enter name and hit return
History prior to 1934) & Alumni List
Y E S H I V A
(Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Yeshiva College)
Historical Information Prior to 1934.
Orthodox school of higher rabbinic learning, with which is
organized the only college of liberal arts and science under Jewish auspices
in America; situated in New York; organized in 1896 and incorporated in
"Yeshiva" is a "terminus technicus." What the medieval Latin term
" Universitas," has meant to Europe since the latter part of the 14th
century., namely a community of teachers and scholars devoted to learning,
"Yeshiva" has meant to Jewry since the 2nd cent. b.c.e. The Yeshiva, in its
essence, is not a professional school for the training of rabbis and
teachers, but an institution where Jewish culture and learning are preserved
and advanced for their own sake. Out of the Yeshivoth of all ages have come
our scholars, saints, and sages.
The Yeshiva Rabbi Isaac Elchanan, the first Yeshiva on this continent,
marks the first attempt to transplant to America the time-honored method of
intensive Talmudic study. It is authorized by the State of New York to
confer the degrees of Rabbi, and Doctor of Hebrew Literature. Since its
conception, the Yeshiva has aimed to further investigation and research in
the different phases of Talmudic learning and to advance the cause of
constructive Jewish scholarship. It has graduated over 140 rabbis who
officiate in communities throughout the United States and Canada, as well as
in England. From its teachers' training department which offers a four-year
course of intensive Jewish study, the Yeshiva has sent forth 178 qualified
young men to carry on the work of teaching in the Hebrew schools throughout
In 1915 the present Rosh-Yeshiva and president of the faculty, Dr.
Bernard Revel, was called to head the Yeshiva. In that year it absorbed the
Eitz Chaim Talmudical Academy, organized in 1886, and organized an academic
high school, so that those who were preparing to study in the advanced
departments of the Yeshiva might have proper opportunity for the pursuit of
their general studies as, in surroundings and an atmosphere harmonious with
the spirit of the Yeshiva. Beginning work under Principal Dr. S. T. Hurwitz
(d. 1921), the high school was in 1919 recognized and registered by the
State Department of Education, and has established itself as an outstanding
institution of secondary learning, being consistently among the five highest
in the state in attainments on the state-wide Regents' examinations, and in
percentage of state scholarships won by the graduates, as well as in the
very high percentage (86 per cent.) of students who continue their studies
in institutions of higher education, after the high school. The Talmudical
Academy is the only complete high school under Jewish auspices in the land.
In 1919 the Teachers' Institute, established by the Mizrachi three years
earlier, became an integral department of the Yeshiva. Dr. P. Churgin is
principal of the Teachers' Institute.
In 1930 the first degree for advanced research was awarded, Dr. I.
Macht, of Baltimore, being made Doctor of Hebrew Literature
The great number of Yeshiva students who were continuing their advanced
academic studies, under hardships and with excessive strain, at other
institutions in the late afternoon and evenings, pressed home the advantages
of establishing, as part of the Yeshiva a college of liberal arts and
science, where the students of the Yeshiva, and ultimately other qualified
young men, might pursue their academic studies in an atmosphere harmonizing
the age-old truths and ideals of faith and culture with the fruits of modern
knowledge. In 1927 the University of the State of New York amended the
charter of the Yeshiva and authorized it to conduct courses leading to the
degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science; in 1928, the Yeshiva
transferred its quarters to two and a half square blocks on the highest part
of Manhattan Island, close to the academic center of the city. By design a
small college, Yeshiva College endeavors to establish higher standards of
scholarship and character; in addition to its full-time instructors it draws
an associated faculty from among the faculties of nearby institutions of
long and high academic standing. The first college commencement was held in
1932, at which 19 students received the degree of B.A. In 1933 Yeshiva
College was granted the right to confer the degrees of Doctor of Laws
(LL.D.) and Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L.) "honoris causa." The first
scientific publication of the college, the quarterly "Scripta Mathematica,"
under the editorship of Professor J. Ginsburg, has an editorial staff of
scholars of America, Europe and Asia, and is already recognized as
authoritative in its field. The Yeshiva encourages and aids in the
establishment of junior Yeshivoth in the various Jewish centers of the
country whose properly equipped graduates may come to continue their work in
the parent institution. Through its hundreds of students, and the rabbis and
teachers who carry its message and its influence wide, and through the
entrance requirements it sets and the standards of work it maintains, the
Yeshiva endeavors to advance the levels of instruction in the general field
of Jewish education in this country.
The regular course of instruction at the Yeshiva is supplemented by the
frequent delivery of lectures by men, eminent in their several departments
in the various fields of the Yeshiva work. Among the scholars who have been
members of the Yeshiva Faculty are:
1. Rabbi Solomon Polachek (d. 1928)
2. Rabbi Simon Skopp
3. Dr. Chaim Heller
Visiting Lecturers include:
1. Abraham Cook, chief rabbi of Palestine;
2. Rabbi Abraham Shapiro, Kovno, Lithuania
3. Rabbi Mordecai Epstein, Hebron, Palestine.
The Yeshiva maintains, for the use of its faculty and students a library
of about 28,000 vols., including many rare works, of which Dr. Solomon Gandz
is in charge. It issues several publications, including the "Yagdil Torah,"
"Ner Maarovi," as well as student journals.
While its students are drawn mainly from the various states of this
country and from Canada, they have come to the institution from various
Yeshivoth in Europe and Palestine.
The alumni are listed in accordance to the years of their graduation:
1919: J. Damesek, S. B. Friedman, M. Fuhrman, M. Hirschprung, L.
Ralbag, W. Roggen.
1921: J. Burg, J. M. Charlop, Jacob Friedman, I. Goodman, M.
Lichtenstein, S. Levy, A. Mandelbaum, M. Rabinowitz, B. L. Rosenbloom,
Dr. Joseph Schwartz, R. Seltzer, J. L. Siegel.
1923: H. Beck, J. Cohen, H. Dayen, Dr. H. Kaplan, Jacob Liebowitz, M.
J. Mintz, B. Mostofsky, M. Perr, A. Rabinowitz, E. J. Rackovsky, A.
Reichlin, S. Reichman, H. L. Rosen, A. Schuchatowitz, M. Stern, I.Tendler.
1925: Benjamin G. Axelman, S. Baum, Abraham Rosenfeld, Aaron Sadofsky,
Nisan Heifetz, Alexander Rosenberg, Mordecai Shuchatowitz, Solomon
Weinreb, Joseph H. Lookstein, Irving Miller.
1927: Samuel Berliant, J. Bernstein, Moses Charich, Meyer Cohen, Philip
Greenstein, Abraham S. Irom, Emanuel Marcus, Morris Max, Jacob Nislich,
Isaiah Rakovsky, Aaron Shapiro, Joseph Shapiro, H. E. Sheinfeld, H.
Simches, Nissan Waxman, L. H. Weisfeld, Samuel Driarsh, Mitchel S.
Eskolsky, I.O.Gimprich, J. Hershkowitz, David Finkelstein, Nehemia Katz,
Isaiah Malottin, Benjamin Ruditzky, Solomon Wind, A. Einhorn, David
Rubinstein, A. Dachowitz.
1929: Abraham Block, H. Bonchek, W. Bonchek, Alexander Budin, Hyman
Cohen, Benjamin Fishman, Hirsch Goldberg, Lewis Goldberg, Moses I.
Goldberg, Meyer Goldman, Lawrence Hordes, David Jacobson, Gordon Kaprow,
Wm. Drazin, H. Koenigsberg, Lawrence Levinson, Max Meltzer, Samuel Rosen,
H. Spiro, I. Solomon, M.H. Stiskin, Matthias Sternberg, I. Tabak, Louis
Feigon, S. Genauer, Wolf Wein.
1931: A. H. Freedman, David Colovensky, Julius Hyatt, N. Finkel, Robert
S. Marcus, Moses Mescheloff, Joseph Hagar, Sidney Hoenig, Hyman J.
Routtenberg, David Rubin, Samuel Cooper, Joseph Greenberg, David Silver, B
enjamin Brilliant, Henry Segal, Israel Silverstein, Leon Stisky.
1933: Nathan Drazin, J. Agushewitz, A.Lowinger, Max Hirshman, J. Kohano,
Hyman Muss, Simon Zipper.
Source: "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge (in one volume)
Edited by: Jacob De Haas (In collaboration with more than one hundred and
fifty scholars and specialists)
Publisher: Behrman's Jewish Book House-New York
Researched and Transcribed by Miriam Medina
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