Bet Zvi – Torah at Work!
Monday evening at 9.15. Arvit prayer is over and most congregants are on their way home. Most but not all. Some remain behind in the Beit Hamidrash to learn in groups of two BeChavruta. They are a diverse group coming from different backgrounds and involved in different trades and professions. They sit for an hour of intense learning of Perek HaBoneh in Massechet Shabbat. The students, who have experienced a long and hard day at the office, find the strength to concentrate, ask the most challenging of questions, and provide their own solutions. For one hour the Beit Hamidrash is turned into a Yeshiva.
This is Kollel Bet Zvi, the community Kollel of Beit Hamidrash Ahavat Shalom. The Kollel was established in November 2000 and is headed by Akiva Teichtal. In the summer of 2000 Akiva returned to Israel from Gibraltar, where he had been involved in similar programs. The Kollel is named Bet Zvi after R’ Zvi Weisfogel Alav HaShalom, who had been one of the distinguished members of the Gibraltar Jewish community.
The learning in Bet Zvi takes place on Monday and Thursday evenings and is in the form of Chavrutot, or one-on-one learning. One partner is an Avrech, an advanced rabbinical student who serves as the teacher, and the other partner – the student – is a working person interested in interactive learning at the highest level.
The groups learn at their own pace, though all the Chavrutot are learning the same material. Once a month the members of the Kollel gather to hear a Shiur from one of the students. This is a considerable challenge for the students, but they are not deterred. One of the students described it as the “experience of a lifetime”.
Bet Zvi – Facts and Numbers
- 7 years in operation
- 7 countries from which the Kollel members originate: Australia, Canada, Gibraltar, Italy, South Africa, UK, USA and of course Israel.
- 8 members at the beginning
- over 50 members learning in all different programs of Bet Zvi today (Jan 07)
The program is similar to the evening one, and operates five mornings a week (Sun- Thur, 9:00- 11:30 AM)