Yeshivas Bais Toras Menachem Embarks on Its Tenth Year


Yeshivas Bais Toras Menachem Embarks on Its Tenth Year

Yehudis Litvak

As Yeshivas Bais Toras Menachem (BTM) enters its tenth year, it celebrates the success of its recent partnership with Testing and Training Incorporated (TTI), a program that facilitates obtaining a college degree through a program of self-study and testing.

Through TTI, students get college credit for limmudei kodesh subjects, such as Chumash with Rashi, Hilchos Shabbos, Gemara, and Jewish History. No GED is required to enroll in the program. The courses consist of structured self-study and proficiency-based exams. Students that have previous knowledge of a subject or who quickly grasp the subject can take their exam as soon as they are ready. “Using proficiency-based exams enables us at BTM to accommodate our varied students, who have differing aptitudes with different subjects,” says Mrs. Katz.

“Partnering with TTI was a huge success our first pioneer year,” says Rivky Katz, who founded the program together with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Katz. “A handful of boys are almost halfway towards their degree. Some students came barely knowing how to multiply and divide, but they were streamlined and even started algebra and geometry. Some studied subjects like biology and psychology.”

Mrs. Katz was very impressed with the dedication of last year’s BTM students. “You would have to see it to believe it how motivated the bachurim are; they stay overtime to learn!” she says.

The college courses are a welcome addition to the BTM smichah program, which has catered to close to 200 students up to date. The smichah program is structured differently than in other yeshivos, allowing the students a more relaxed schedule and more engaging shiurim. One of the students, who enrolled in BTM last year, says, “It was the best year of my life in terms of yeshiva. BTM’s environment allowed me to accomplish a lot.” He recommends it highly to anyone who “is not looking to do away with yeshiva, but has trouble learning full day and is looking for something out of the box.”

Mrs. Katz adds, “Every bachur has his own set of strengths, and each one deserves to shine!” Besides academics, BTM provides volunteer opportunities for its students. They travel to nearby small Chabad communities and help out the shluchim, whether with a minyan on a regular Shabbos or with holiday programming, such as menorah lightings for Chanukah. They are offered opportunities to do hashgachah work or to entertain. “One bachur is extremely talented in juggling and was allowed time to pursue this skill and perform,” says Mrs. Katz. “Another was a professional chef, and was allowed time to work locally for part of the day to gain experience. We believe in working with each student on a one on one basis.”

The success of this approach is apparent. “Before my eyes I’ve seen how students really blossom when they utilize their individual talents. It’s a miracle waiting to unfold!” says Mrs. Katz.

BTM also offers sessions with a Certified Life Coach, financial planning, and shidduch preparation, providing the students with skills that are essential for their future.

The new zman begins on Monday, October 23rd. For more information about the program, see www