Rambam Masmidim program continues to grow. Rambam Mesivta’s premier optional Torah learning program, the Masmidim, now in its second year, continues to grow. Over 60 students a week—more than a third of the school— choose to stay after school to learn with their peers and rebbeim in a warm atmosphere that encourages growth in limudTorah and middostovos. These talmidim also participate in the Masmidim program’s optional lunch-learning, with Rabbi Block teaching hashkafah on Mondays; Rabbi Ziskind discussing halachah on Tuesdays; Rabbi Boiangiu elucidating the parashah on Wednesdays; and Rabbi Haar expounding on the Mishnah on Thursdays.
Night learning consists of “open learning” for 45 minutes when the talmidim learn b’chavrusah. A rebbe is always present, answering questions, recommending sefarim, and learning with students. After open learning, food in the form of pizza, cholent, or take-out from Carlos and Gabby’s arrives, followed by a shiur and Q&A on contemporary halachic topics. Monday night’s shiur and Q&A is conducted by Rambam Gemaraiyunrebbe, Rabbi Yitzy Werblowsky, while Tuesday night’s program is headed by Rabbi Yaacov Wiesenberg, also a Rambam Gemaraiyunrebbe.
The Masmidim program is a community of students who learn together and grow together. On February 19, Rambam Mesivta will honor their commitment to learning with a special lunch featuring a guest rebbe, distribution of official Masmidim gear, and a “mystery location” trip.
Rabbi Ziskind keeps the kesher with alumni in Israel. While in Israel during vacation, Rabbi Ziskind took it upon himself to meet with Rambam alumni learning in the Holy Land. He met with around 15 students from the classes of 2012–14. They davened together, had a shiur on TalmudTorah, and ate a scrumptious meal at Burgers Bar. It is amazing that, spanning years and thousands of miles, the talmidim of Rambam never really leave Rambam and still desire to grow from learning with their rebbeim.
Rambam talmidim impress Rabbi Rosensweig. Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, roshyeshiva at RIETS, spent a recent morning at Rambam, testing the talmidim in Rabbi Ziskind’s advanced double beismidrashshiur. Talmidim in the shiur had the opportunity to present various sugyos to Rabbi Rosensweig and be tested by him.
Presenters included Chezky Frieden and Yitzy Laster, who analyzed the area of rightful possession of ownership based on precedent, chezkas mari kama; Jacob Friedman and Shmuel Teichberg, who discussed the concept of possession by agency, Kinyan Chatzeir; Elly Marcus and Ben Silverstein, who presented the topic of hefker and safekyiush; Hudi Rosenfeld and Yossi Zimilover, who elucidated the concept of Yiush Shelo Mida’as; and finally, Yishai Perl and Ben Silverstein.
Rabbi Rosensweig asked the boys pointed questions and was impressed with their responses and grasp of the complicated sugyos they presented.
After testing the boys for over two hours, Rav Rosensweig spoke to the entire mesivta. He commended the boys for their maturity, motivation, and commitment to Klal Yisrael. Referring to the model of Yaakov Avinu, who is referred to as both Yaakov and Yisrael, he suggested that a Torah Jew has two personas: one as an individual, characterized by the name Yaakov, and one as a member of the community, symbolized by the name Yisrael. Both roles are possible in an individual. He told the boys that as students of Rambam they are being well-trained and prepared in both areas and should continue to grow as involved bnei Torah in their communities in the years ahead.
Upon leaving, Rabbi Rosensweig remarked how impressed he was with the level of learning, maturity, and middos that he witnessed firsthand.
OHEL/Rambam learning program enters fifth year. For the fifth year now, Rambam Mesivta is proud to begin its Ohel/Rambam chavrusah program. On Wednesday nights, the Rambam beismidrash will, G‑d willing, be filled with the sounds of Torah learning as members of local Ohel Bais Ezra homes come to Rambam for learning and bonding with their Rambam friends. This year’s program will be headed by Rambam junior Harley Soskel and sophomore Donny Moskovits, and will be overseen by its founders, Jennifer Gruenfeld of Ohel and Hillel Goldman of Rambam.
“This program,” shared Rambam Principal Rabbi Yotav Eliach, “built on learning and creating a kesher and a positive impact on the community, exemplifies what both Ohel and Rambam are all about. We are very excited about the learning that will be taking place in Rambam Wednesday nights.”