Thursday, August 06, 2009

Post-Smicha Program -- in Melbourne

I was pointed to the "advertisement" below in Shmais (thanks Berl). It sounds like a good idea especially for the serious bochur who hopes to go into Rabbonus or Shlichus. It would have been nice to have heard about it in Melbourne first but I suppose they expect their intake to come mainly from overseas.

Melbourne Launches Post-smichah Program
What makes a successful Rabbi? The more scholarly will suggest more extensive knowledge and a deeper understanding of the Torah. Pragmatists may propose that an awareness and understanding of his congregants is the most vital ingredient. Hands on, practical experience is certainly also a key.

The problem troubled a group of Melbourne philanthropists. They decided to create a new institution, "The Chabad Post Smichah Program", to address the issue. Founding patron, Mr. M. Gordon, feels that this generic name is very appropriate, “This is the first such program in the world” he explains.

The Orthodox world in general and the Chabad world specifically have rather defined Yeshivah systems. The missing link in this system is that once a student has received his Smichah (Rabbinic ordination), this system is over. 770 in New York (Chabad) or Mir in Jerusalem (non-chassidic) are possibilities for furthering their studies. But for many a student, there is just too much hustle-bustle and insufficient guidance to facilitate an organized and successful year of learning. As Rabbi D. Shmerling, a faculty member for the institution notes, “While teaching in the Los Angeles based Kollel Tiferet Menachem Smichah Program, I recognized a genuine desire on the part of the budding Rabbis for a defined curriculum to further their studies.” Rabbi M. Krasjansky, spiritual leader of Or Chadash and chairman of the Advisory Committee believes that just as important as it is to have a guided program, it is also important to provide for these young and fertile minds to follow the areas of learning in which they find passion.

The program will commence in Cheshvan and will complete its first year in Elul. It will concentrate on area's of halachah which are not covered in regular Smichah programs, but are vital for future life, especially in shlichus or rabbonus. (Other skills necessary for shlichus will also be taught.) Rabbi D. Shmerling, who was chosen to direct the program, will draw on his knowledge to guide the students. He has experience teaching both learned and serious rabbinic students in Kollel Tiferet Menachem and searching young men from secular backgrounds in Mayanot. This will enable him to successfully teach the young rabbi's, while simultaneously advise them about outreach programs for Ohel Devorah.

Strolling down the quiet, leafy Meadow Street, one would never imagine the gem situated at the street's end - Beis Chabad Ohel Devorah. The Shule is the home of a vibrant and diverse community. It is arguably the most centrally located Shule in Melbourne. Founding patron of "The Chabad Post-Smichah Program", Mr. M. Feiglin, was involved in the creation of the centre over two decades ago. He is proud that Ohel Devorah will be the host to this novel program. "The Ohel Devorah community is eager to welcome in the young Rabbis" he adds. It is envisaged that the full-time learning in Ohel Devorah will encourage and attract members, neighbors and guests to join in shiurim which will be commencing in the heimish Beis Chabad Ohel Devorah.

Many of Melbourne's leading Rabbonim and askanim have been instrumental in founding this venture. Some members of Ohel Devorah who have been involved include: HaRav C. T. Groner, its president Mr M. Feiglin, treasurer Mr M. Broner, board members Mr M. Dzienciol, patron Mr M. Fraid, Mr M. Gordon, Mr S. Grajzman, and Mr N. Rosenbaum. The rabbinic advisory board include Rabbi M. Krasnjansky, Rabbi Z. Telsner and Rabbi L. Weinberg (Johannesburg, South Africa).

Endorsed by leading Australian and overseas Rabbis, this new institute is sure to attract bright and dynamic Rabbis of the future. The staff include teachers, selected for their knowledge and skill at educating, as well as catering and maintenance staff of the highest caliber. There is no charge for students. A suitable and nearby premises has been purchased as the dormitory. It will provide comfortable accomodation for the students. There is no doubt that the experience and community involvement which the young Rabbis gain here, will impact greatly on their success in future posts.

For further information or to apply, please e-mail: