Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the derech halimud espoused by the Yeshiva?
Kerem B'Yavneh's overall educational goal is to develop the student's ability to learn Gemara and Rishonim independently on an in-depth, sophisticated level. The daily iyun shiurim emphasize accurate reading skills, profound analytic ability, and proper understanding of the various approaches to the sugya. The tools gained in Yeshiva will enable talmidim to continue learning throughout their lives, wherever they may be, and whether alone or as part of a group. The Rebbeim vary in their exact derech and degree of complexity, allowing each individual talmid to find a shiur matching his nature and level. (See question 5). Alongside the iyun study, the Yeshiva encourages bekiut study of the entire masechet to broaden the talmid's knowledge base and to strengthen his learning skills.
- What is the overall hashkafa of the Yeshiva?
Kerem B'Yavneh is an Israeli-style Yeshivat Hesder with a Zionistic outlook. The Yeshiva aims to produce bnei-Torah who combine a high degree of Torah learning, proper observance, and character refinement, and who are able to cope successfully with the modern challenges encountered in their respective professions while contributing to the building of Israel and the strengthening of Diaspora Jewry. The Yeshiva's alumni fill many prominent positions in communities throughout Israel and the Diaspora, from Rabbis and educators to community leaders to doctors, lawyers, businessmen, high-tech, etc. They proudly demonstrate that it is possible to be a ben-Torah with a clear religious outlook in the modern world.
- What is the daily schedule (seder hayom) at Kerem B'Yavneh?
Basically, the day is divided into a morning seder for iyun, followed by daily shiur at 12:00; an afternoon seder usually dedicated to bekiut; and a night seder often used to review shiur, learn additional perakim, or pursue other learning interests. For a more detailed schedule, please click on Seder Hayom.
- What shiurim and chugim are available besides the daily Gemara shiur?
There is a weekly shiur clali and sicha given by the Rosh Hayeshiva, the Mashgiach, or one of the other Ramim. A bekiut shiur (in English) and optional chugim are available on a broad range of topics, such as Tanach, classical and modern Machshava (Jewish Thought), Mussar and Halacha. It is an excellent opportunity for talmidim to expand the horizons of their limudei kodesh in addition to the essential Gemara study.
- Who are the Rebbeim, and what are their backgrounds and styles?
Kerem B'Yavneh has an excellent staff of dedicated and experienced Rebbeim, who provide warm and caring attention to each talmid. They come from varied backgrounds, and have diverse styles. For a short biography of each, please click on Ramim.
- How are chevrutot arranged?
Usually talmidim succeed in arranging chevrutot amongst themselves. The Rebbeim are happy to assist when necessary, and are particularly involved in helping arrange morning seder. In addition, each first year student is assigned an older talmid ("mevugar") to learn with, usually for part of the afternoon, as well as a Kollel "bayit cham" for mussar seder.
- Do I need knowledge of Hebrew to learn at Kerem B'Yavneh?
While proficiency in Hebrew is not absolutely necessary, some basic Hebrew is required to understand shiur, which is mostly given in Hebrew. (The Rebbeim will repeat things in English, however, as necessary.) A better command of Hebrew is certainly desirable, though, as it allows you to gain more out of the year. Numerous sichot and optional chugim are offered in Hebrew, and knowledge of the language will allow you to communicate more easily with your Israeli roommates and other talmidim.
- How can I improve my Hebrew at Kerem B'Yavneh?
Language is improved mainly through usage. Participation in Hebrew shiurim and contact with Israeli talmidim give you the chance to advance your Hebrew, if you are motivated to do so. We also arrange for an ulpan in Yeshiva to help those who feel they can gain from the classroom setting.
- What percentage of Kerem B'Yavneh students remains for shana bet?
Each year, approximately 90% of the overseas stay on for a second year, and several continue for a third year.
- From which countries do the overseas students come?
Usually, 75-80% come from the United States and Canada, about 15% from England, and the remainder from such countries as Belgium, South Africa, Brazil, Switzerland, etc.
- What is the relationship between the Israeli and overseas talmidim at Kerem B'Yavneh?
The Yeshiva strongly encourages interaction between the two student bodies. The talmidim learn together in the Beit Midrash and eat together in the dining room. Rooms are generally shared by two Israeli and two overseas talmidim. The chevruta mevugar and Kollel bayit cham are often Israeli. While the Yeshiva does its utmost to facilitate integration, the degree of interaction will depend, of course, on YOU! Most students find that over the course of the year they develop friendships with a number of their Israeli peers, and many even establish chevrutot with them.
- How often are there "in" Shabbatot? Are there any special Shabbat programs or activities?
On average, there is an official "in" Shabbat every other week. (For this year's schedule, please click here) Shabbat in Yeshiva has proven throughout the years to be enriching and inspiring. There are sichot after Kabbalat Shabbat and at Seuda shlishit, a "tish" with the Rebbeim Friday night, a shiur Shabbat morning, and a varied melave malke program.
- What arrangements are there for "out" shabbatot and "bein hazmanim" for students who do not have many relatives?
Even on the "out" Shabbatot the Yeshiva is always open and talmidim are welcome to stay, many of whom do. Often, the Rebbeim will invite talmidim to join them at their Shabbat meals. During bein hazmanim, when the Yeshiva does close down, arrangements are made for those who need help finding a place to stay.
- What kind of transportation is available to and from Kerem B'Yavneh?
Public transportation is available from "Tzomet Givat Washington," a 10+ minute walk from the Yeshiva. Buses run roughly every hour to and from Yerushalayim, and every half-hour to and from Tel Aviv. On Fridays, the talmidim often arrange a "sherut" directly from the Yeshiva to Yerushalayim. There are also cab services in the neighboring cities of Gedera, Ashdod and Rechovot.
- How are rooms allocated at Kerem B'Yavneh? Do I get to choose my roommate(s)?
Each room is shared by two overseas and two Israeli talmidim. With the acceptance material, you will be asked to enter a request for a roommate, which the Yeshiva tries to honor.
- What is the food like at Kerem B'Yavneh?
Kerem B'Yavneh provides quality, nutritional food in ample quantity three meals a day. The meals follow an Israeli style, with lunch as the main, meat meal, and a light, dairy supper. In addition to the prepared, hot food, there are always various spreads and salads. There is small store nearby where talmidim can supplement or buy nosh.
- What are the arrangements for laundry?
To enable talmidim to focus fully on their learning, the Yeshiva provides full laundry service. Each talmid chooses a number at the beginning of the year to label his clothes, and has a matching cubby. Laundry is given in Motzei Shabbat and is returned that week, cleaned and ironed. Over the past few years, the students have arranged a dry cleaning service that picks up and delivers clothes to and from Yeshiva.
- Does Kerem B'Yavneh have any facilities for exercise and recreation?
A healthy mind requires a healthy body. The Yeshiva has a modern, well-equipped exercise room that is open every night after seder hours. There are also basketball courts on the nearby kibbutz that the talmidim may use at specified hours.
- Are there any organized tiyulim during the year?
There are two major tiyulim -- to the North and to the Negev, one after Sukkot and one after Pesach. In addition, there are small one-day tiyulim, mainly on Fridays, throughout the course of the year.
- How can I communicate with my family and friends?
The Yeshiva has five public phones available to the talmidim at different locations on the campus. A postal van picks up and delivers mail daily. (Letters take about a week to arrive) E-mail service is available for overseas students for an additional fee.
- Where is the closest ATM machine?
ATM machines are located throughout Israel, including the nearby towns and cities of Gedera, Yavneh, Ashdod and Rehovot.
Any other questions? Please click on Phone Numbers and feel free to correspond!