The years between 18 and 24 are crucial years. They are the time when people are still flexible and developing their identities. They are teenagers, but independent. At this time of individual decision making, at the moment when young Jews are deciding their future, the Jewish establishment has to be there for them!
Foundations were laid in pre-schools, elementary schools, high schools, and even Yeshivos and Seminaries in Eretz Yisrael, but we are leaving the job unfinished, if at this most crucial time, we are leaving our young, impressionable Jews in a terribly challenging environment with no solid support system.
In view of the complexity of the realities and challenges of campus life for Jewish students, we have developed a dramatic concept:
"Yeshiva Haichel Hatorah's Selechnik Shabbos Yeshiva"
Yeshiva Haichel Hatorah's Selechnik Shabbos Yeshiva is the serious response to the Jewish youth on college campuses.
At the Selechnik Shabbos Yeshiva, college students find themselves in a positive environment over the crucial weekends, with like-minded individuals, amidst an atmosphere of physical and spiritual enjoyment. The Yeshiva is open Friday and Shabbos with Shiurim, Chavrusa learning, special lectures, and Ruach.
A qualified faculty of both veteran and young, dynamic role models teach classes and are mentors for the students. They guide the students, answer their individual questions, and address their specific situations, giving them renewed Jewish vigor each time they return to their college campus.
The basis for the concept of Yeshiva Haichel Hatorah's Selechnik Shabbos Yeshiva is as follows:
Weekends are the most spiritually damaging times for college students; the parties, the socialization, the drinking, the chillul Shabbos, and the peer-pressure is beyond the imagination of most adults.
Every person yearns for belonging and identity. When a young Jewish adult's only identity is as a college student, his priorities and values reflect those of other college students. Were young Jews to also maintain their identities as yeshiva students, the difference would be dramatic. They would insure their place, not only in the secular world, but in the Jewish world.
Torah study cannot be relegated to "free-time", because college students have no free time. When the semester begins, perhaps they attend shiurim or minyan, but when tests begin and the work piles up, Torah learning and observances wane, usually irreversibly. Jewish life commitments must be structured into the system, as an integral part of the schedule, in order for them to remain.