For those who may not know, what kind of yeshiva is Kesser Torah?
Kesser Torah offers a mesivta for local bochurim and a Bais Medrash for talmidim from across the country. The mesivta currently has close to 90 students from local mosdos. The mesivta looks for 8th-grade students who desire to grow in their learning and Yiras Shamayim in a serious yet warm environment. The yeshiva was founded over five years ago by Rabbi Tzvi Mordechai Feldheim, a noted rebbe, and menahel from Yeshivas Toras Chaim of Denver, and his son, Rabbi Avrohom Feldheim, a young and energetic rebbe and assistant menahel from the Mechina of South Florida. The Bais Medrash, now consisting of over 20 bochurim, is led by the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Newman, a noted lamdan, talmid chacham, mechanech, public speaker, and mashpia. Rav Nosson is talmid muvhak of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, zatza”l. The mesivta rebbeim, in addition to the Rosh Mesivta and Menahel, also include Rabbi Dovid Rubin, Rabbi Yitzchak Hopfer, and Rabbi Chaim Shimon Feldheim.
How has Kesser Torah grown over the last year?
It is incredible to imagine that the yeshiva did not exist five years ago. We now have a bustling Bais Medrash with a Kol Torah emanating from well over 100 bochurim. This past year, Rav Nosson has brought the dream of a Bais Medrash into a reality. His talmidim benefit from his ability to give over lomdus and yedios ha’Torah with an energetic bren. From what I understand, the current campus used to be a monastery.
How were you able to transform this space into a Makom Torah?
The first part of the process involved ridding the campus of all symbols and icons relating to Christianity. After this was completed we focused on transforming the campus. Monasteries are not known as being the most bright and lively locations. We knew we needed to change this, and significant effort was exerted to make the campus a suitable location that would allow bochurim to feel that they were immersed in a Makom Torah enveloped with a Kavod ha’Torah. We redesigned all of the hallways and open spaces to be full of light with beautifully decorated walls adorned with pictures of the famous yeshivos of Europe. We reimagined existing spaces to create shiur rooms, beautify the dining hall, and construct areas inside and outside the primary academic building to allow bochurim to have spaces to relax, exercise, converse and enjoy the oasis of Torah that surrounds them. However, there is still work to be done. We are in the process of renovating an old chapel in the building into a Bais Medrash, which will exude the Kavod ha’Torah befitting the lamdanim who shteig and grow within its walls. Our primary goal is that each bochur feels that he is in an environment which can foster his growth and allow him to see the beauty inherent to a life of Torah.
How do you anticipate the yeshiva will continue to grow over the next five years?
As the enrollment in our mesivta grows and we add a second year to our Bais Medrash, the current basement library being used as a temporary Bais Medrash this year will no longer be viable for the next zman. Iy”H, over 130 bochurim will be on campus in Elul. It is imperative that we can open the doors of our new Bais Medrash space to allow them to learn unencumbered and with a feeling of chashivus for the Gemara open in front of them.
How can the community partner with the yeshiva?
From June 20th to 22nd, the yeshiva will have a matching campaign to raise the necessary funds to ensure that our campus can continue to accommodate our exponential growth properly. The renovation of our building and the specific construction of our Bais Medrash should not only be seen as a Kesser Torah project, but also as a Baltimore project. B”H, we live in a very Torah-centered city. Kesser Torah has allowed for an additional option for local bochurim to immerse themselves in the Olam ha’Torah during the crucial years of their development. We encourage everyone to visit AdorningTheCrown.com to help Kesser Torah make this dream a reality.