The big news of the week is that we publicly announced the Jim Joseph grant! This major $3,000,000 grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, to be given over 5 years, is a testament to our demonstrated success and an affirmation in our vision of the rabbinate and our proven ability to actualize it. This is a major boost for the yeshiva, not only in terms of the funding that it provides, but also in terms of the broader communal acknowledgement and affirmation that it attests to. Because this grant is a matching grant, it also means that any dollar donated to the yeshiva will be doubled, and we hope and trust that it will encourage further support from foundations and individual donors. Please let everyone know about this tremendous honor and encourage them to continue to support YCT and all its endeavors.
Appropriate for the pre-Pesach week, Yoreh Deah students learned the laws of hagalat kelim this week, with special attention to kashering for Pesach.
On Wednesday, students were treated to Rabbi Weiss' Shabbat HaGadol talk during our normal sicha slot. The week ended on Wednesday night with a special Night Seder for students and open to the larger community. Rabbi David Silber, author of the recently published hagaddah Go Forth and Learn, delivered the keynote lecture, on the topic of Pesach in Sedom with Lot and the Angels. Rabbi Silber showed how in the story of Lot, Sedom was Mitzrayim, and Lot's hesitancy to leave Sedom, and when he left his hesitancy to go to the mountain, is echoed in Israel's reluctance to leave Egypt and, even once they have left, their reluctance to enter into the Holy Land. Even if it means living in an oppressive Sedom or Egypt, people crave the life that is dictated to them -we remember the fish that we ate for naught! - and recoil from a life of true freedom, a life which requires taking responsibility and making choices. R. Silber's talk was followed by open Beit Midrash learning, as well as a class by Mishael Zion (YCT 2011), co-author of the hagaddah, A Night To Remember, on how to be an effective seder leader, and a class by Rav Steven Exler on the history and halakha of selling chametz. These lectures can be downloaded from our website, here.
The night ended with a beautiful tisch lead by our own Avram Mlotek (YCT 2015), who led us all in Yiddish Pesach songs. It was a wonderful evening of learning and chevrehshaft, and a great way to enter into the chag.