On Monday evening, June 16, Mesivta Yam HaTorah celebrated its fourth annual dinner. Tucked inside the modest Young Israel of Bayswater, this fully accredited high school is home to wonderful teenage boys who are serious about their learning, their English studies, and of course, like all boys at this age, about having fun. Mesivta Yam HaTorah does more than satisfy these needs; it excels.
Lorey Friedman, a resident of Kew Gardens Hills and mother of ninth-grader Rafi Friedman, says, “Yam HaTorah is a mainstream high school for boys who are looking for a smaller high school.” She feels it is the Five Towns’ and Queens’ best-kept secret. Mrs. Friedman continues, “MYHT offer the boys all that the other local high schools do, but in fact provides more. The individual attention and concern that the rebbeim and teachers have for their talmidim is unique. Their goal is to bring out the best in each boy. Talmidim are made to feel good about themselves, and they learn because they want to, not because they have to. The staff and students are like one big family, and as a result, amazing friendships are formed between the students and between students and rebbeim. These are just some of the advantages that a smaller yeshiva like MYHT can provide.”
Her son’s ninth-grade class began in September with eight boys and has now doubled in size for the upcoming year. “People are starting to recognize Mesivta Yam HaTorah and its ‘out-of town’ benefits and qualities that lie right here in our own backyard,” says Mrs. Friedman.
Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Schonfeld of Queens received the Parents of the Year Award. Their dedication to the yeshiva extends far back and their willingness to help whenever called upon was not only recognized but genuinely appreciated by MYHT.
Graduation of the Class of 2014 also took place at the dinner. Warm feelings of mutual appreciation and nachas were overflowing in the room. Senior Yossie Scheff thanked the rebbeim and teachers for always being there for him and for instilling in him a positive attitude at all times.
Other speakers included Rabbi Eli Zoldan, menahel of Mesivta Yam HaTorah, who takes great pride in the relationships that the boys have with their rebbeim. He told two stories that are a good measure of the mesivta’s success. On a motzaei Shabbos, after a group of MYHT boys spent Shabbos together, they called their rebbe to join them at a local ice-cream store. When high-school boys want to spend time with their rebbe outside of yeshiva, no doubt a unique and special relationship exists. The second example that MYHT uses as its barometer of success occurred when Rabbi Zoldan spent Shabbos in another neighborhood. His students heard about his visit and immediately called him to see if they could arrange to learn with him while he was in their vicinity. Students calling their rebbe to learn with them is a vivid sign that Mesivta Yam HaTorah is achieving its goal of forming a lifelong kesher with its students.
Whether it is the dedicated basketball team, the newly forming flag-football team, the accredited English department with many teachers from other local yeshivas, the AP classes, the exciting trips and excursions, or the wonderful, dedicated rebbeim, Mesivta Yam HaTorah prides itself on academic excellence. The annual dinner was a beautiful setting to celebrate Mesivta Yam HaTorah and all that it has to offer. v