Chabad brings Summer Yeshiva program to Portland

Looking for a little taste of the yeshiva experience close to home, with a touch of vacation vibes? Chabad of Oregon has you covered with the upcoming Summer Yeshiva program in collaboration with Yeshiva Tiferes Bachurim of Morristown, NJ. 
Rabbi Yaakov Wagner will be leading a group of eight yeshiva students for the 15-day program based in Portland Aug. 1-15, with other students coming over for shorter periods. Yeshiva Tiferes Bachurim specializes in educational programs for students who did not grow up in religiously observant households. While some of Wagner’s students are pursuing careers in rabbinical work, others are working to deepen their Jewish understanding before moving into other career paths. 
“For the students, it’s amazing,” explained Rabbi Wagner, “because aside from obviously continuing their Jewish studies over there and continuing to be involved both in their own personal development and outreach, they’re going to get the opportunity to see the other side of the country.”
Rabbi Wagner and his students will be hosting study sessions on a wide variety of subjects from the Torah, the Talmud and Hasidic texts, both in group settings and one-on-one. Rabbi Wagner explained an example of the Talmudic questions up for discussion, whether it’s better to perform a mitzvah as quickly as possible or as beautifully as possible, saying “If a person is doing the circumcision for his baby, on the eighth day after the baby is born, and he has two ways that he can do it. You can either do it first thing in the morning, as soon as possible as early as possible, or he could do it later in the afternoon, and have a larger crowd presence. So again, this is just one example out of many, which we’re going to analyze and discuss.”
It’s not all studying, though, with plenty of socializing on tap and celebratory shabbat dinners as well, plus daily prayers. Those interested are invited for as much or as little as they like – from a full two weeks of study, a Friday night meal and some Shabbos schmoozing, or anything in between. The event had originally been planned for Seaside, but logistical difficulties have necessitated a relocation to the Portland area – final details on locations are still being worked out as of press time.
Rabbi Wagner met Rabbi Moishe Wilhelm, head of Chabad Oregon, more than two decades ago – a road trip from Los Angeles with a group of yeshiva students from Toronto where his brother was teaching brought him to Portland. This is the third summer that Rabbi Wagner has returned to Oregon to teach at Rabbi Wilhelm’s invitation. For the majority of the students coming, it will be their first time in Oregon. Rabbi Wagner is hopeful that both his students and local participants will form new connections with one another that can stretch the breadth of the continent. 
“That’s definitely a large part of the objective, as I understand it, for the summer, is just to give them  hopefully a connection which will be furthered, even after when the students leave,” Rabbi Wagner said.
“I know that the experience of people coming not only just studying, but even just to come and meet other people, make a friendship,” Rabbi Wilhelm added. “I think that’s a tremendous benefit of the kind of environment really.”
For more information, reach out to Rabbi Wagner by text or WhatsApp at 862-579-711.


Add Comment