Rabbi Shaya Cohen, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Zichron Aryeh, founder of Priority-1 and world-renowned motivational speaker, visited FTI and delivered separate and individual messages to FTI’s Mesivta, Bais Medrash, and Rebbeim. Rabbi Cohen spoke to the Mesivta on the topic of finding true happiness. Rabbi Cohen gave a mussar vaad to FTI’s Bais Medrash talmidim, and a staff training to FTI Rebbeim. Much of Rabbi Cohen’s penetrating shiurim and chinuch material can be found at www.priority-1.org
Rabbi Chaim Pass, Rosh Yeshiva of YeshivasChochmas Shlomo in Bnei Barak, Israel, and grandson-in-law of Rov Shach, recently spent a Shabbos at Foxman Torah Institue. Throughout Shabbos, Rabbi Pass shared divrei Torah, hashkafa, and many inspiring stories. The highlight of his visit was on Shabbos morning when Rabbi Pass delivered a shiur on the sugya of Sfek Sfeka in Kesubos, the masechta FTI is currently learning. The talmidim thoroughly enjoyed and were tremendously uplifted by spending Shabbos with such a distinguished Talmid Chacham.Click here to read an article about Rabbi Pass and his connection with Rav Shach.
Ari Blau, previously a prominant comedian and joke-writer for some of the most famous comedians in Hollywood, spoke to FTI students about his life and shared a PowerPoint presentation containing photos of himself with many famous actors and comedians. He explained that after having achieved success in the American entertainment industry, and getting close to many of these people, he was shocked to learn just how depraved, mean, and depressed they really were.Blau finally realized on a trip to the Kosel in Israel, that doing mitzvos and becoming close to Hashem is so much more important and meaningful than his career in Hollywood. Many FTI Rebbeim and Talmidim were deeply moved at hearing how important Torah learning and mitzvah observance became to him, to the point that he eventually dropped his career altogether because it didn’t fit with a Torah lifestyle. Blau still lives in L.A., but now uses his many talents to inspire others to be frum and to help raise funds for local Torah and chesed organizations. You can read more about his incredible story at arisblau.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Moishe Abenson – 10th Grade: Even though Jerson Yañez was on the road to a life of wealth and fame, with a bright future in professional soccer, he made a decision at the age of 17 to leave everything behind in Mexico, trading it all to become a fully observant Jew…He showed us the awesomeness of being a Jew and gave me a new appreciation of the opportunity we have to learn Hashem’s Torah, and we now realize more clearly how fortunate we are to be part of the Jewish people.Click Here To Read The Full Story
Rabbi Moshe Strassfeld, FTI’s 11th Grade Iyun Rebbe, joined FTI at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. Rabbi Strassfeld spent many years immersed in Torah study as a member of the Kollel in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens, NY. During his decade of study in Queens, Rabbi Strassfeld had the opportunity to become a close talmid of the Roshei HaYeshiva, HaRav Dovid Harris shlitah and HaRav Akiva Grunblatt shlitah, as well as many other Rebbeim in the yeshiva. In particular, Rabbi Strassfeld served as secretary to Rabbi Mordecai Tropper zt”l, legendary mashgiach of the Yeshiva, where he was afforded an insider’s view of his wisdom and of his devotion to the talmidei hayeshiva. Since joining FTI, Rabbi Strasseld has been taken by the selfless devotion, love, mesiras nefesh, and personal responsibility that the rebbeim feel toward the talmidim. Rabbi Strassfeld is passionate about continuing that tradition and is doing his part to create an atmosphere where talmidim can grow into b’nei Torah of the highest caliber. Rabbi Strassfeld teaches 11th Grade Iyun, 10th Grade Halacha, and 11th Grade Bkius, and he is the Beis Medrash night seder Behalfer. Rabbi Kramer, FTI’s Menahel, stated: “The talmidim of FTI are blessed to have Rabbi Strassfeld as a Rebbe. In addition to being an outstanding talmid chacham and mevakesh ha’emes, Rabbi Strassfeld has a deep care and love for the talmidim. There were many times that I have personally witnessed that when a talmid of his succeeded in saying a good sevara, it mamash made his day.”
B”H, for the fourth consecutive year, our incoming 9th grade class registration is expected to close out again after a busy recruiting season with open houses in Cherry Hill and New York, a school visit day for local 8th graders, and a shabbaton attended by over twenty 8th graders. B”H there is much interest in the Yeshiva. At our main Open House here in Cherry Hill, parents and prospective students got a glimpse of the well-rounded yeshiva experience offered at FTI. Rabbi Chananya Kramer, FTI’s outstanding Menahel, shared with prospective parents how FTI talmidim not only learn Torah here at FTI, but how they are prepared for their adult life through fostering independence in a happy and supportive atmosphere. Rabbi Ari Baum, FTI’s 10th Grade Rebbe, demonstrated how FTI talmidim are taught Gemara fluency through developing a deep understanding of the gemara, coupled with guided independent learning that is differentiated to the needs of each talmid. Rabbi Y.M. Hoffman, FTI’s General Studies Principal, emphasized how FTI’s general studies department is serious and challenging, and properly prepares students for their future academic careers and life. For information on how to apply, please contact the FTI office at 856-482-8230 or visit ftiyeshiva.org.
Rabbi Akiva Grunblatt, Rosh Yeshiva on Rabbinical Seminary of America, along with his rebbetzin, visited Cherry Hill over Shabbos Parshas Bo to give chizuk to the Yeshiva and community, and that he did. Rabbi Grunblatt delivered 7 different speeches over a 36-hour period. Friday morning the Rosh Yeshiva delivered a shmuz to the whole Yeshiva about the purpose of life and how to attain true satisfaction both in this world and the next. This was followed by a Rebbe in-service session discussing the pressing issues of Yeshiva chinuch today. After a heartfelt Kabbolas Shabbos and Maariv, all the bais medrash bochurim and the mesivta bochurim who stayed for Shabbos to grow from the unique experience of having a gadol in their midst, enjoyed a Shabbos seuda with the Grunblatts at the home of FTI Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Max. Then back in Yeshiva, after Friday night seder, we were treated to an Oneg Shabbos with divrei Torah and Hashkafa from the Rosh Yeshiva about how to appreciate the growth that b’nei Yeshiva attain even though it happens gradually and is sometimes hard to see when you are living it every day. Shabbos morning after davening and a kokush cake kiddush, Rabbi Grunblatt gave a shiur klali on the sugya of Shavya Anafshei. The shiur was attended by the B’nei Yeshiva, Rebbeim, and many community members who came to hear a shiur from the Rosh Yeshiva. All in attendance were treated to the incredible sight of Rabbi Grunblatt fielding any and all questions from the crowd and firing back answers right and left throughout the shiur. The shiur was followed by lunch in Yeshiva where FTI Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Davidowitz spoke about the tremendous impact that Rabbi Grunblatt has on the Rebbeim and the talmidim of FTI, especially because we ask many of our Da’as Torah shailos to him. There was a Shabbos afternoon Question-Answer Session for the N’shei Hayeshiva dealing with some of the unique challenges that arise from being marbitz Torah out of town. The entire West Side of Cherry Hill community was invited to a Shalosh Seudos with Rabbi Grunblatt sponsored by FTI at Congregation Sons of Israel. The Rosh Hayeshiva delivered Divrei Chizuk to the packed room and showed everyone through divrei Chazal that they can withstand and accomplish much more than they may think, and that they really can do almost anything. Motzei Shabbos, after father-and-son learning at the Yeshiva, there was a melava malka with a farewell shmuz from Rabbi Grunblatt. The evening culminated with joyous singing and dancing, capturing the true simchas Hatorah that was felt by all who had the privilege of spending Shabbos in the company of the Rosh Hayeshiva. Thank you Rebbe!
FTI held its annual end-of-the-year awards ceremony where students received both academic and middos awards from the faculty. This year, 18 middos awards were given in categories including Respect, Perseverance, Gratitude, Courage, Self-Control, Honesty, Cooperation, Patience, Service, Goal Setting, Caring, Integrity, Humanity, Responsibility, and Self-Esteem. There were 12 Academic awards were given to students with a high GPA, and for exceptional achievement in Science/Technology (N.E.S.T. Award). Mazel Tov to all of the awardees and to all of our students on completing another very successful year.
The entire FTI Yeshiva went on its annual spring camping trip to Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. Both the Bais Medrash and high school talmidim had a fantastic time together along with their rebbeim. Highlights included skirmish, whitewater rafting, a bonfire with kumzitz, swimming, music and dancing, sports on the beach, and a sumptuous BBQ. This year the yeshiva rented out a full camp which made for many conveniences and even more memories. The feelings of achdus and simcha permeated the air and were felt by all. The students walked away with an uplifted ruach and were re-energized to make the most of the end of the z’man.
The FTI Bais Medrash left this week for Tucson, Arizona, on an outreach program called The Connection to learn and teach Torah. For three weeks, FTI Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Shimon Max and, separately, Rabbi Chaim Juni, as well as the Bais Medrash bachurim, will learn with local Jewish people thirsting for Torah study in small group settings, and in one-on-one chavrusas. Many special events and exciting programs have been peppered in to their agenda as well. The goal of the free, three-week program is “to help the Jewish community of Tucson build, strengthen, and explore their connection with Judaism.” This program exemplifies an important element of FTI’s mission, that Torah is not just for ourselves, but Torah is to be shared with others. FTI is excited to be a part of such an incredible program, and sincerely thanks our hosts Rabbi Yisrael Becker and the entire Tucson Orthodox community for the opportunity to share our nation’s Torah! Click here to view the program and here to read a newspaper article from the Arizona Jewish Post
FTI wishes Mr. Fred Brockman, M.Ed., FTI’s general studies principal, mazel tov andhatzlacha in his retirement. Mr. Brockman will be sorely missed here at FTI. Upon his retirement, the hanhala presented him with a beautiful painting thanking him for his 8 years of service to the Yeshiva. The effects he had on our institution will always be with us. After an intensive search for qualified candidates, FTI named Rabbi Yisroel Meir Hoffman as its new general studies principal. Rabbi Hoffman brings his expertise, passion, and professionalism to FTI to propel its general studies program to even higher levels (read his full bio below.) Rabbi Hoffman related “I am very excited to be a part of the FTI team. As General Studies Principal, I plan to ensure that FTI students will be challenged appropriately, preparing them for life beyond FTI. In university, we had a class devoted to creating and maintaining what’s called a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Fortunately, FTI already has one! The Rebbeim and administration have created an environment where students feel very comfortable collaborating, critiquing, and growing together! It is rare to actually see that in a school, and when it does exist, the synergy is amazing. I am confident that this upcoming year will be one that provides our students with incredible opportunity for learning and growth, and I look forward to contributing my part to improve it in any way possible!”
Biography:Rabbi Yisroel Meir Hoffman received his Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University in Chicago, with a specialization in Education Administration and Supervision. He received Jewish Day School/ Yeshiva Principal Certification from the Jewish Education Leadership Institute in 2011. In his previous role as a teacher in the Mathematics Department of Yeshiva Siach Yitzchok, Rabbi Hoffman developed curricula for both secular and Jewish studies. Rabbi Hoffman’s wide range of experiences include teaching at all levels, adults, high school, junior high as well as primary. Rabbi Hoffman is both a third generation student of the Rabbinical Seminary of America and a fourth generation educator. His great-grandfather received an award in Teaching Excellence from President Lyndon Johnson.
FTI is proud to present its 14th mesivta graduating class. ALL of the graduating students are planning to continue learning in bais medrash programs, whether it be here at FTI, or at other yeshivas in Eretz Yisrael or North America. The graduates have grown and accomplished so much this year and in their previous years at FTI. We are so very proud of ALL of our graduates: Chayim Glantz (Lakewood) Valedictorian, Dov Sokolin (Cherry Hill) Salutatorian, Dovid Gelberman (Detroit) Gershon Weider Memorial Derech Eretz Award. Dovid Max (Cherry Hill) Iris Frankel Memorial Zrizus B’Mitzvos Award, Moshe Abrahamson (Rochester) Yom Tov Becher (Bayswater) Chaim Eli Blumberg (Queens) Eitan Chamish (Monsey) Zeke Cohen (Cherry Hill) Aaron Avigdor Siegelman (Philadelphia)