Yeshivas Toras Simcha (YTS) is completing its seventh year of service to the Baltimore Jewish community.

We interviewed a few parents about their experiences at the yeshiva, in preparation for their imminent matching campaign to raise much-needed funds:

What made you choose YTS?

Rabbi Mordechai and Miriam Salzberg (MMS): We were truly impressed with the warmth, attention and care given to each talmid. The focus on each boy and teamwork to provide the best chinuch was extraordinary. 

Yisroel Moshe and Avigayil Kraines (YAK): Excitement and simcha were in the air! Aleph Beis, singing shorashim and the sweet sounds of Chumash filled the school! It was clear each boy has the ability to shine at YTS.

Adam and Kayla Rubin (AKR): We wanted a small school with a focus on developing each talmid as a unique individual, bringing out his unique middos and emphasizing both kodesh and chol learning in a professional way.

Please share with us a person story about YTS that illustrates its unique qualities

MMS: A group of boys craved to learn more mishnayos, so a thrice-a-week chabura was created to further their learning.

AKR: Our boys JUMP out of the car every morning and run into school as fast as they can. They are so excited to see their rebbe or morah! The strong relationship between teacher and talmid is indicative of the warmth and personal touch of YTS!

YAK: Our son in Nursery ran over to say Hello to the first grade rebbe, Rabbi Tessler. Rabbi Tessler gave our son the biggest smile and greeted him by his name! We were floored! How did the first grade rebbe know our Nursery son by name? That is YTS. The rabbeim even know children in the younger grades. They greet each child with genuine warmth and simcha. Each boy is an individual not just one in a crowd. 

Shlomo and Shira Khalili (SSK): When school was closed due to the virus, it was so beautiful that the rabbeim visited each family to keep the connection by playing music, delivering treats and dancing, while remaining socially distant. It was an unforgettable example of going out of the way and thinking out of the box to bond with each student.

Please tell us about the quality of the general studies program at YTS

MMS: The teachers are very exciting. They use an array of tools and modalities to really ensure the boys grasp the material.

AKR: The boys are so excited to share what they’ve learned. Morah Cohn comes up with exciting science experiments that tickle the brain of first graders. When one of our sons had an idea to make the daily math “addition” practice more exciting for the whole class, Morah Adina Itzkowitz let him and a friend develop a whole game. The teachers facilitate an environment where the boys can grow, try new things, fail (an important thing to experience!), and succeed.

YAK: General Studies at YTS is great. They teach using Centers in the younger grades. Computer classes and hands on science experiments help keep the older boys engaged.

Describe your son’s relationship with his rebbe

MMS: Our sons look up to their rebbeim as loving role models who embody much of what we hope our boys will become.

AKR: Rebbe knows best! Our second grader comes home with a fountain of information from Rabbi Mandel, and before that Rabbi Tessler and Rabbi Goldstein. The rebbeim give over not only the required information from the curriculum, but stories and interesting tidbits that stick in the boys’ brains. We’ll frequently be surprised that our son remembers a random thing in great detail. He’ll even be able to recount the source story or lesson. The rebbeim make learning easy and memorable!

YAK: The rabbeim at YTS really really care about each boy. My son is very into coins so his Rebbe added coins into his prize system. They make the learning and davening so exciting and special! When they learn something new in tefilla, they “get to add it on” in an exciting and special way. Each rebbe is unique in their own way and brings so much to the table. They are present during recess and very aware of what is going on socially as well. YTS has an amazing rebbe and morah staff team who genuinely care about each talmid. 

SSK: The way my children look up to the rabbeim is apparent from twinkle in their eyes when they share and even mimic the lessons they learned in a cute or humorous down to earth way. My children feel free to ask their rabbeim whatever is on their minds, as the rabbeim make themselves very approachable, and show a genuine care to help them grow.

Please tell us any other information that feel is important for our community to know about YTS

AKR: We are so grateful for the experiences we’ve had so far at YTS. The nature of a small school combined with an excellent teaching staff as well as organized and efficient administrative support has been perfect for our sons. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for YTS. We hope that your boys are a part of it!

SSK: YTS is a small school with small classes, giving the children more of the attention they need to thrive. Every step of what is taught and how it’s taught is measured and reevaluated and not taken for granted as just the way things have always been done.

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