It was standing room only at the Mesivta Ateres Yaakov Open House this past Sunday, as the Yeshiva hosted close to 150 prospective students, along with their parents, all eager to learn about what Ateres Yaakov has to offer. Held in the yeshiva’s beautiful facilities, and with the Rabbeim, faculty and Hanhalah present to answer questions, the day's program was an opportunity to educate parents and students about the Yeshiva's unique mission, objectives, and resources.
It was a busy, exciting and educational experience that included informative panels, video displays, passionate presentations, engaging dialogue, Torah brain teasers, sports challenges, raffles, a gala luncheon, prizes, custom Swell bottle, an elaborate Student Fair, slushies, competitions and more.
Upon arrival, attendees were warmly greeted by the MAY Hanhalah, its talented and dedicated faculty and scores of student and parent volunteers. Guests were ushered into the elaborate Student Fair, held in the Yeshiva’s expansive, Shaulson Gymnasium where a multitude of booths, manned by current Ateres Yaakov talmidim, described the school’s myriad extracurricular programs and activities.
Following the Student Fair, the Rosh HaYeshiva, Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, addressed the enormous crowd in the Mesivta’s Bais Medrash. He explained that “the goal in our Mesivta extends far beyond the high school years” and that “the ultimate purpose is to build better husbands, fathers and ovdei Hashem. Therefore, literally everything that occurs within the yeshiva is aimed at facilitating that goal.” Rabbi Yaffe concluded his remarks by clearly explaining each phrase of the Mesivta’s slogan “Rabbeim for Life. Education for Life. Torah for Life.” Rabbi Yaffe’s address was followed by an emotionally charged, informative video presentation that immersed the guests virtually into the Mesivta experience.
Following the video presentation, the students then enjoyed a science presentation with 9th grade science teacher, Mr. Pinchas Fiber, a stimulating brain-teasing shiur delivered by 9th grade Rebbe, Rabbi Tsvi Greenfield and a Q & A About MAY. The afternoon concluded with a delicious Chinese buffet and a grand raffle!
Parents attended panel discussions focusing on Limudei Kodesh, General Studies, MAY Parents, and MAY Alumni. Prospective parents asked current parents and panelists a variety of questions and received enthusiastic responses. These included:
Are the Rabbeim really involved in the lives of the talmidim even after graduation? Alumni talked about their many experiences receiving weekly calls in Israel from multiple members of the faculty, about daily conversations and weekly chaburos or Shabbos meals with Rabbeim, about Rabbeim helping them with challenges after marriage, about Rabbeim making their shidduchim, and more. Mr. Mark Gold, President of MAY, noted that, “Our talmidim are often shocked to find that their yeshiva peers in Eretz Yisroel do not have the kinds of close relationships with, and ready access to, their Mesivta Rabbeim, that they take for granted".
How does MAY challenge their Honors level students? Rabbi Sam Rudansky, General Studies Principal who moderated the General Studies Panel noted that "MAY has adapted its curricula to challenge our students. In ELA, for example, we assign frequent essays and other writing assignments to build advanced writing and communication skills and to provide constructive criticism to facilitate revision.”
How does MAY compare to the other Yeshivos in our community? A member of the Hanhalah responded that “There are many excellent local options. Each school has its own emphasis and areas in which it excels. MAY is uniquely outstanding in that it excels in Limudei Kodesh, Limudei Chol and in Extracurricular activities. With its expansive, state-of the-art campus, there is always something exciting going on, but doesn’t impede the personal attention and long-lasting relationships that help students of all capabilities succeed.”
One parent noted that “It’s clear that the Rabbeim I spoke with are very sincere and have a very strong emotional connection with their talmidim and truly care about their success."
The MAY talmidim really made the event a success. Visitors challenged Ateres Yaakov talmidim in Ping-Pong, football and basketball while being cheered on by friends. Attendees picked up the Mesivta’s Chesed Directory, listing the ample opportunity for different chasadim available to its talmidim. Athletics and Competitions were represented by various members of the Mesivta’s football, basketball, softball and Torah bowl teams who were happy to display the school’s jerseys and many championship trophies! The ample Torah L’shma opportunities were represented by regulars of the Pre-Shacharis Cocoa Club, Post-Shacharis Mishnayos Shiur, 12th grade Advanced Bikiyus and Night Sedarim, Shakla v’Tarya Ba’al Peh Club, Bein Hazmanim Learning Program and voluntary Monday and Tuesday Night Sedarim. The Mesivta’s Extracurricular Activies, Clubs, Ruach & Recharging booths were represented by the MAY student’s showcasing the myriad opportunities and activities the Mesivta provides for its talmidim.
Applications for the 2021-2022 z’man are now being accepted. For more information contact the Mesivta at (516) 374-6465 or visit their website at www.ateresyaakov.com.