A Historical Overview
Beth Medrash Govoha
Beth Medrash Govoha, the famed Lakewood Yeshiva, is the largest Rabbinical College in the United States. An institute of higher learning, BMG was founded in 1943 by Rabbi Aaron Kotler, a distinguished Torah scholar who had escaped the Holocaust inferno. Rabbi Kotler started the yeshiva with only a handful of students in Lakewood, New Jersey where it is still situated today. Beth Medrash Govoha currently has an enrollment of over 4700 undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students.
Community Outreach Initiative
Rabbi Kotler’s raison d’etre of Beth Medrash Govoha was that Torah study is a most vital ingredient in preserving Jewish vibrancy and continuity. Expanding on that vision, in the early 1970’s, BMG embarked on establishing satellite yeshivas in major communities across America consisting of groups of married students and their families. The members of these yeshivas would divide their time between furthering their own studies, as well as spreading the experience of Torah learning to the surrounding Jewish population. There are currently over thirty satellite Lakewood yeshiva communities in existence across North America.
In the late 1990’s, BMG founded the Torah Links organization to interface with communities in the greater New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania metropolitan areas. Its mission was to reach out, befriend and engage the entire Jewish community, offering an exciting and relevant Judaism in a warm, friendly and nonjudgmental environment.
Torah Links of South Jersey
In June 1998, Torah Links activities in South Jersey commenced. Beginning with small home-study groups, these increasingly popular Torah classes and social programs developed into a full blown schedule of events. In October 2004, Rabbi Yisroel Tzvi and Mrs. Shoshana Miriam Serebrowski founded the Torah Links Minyan in the den of their recently purchased home on the east side of Cherry Hill. In May 2006, Torah Links leased commercial space on Kresson Road and founded the Torah Links of Cherry Hill Judaic Center; a place where people from all walks of life and affiliations could feel at home discovering and reawakening their rich Jewish heritage.
The Max and Anna Krupnick Torah Links Center
In May 2012, amid great fanfare and celebration, the stunning new Max and Anna Krupnick Torah Links Center was inaugurated. Incredibly, in the two years since its opening, the center has welcomed over one thousand unique visitors to partake in Torah Links events! There are currently over twenty weekly Torah classes and social programs servicing hundreds of people on a weekly basis!
The Torah Links of South Jersey lay leadership has begun to lay the groundwork for the next phase of growth; the expansion of the Max and Anna Krupnick Torah Links Center. The increased space will enable Torah Links to positively impact the lives of many more members of the South Jersey Jewish community. Amen!