More than 300 people came together to celebrate Talmudic University’s 40th anniversary. The joyous event took place on Thursday evening, February 6 at the yeshiva, 4000 Alton Road. The rosh hayeshiva, HaRav Yochanan Zweig, shlita, welcomed community leaders, rebbeim and educators as well as talmidim past and present.
What began in 1974 as a tiny beis medrash with only ten students has developed into a yeshiva campus that encompasses many buildings spread over a six-mile radius. They are: Beis Medrash and Kollel Ramach, the Mechina High School, the Yeshiva Elementary School, dormitories and kollel apartments.
The yeshiva’s recent move to the new Sami and Charlotte Rohr campus at the corner of 41st Street and the Julia Tuttle Causeway is a visual reminder of the extraordinary growth of the yeshiva over the past 40 years. Later this year the yeshiva will unveil its next phase of growth, a new and expanded beis medrash, with classrooms, offices, dorm rooms and a social hall.
In the 40 years since the rosh hayeshiva began building a center of learning, greater South Florida has grown into a world-class Torah community. Many of the yeshiva’s students are now lay and rabbinic leaders throughout the world.
According to first-year beis medrash maggid shiur Rabbi Yaakov Burstyn, son of Rabbi Yirmlyahu Burstyn, zt”l, Beis Moshe Chaim’s first executive director, the yeshiva grew out of the tremendous vision and determination of a number of community leaders. Moshe Chaim Berkowitz and Rabbi Alexander S. Gross, founder of the Hebrew Academy of Miami Beach, brought Rabbi Zweig to Florida to start the yeshiva.
In addition to the yeshiva’s s’micha kollel, Beis Moshe Chaim also hosts a Choshen Mishpat Kollel, the Helping Hands Food Co-op, separate community classes for men and women, and Insights, the rosh hayeshiva’s parshah newsletter which is delivered to thousands of homes across the country each week.
Events planned throughout the year include the writing of a Sefer Torah, a grand community siyum, various outreach programs, a Yarchei Kallah, a special Pesach program, an Alumni Summer Shabbaton in the Catskillls, and several parlor meetings and speakiing engagements in Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto.
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig’s first sefer, Mesilas Yam, was re-released in 2013. It is a collection of Torah thoughts on Maseches Bava Basra. A second sefer, Shiras Yam, based on the rosh hayeshiva’s original thoughts on Sefer Bereshis, was recently released. Rabbi Zweig’s first English-language sefer, on Pirkei Avos, is currently being edited and is expected to go to press next year.
For more information about the 40th year anniversary or to submit information or photos to the yeshiva’s history project, call 305-534-7050.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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