochur’s spiritual safety.

Q: What trades are being offered and are the trades taught on-site?

A: The trades that we currently have available are : Computer Maintenance and networking, which is very hands on and easy to learn, Electrical engineering, Mechanics, EMT, Lifeguarding. Bez”H with time, more options will be available.
All trades are taught on-site, with qualified teachers and professional equipment.

Q: What are the extra-curricular activities?

A: Music, art, Krav Maga and horseback riding. All based on demand and availability. We also have an indoor and outdoor basketball court, and a swimming pool onsite.
Iy”H we are also organizing Shabbatons to be on a monthly basis around Eretz Yisroel.

Q: New programs usually take time to become fully established and organized. How do you see this program being successful in this respect?

A: BH due to the fact that we are a new division within an established mosed, it gives us all the benefits of an already existing infrastructure.

Q:  As the program is government funded does this mean that it’s free?

A: I wish the answer would be yes… Though it is true that this program is connected to a government body, the funding is only for very specific things.This enables us to keep tuition fees at a standard rate, despite the fact that this type of program has considerably more expenses than a regular Yeshiva, due to the trades, regular Shabbatons, trips, extra curricular activities, etc.
I would like to add that we are open to working together with parents that simply cannot afford full tuition.

Q: When does the Program start?

A: Iy”H this year’s program will begin this coming Cheshvan 5780.

Q: How does the application and acceptance process work? 

A: Part of the application form is to give a reference of at least one Rabbi who knows you currently, in order for us to understand how you have spent your previous year.However, what is most important to us, is your mindset and commitment when joining ithis program.Therefore part of the acceptance process, requires each bochur to sign that he understands and agrees, to respect and uphold the standards of the program which are listed on the acceptance form.

Q: I am interested in coming to the program as part of the older class. Is there still space, and how do I apply?

A: Yes, we do have a few places remaining for the older class.To apply, send an email to [email protected] and you will be sent an application form.

All the pictures in this article are actual pictures of the building and equipment on-site.

If you have a question that hasn’t been addressed, please contact Rabbi Dovid Barber / Rabbi Zalman Torenheim (U.S.) 15162431108 / (E.Y.) +972587706927 [email protected] 

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