Founded in 1974 as the first external affiliate branch of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, the Yeshiva of Rochester today consists of a thriving Mesivta, Bais Medrash and Kollel.
The Mesivta emphasizes three factors that enable a talmid’s success:
A positive, like-minded chevra
A healthy balanced daily schedule
A secure, structured atmosphere of accountability
A Tight-Knit Chevra
The Mesivta’s core of talmidim comes from its high-quality yeshiva ketana, Derech HaTorah, which opened in 2004 to serve the sons of its alumni and rebbeim. The hanhala hand-picks dorm students who are on the same wavelength as the local boys in order to create a cohesive group and a sense of camaraderie within the yeshiva walls.
A Balanced Daily Schedule
The yeshiva encourages balance in every area of life. The yeshiva’s schedule has been uniquely calibrated to meet all the needs of a serious ben Torah in today’s day and age. Offering a harmonious blend of rigorous academics and refreshing extracurricular programming, it is designed to “challenge our talmidim and, at the same time, recognize that they are young people who need breaks and fun in order to truly be successful bnei Torah,” says Rabbi Polatoff. “This careful balance has resulted in healthy bnei Torah who are happy and proud of their success in learning.”
After an intensive Iyun shiur and Limudei Kodesh, boys can refresh with an hour of sports between lunch and Mincha. The general studies program runs Monday through Thursday, from 3-6:30 p.m., and surpasses the New York State Common Core Regent Standard. The boys are expected to take their classes seriously, maintain good grades, and do well on the Regents.
After a half-hour night seder, boys can choose to attend an extracurricular learning program. Throughout the week, this program rotates among the houses of various rebbeim, where boys participate in a Q&A session, a mussar shiur, and a parshah shiur, while enjoying delicious refreshments. This program enables talmidim to balance the intensity of sedarim and shiur with a lighter learning environment.
A Secure, Structured Atmosphere
The culture in the yeshiva is one of structure and accountability. The benefits of this are threefold. First, it gives talmidim a sense of responsibility and discipline, which prepares them for adult life. Second, boys enjoy a sense of security and stability from knowing what to expect and what is expected of them. Third, in addition to setting clear requirements for the talmidim, the hanhala knows where every student is holding, so that no talmid can fall through the cracks.