The Transmission Of Torah Tradition
To The World’s Financial Capital
Rav Yaakov I. Ruderman Z”Tl , a student of the world renowned Slabodka Yeshiva of Kovna, Lithuania, arrived to the USA in 1931. One of the closest students of the Alter of Slabodka, Rav Nason Tzvi Finkel. The Alter developed, molded and perfected the Torah perspective of many of the Torah leaders of the past century. The signature characteristic he imparted to these notable luminaries was an unquenchable sense of responsibility for the Jewish People. The manner and method he impacted on this generation would be through an uncompromising dissemination of Torah perspective and teaching. When Rav Ruderman founded Yeshivas Ner Israel in 1933, it was with the explicit intent to transplant quality European Torah scholarship in America.His success in mentoring students with this sense of responsibility is legendary.
My father, Rav Yosef Kalatsky, Shlita, was one of Rav Ruderman’s closest students, having drunk from his wellsprings of Torah for 20 years. Indeed, there were years that he would spend many hours a day engaged with the Rosh Hayeshiva in Torah discussion.
Thirty-four years ago my father came to N.Y to transplant this ideal Torah perspective to establish the Yad Avraham Institute. His vision was to give every Jew,men and women alike, an appreciation for their Heritage- to understand who they are as Jews. A Torah curriculum was set in place. He began mentoring men and women through his vast knowledge of Torah. Classes were established in every Torah subject matter – Chumash, Gemara, classical Mussar works and Lectures on an array of Jewish topics.
Over the years he mentored hundreds of students who became committed Torah observant Jews together with their families. Significantly, there are thousands of men and women who were exposed to my father’s teachings and consultations, who attest to his irrevocable influence in their lives.
Growing up in my parents’ home and observing my father as a role model, I have become inspired and motivated to assume responsibility- to share what I have gained- to Klall Yisrael.
A pilot project was launched four years ago, when I embarked on studying with students, who after a year or two of study in Israel, returned to attend university in N.Y.C. The young men I have been studying with attend N.Y.U, Columbia University, Cooper Union and Queens College.
With G-d’s help, I hope, through the revolutionary concept of Mentorah, be a continuum… from Slabodka to the Financial Capital of the World – until the coming of Moshiach speedily in our time.