When It Comes to Yeshiva, One Size Should Not Fit All

At Bais Toras Menachem of Los Angeles, dedicated staff work with each bochur personally, empowering them to grow and shine, through combining Torah, a specific focus on Smicha, with extra-curricular activities, and general studies.

Bais Toras Menachem (“BTM”) of Los Angeles was founded 12 years ago as a ‘homeschool’ group that miraculously snowballed into a much needed full-blown program. Too many good bachurim found themselves ‘falling through the cracks’ and not having their individual needs met in the ‘traditional institutional mold’- (not due to anyone’s fault; it works for some, not for others.) At BTM, the dedicated staff works with each one of its bochurim personally, empowering each to grow and shine. To achieve this, they combine Torah, Chassidus, and a specific focus on Smicha, with healthy outlets, extra-curricular activities, general studies, and actual ‘real-life’ skills. 

This design allows bochurim to engage in subjects they feel most intrigued by, whilst being provided with structured learning, and gaining meaning and a sense of purpose in general, through refreshing discussions and farbrengens. Bochurim welcome this personalised approach and embrace the opportunity for personal growth. 

Within manageable blocks of time, and smaller class sizes, bochurim receive ‘customized’ instruction and guidance. Additionally, with adequate breaks, there is time to  unwind, socialize and release some energy.

Dinner break leads into varied evening activities such as gym, music, volunteering, or a Chassidus roundtable. BTM also offers occasional sessions with a Certified Life Coach, career counseling, lectures on financial planning, time management, and even shidduch preparation, providing the students with skills and information that are essential for their future.

Sunday afternoons are reserved to enjoy nature walks, sports, or other outdoor activities. Road trips and memorable experiences provide an added incentive to the learning.

Outside of its regular yeshiva seder, BTM provides volunteer opportunities for its students. They often travel to nearby Chabad communities and help out the shluchim, whether with a minyan on  Shabbos or with holiday programming including Chanukah, Purim and Lag B’omer. “One bachur was extremely talented in juggling and was allowed time to pursue this skill and perform,” says Mrs. Katz. “Another was a professional chef, and was hired by BTM to cook for the program part-time as well as other gigs locally; he gained real hands-on experience. We believe in working with each student on a one on one basis, so we can set them up for success.”

So what is so different about BTM? Parent Zushe Kohn has this to say: 

“Many things are different about this unique school.  Let’s start with the varied curriculum they offer: a little chassidus in the morning, a bit of gemara , a bit of halacha – even a ‘a sprinkle’ of navi, and Jewish history, some general studies instruction, and most of all, a wonderful semicha program taught by the very talented Rabbi Levi Chazan

A healthy soul needs a healthy body, and for that there is hiking, martial arts, and beautiful Shabbatons. The dorm too is of a quality that contributes to a healthy body and a sound mind.

The Katz family, which founded and runs the school — with lots of Brochos from the Rebbe –are warm and caring people who want their students to succeed and want to give them a chance to actually enjoy and celebrate their Yiddishkeit. They strongly believe that learning Torah and Chassidus must be in a happy wholesome environment.

“My son graduated from Bais Toras Menachem with significant gains in Torah knowledge, with Smicha, and most of all, with a great sense of accomplishment. I can’t think of another yeshiva in which this would have been possible.

If your son is like mine — out of the box, someone who found it challenging to adapt to yeshivas of the typical mold – Bais Toras Menachem may well be the yeshiva for him. Give them a call and give your son a real chance of feeling good about himself.” 

And to conclude with one of hundreds of quotes from a proud alumnus:

“My experience at Bais Toras Menachem was nothing short of incredible. From the fascinating and informative shiurim, to the degree courses, shabbatons, trips, amazing faculty, great friends and everything in between, it was the greatest year of my life, and its memories will be fondly etched in my memory. I strongly encourage all those who seek a fresh, new, and innovative Smicha program to choose BTM. You won’t regret it!” says Yaakov Polter.

To inquire for more information or consult with the administration see www.smicha.net or text 323-495-3010.

Click here to watch a video describing Bais Toras Menachem’s mission statement.

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