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August 08, 2003 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Spirituality

Cover Story

IICE11.1111'griE

From pre-dawn to near-midnight,
the Kollel Institute is alive
with learning, prayer and guidance.

SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN

StaffWriter

T

o step inside the Detroit
Kollel is to walk through
a sound barrier that
silences the outside
world and engulfs one in the ener-
getic blast of active, often boister-
ous learning.
With 40 prayer services held each
week and almost continuous classes
and partnership learning, there is
very little silent time at the Harav
Menachem and Rochel Goldberg
Kollel Institute of Greater Detroit.
But the constant buzz of learning is
a part of the appeal of the Oak
Park-based Kollel, a center of
advanced Talmudic study, outreach
Rabbi Irons teaches a small group of young men.
and adult education.
"The hum envelops you and
helps you learn," said Rabbi
Reuven Spolter of Young Israel of Oak Park.
Reuven Green, the Kollel's executive director. "We
Established in 1974 as the first center of its type
are open 17 hours a day, 7 days week, 365 days a
in the United States, the Kollel began as a learning
year." The doors are open at 6:30 a.m. and not
center and later expanded into a large Orthodox
locked until 11:30 at night. "In between those
synagogue as well.
times, there is a lot of study and a lot of prayer, and
And to prove the dictum that the Kollel stands for
a lot of advice given out," he said.
the promotion of Torah study, not only is there no
synagogue membership fee and no charge for classes,
lectures and advanced seminary programs, but a
A Dream _Fulfilled
stipend is offered to many who want to come and
"[The late] Sol Nusbaum had a dream that there be
learn.
a Kollel in our community," said Rabbi Shmuel
"The Kollel is a spiritual community center where
Irons, co-dean of the Detroit Kollel with Rabbi
there is always something going on," said Rabbi
Moshe Schwab.

"He had heard about the
impact on the community of
Toronto when the first Kollel
in North America was start-
ed there in 1970. But he
didn't live to see our Kollel.
His son, Rabbi Yosef
Nusbaum, of Oak Parsk
took over and planted the
seed money for the Kollel in
Detroit."
From the graduate student
body at the acclaimed Beth
Medrash Govoha in
Lakewood, N.J., Rabbi
Schwab was chosen to lead
• the new Kollel. He asked his
▪ classmate Rabbi Irons to be
• his co-dean. Seven other
classmates and a graduate
student from another
advanced learning program
were chosen and, in 1974,
the 10 men, their wives and children came to
Detroit.
"We started with almost nothing," Rabbi Irons
said. "I took my savings and bought a house and
started the Kollel in my basement."
A year later, the house next door was purchased
and renovated and the Kollel was moved. Today, the
Kollel is still there, with an addition three years ago
doubling its size. The rabbi and his family remain
next door.
With nearly 30 part- and full-time staff members,
the Detroit Kollel is large compared to many of the
other 33 American community Kollels and eight

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