From the COLlive Inbox:
Upon the occasion of Bais Toras Menachem entering its 10th year B”H, I would like to present my thoughts pertaining to the current state of events which have been filling our minds;
With the recent natural disasters – (may Hashem protect us) – it has obviously been great cause for introspection; especially during these Yomim Noraim. We all realize that Hashem is “speaking to us”, though the messages we each “hear” can be very individual. With hundreds of thousands of people mis-placed, devastated, isolated, sad, and in dire physical situations, our heart naturally goes out to young and old, friends, relatives, and strangers alike. BH there have been myriads of rescue teams, from first responders to PTS professionals to politicians to laymen volunteers. It is indeed touching to see how united we can be in face of disaster, and it provides a promising angle to focus on in the face of all the destruction and pain…
There is a segment of our society that in some ways experience their own personal “hurricane”…that feeling of being mis-placed and isolated. There are many of our finest youth getting ‘swept up’ in the hurricane of Golus and particularly by personal challenges, The challenges may be subtle, however, each neshama is an entire world; each need unmet is a mini ‘hurricane’..
I know some bachurim who, at a loss for viable options which fit their needs, are planning to work or go to college or join the army, rather than go to Yeshiva as they know it. I am talking about fine young men from fine homes, who may be ‘overlooked’ if they can’t ,”make the cut”.
One program has answered this need when they opened their doors to accept various kinds of students who for above reasons or other, needed just such a place, yet without compromising on their standards of Chassidshkeit, Yiras Shamayim and atmosphere.
Enter “Bais Toras Menachem” the “best kept secret” around. At BTM they feel that while it is important to enjoy learning, that it is ‘ok’ and a Mitzva to enjoy Hashem’s world and be b’smicha, be it through enjoying the outdoors, having music lessons, or volunteering for local Shluchim.
Nestled in a beautiful sprawling Hancock Park home with a huge backyard, spacious accomadations and delicious wholesome meals BTM offers interesting life relevant courses, plus the concrete goals of Smicha and a Degree.
My experience this past year in BTM of LA was nothing short of incredible. From the fascinating and informative Shiurim, to the Shabbatons, trips, faculty, friends, and everything in between, it has been the greatest year of my Yeshiva life yet, and its memories will be fondly etched in my memory. I strongly encourage all those who seek a fresh and innovative Smicha program and wholesome experience to choose BTM.
This past year’s successful pilot partnership with TTI, (Training and Testing International) enables students to study towards their Smicha and Bachelor’s degree simultaneously. I believe this is the first such program on the West Coast!
Through TTI, I was able to carry over credits from previous Yeshivos, and amass credits not only for the secular, but also for some of the Limudei Kodesh courses which are offered. I hope to complete my degree by the end of this year I’y”H.
With my eyes on the future, being equipped with a Degree gives me that extra measure of confidence; it gives me what it will take to be a responsible husband, father and provider
Most of all, I will have my knowledge of Smicha and PRACTICAL day to day relevant Halochos which BTM is VERY strong about.
My friend, Chonya Morozow who came all the way from Australia to attend BTM, has this to say about his BTM experience this past year:
“I look back upon my year at BTM and realize how personalised it was. I felt empowered to grow and shine in a unique way. They actually encouraged me to be WHO I AM! With constant interaction with the Anash community in LA as well as with Shluchim all over Ca. I gained confidence to communicate with all types of people. I discovered leadership qualities I did not know I owned, giving me a head start to my future goals
My friends and I decided that although the Hanhala intentionally keeps the program small- since they truly treat each student as special- out of Ahavas Yisroel, we want to share this treasure and gem of a program with the world!
So, enjoy the video which will give you somewhat of a glimpse into this very special program.
Sincerely, G’mar Chasima Tova
-Y.Y. (JJ) Polter
The semester begins on October 23, 2017
To inquire further regarding BTM or to register for the 2017-18 academic year, please email [email protected] You may also contact Mrs. Rivky Katz at 323-495-3010 or Rabbi Katz at 323-936-2777 ext. 103. An application can also be downloaded from smicha.net.