Yeshiva For A Day At Binghamton University

by S. Fridman - Binghamton University

April 27, 2009

( What’s it like to study in a yeshiva setting? Some 30 students at Binghamton University got an approximation of the traditional yeshiva model of Talmud and Jewish philosophy study this past Sunday as they paired up with rabbinical students from the central Chabad yeshiva in New York, and split hairs over Talmudic minutiae.


Eli Zazon, a senior in psychology who spends most of his days in lecture halls, hadn’t done anything like this in a long while. Parsing Talmudic passages over the legal and technical aspects of how to count the omer with a chevruta gave him a “new taste for learning,”


The idea for Yeshiva For A Day, says Binghamton’s Rabbi Levi Slonim who coordinated the program, “is an opportunity to give students an authentic, Torah study experience.


The program dedicated half the time to Talmudic study and half to principles of faith. Rabbinical student Eli Olidort, led the Talmudic segment.

“Seeing how college students broached the text and subject matter made the experience mutually rewarding,” he said. “There was a lot of give and take and the college students seemed to appreciate the argument-counter-argument dialectic of the Talmud.”


Rabbinical student Shlomo Kaplan explored the concept of reward and punishment in Jewish thought. Jonathan Fulop, a senior with a math major participated in the program. “It gave me a different perspective on reward and punishment, specifically on the idea of the mitzvah being its own reward.”


Now in its fourth year, Yeshiva for a Day was launched by Rabbi Aaron Slonim, senior Chabad representative to Binghamton. “We have students who’ve been to yeshiva before and enjoyed returning to the experience. Others are considering going to yeshiva down the line, and now have some idea of what it’s like.”


Participation in the daylong program has grown over the years. It is one of many educational opportunities offered by Chabad at Binghamton University for students to study, explore and participate in a full Jewish life experience.

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