Hachmey Lev Yeshiva and Residence   

Established in 2013 in Jerusalem, Hachmey Lev is an innovative Yeshiva High School for mainstream, ultra-orthodox (Haredi) boys aged between 13-18 years, and leads to a high-quality Israeli matriculation certificate. Graduates will be well positioned to pursue academic qualifications and ultimately enroll in the workforce as productive and economically self-sufficient citizens.

Hachmey Lev presents an alternative to traditional yeshiva studies for boys grades 9-12. The school integrates religious studies with secular studies, preparing the students for a complete matriculation certificate. It appeals to boys from the heart of the Haredi mainstream.

The SAE, together with overseas Jewish Federations and many private donors, have worked hard to make tuition low and affordable for Haredi families. Hachmey Lev tuition is 1/3 of the cost of tuition at the 15 comparable Yeshiva high school programs around the country which cater only to higher income students (ILS 12,000 or $3,300 for Hachmey Lev versus ILS 33,000 or $9100 per year for private Haredi Yeshiva high schools). Hachmey Lev currently has 85 students in grades 9-12.  One-third of students come from the Jerusalem area, while the remainder commute from nearby Haredi communities (Mevasseret, Betar Illit, Beit Shemesh, etc.). Boarding students come from the center of Israel (Bnei Brak, Modi’in Illit, Tel Aviv, etc.) and the north (Rechasim and Tzfat).

Students enter the school because they have a desire to continue living an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle while pursuing their religious and secular studies. Approximately 10-20% have learning differences. Students are a mix of Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and Chabad, Litvak and Hassidic, and come from low economic status (in line with the economic indicators of their community). Hachmey Lev’s curriculum prepares Haredi young men to integrate into Israeli society, the labor market, academics, and the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).

The Hachmey Lev Yeshiva includes Talmud studies alongside secular studies for a full matriculation at a high level, without giving up on the Haredi religious identity and way of life. The studies begin at 9 am and finish at 8 pm. Half of the day is devoted to Talmud study and half to general studies. When students arrive at Hachmey Lev from the Haredi education system, they need assistance to bring them up to grade level in English, mathematics, civics, history, sciences and Hebrew language. Hachmey Lev provides extra support in these subjects as well as intensive programs to help students in 9th and 10th grades improve their study and writing skills, preparing students to succeed in Israel-wide matriculation exams in 11th and 12th grades. 90%+ of graduates have passed their Israeli Bagrut exams.

The Hachmey Lev program focuses on the student as a whole and includes extracurricular programming for leadership development, citizenship, community service and health and well-being. These include an active student council, trips to sites of national interest around the country, volunteer projects and sports. For students who need the services, we also provide help accessing educational assessments and assistance for learning disabilities, as well as personal support by a trained social worker.

The Hachmey Lev team is committed to helping all of our students attain success in their educational and community achievements. As they prepare academically for success in their matriculation exams in 11th and 12th grades, students meet with lecturers from inside and outside the Haredi community and explore the range of options for their future. The Yeshiva wants students to be able to consider all options: Haredi hesder yeshivot [combining Yeshiva studies with army service], yeshiva gedola, army service, academic studies, and of course, entering the work force.

Enjoy an insightful article about education in Israel and Hachmey Lev from ejewishphilanthropy. com by Tracy Salkowitz, CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, a Hachmey Lev supporter for the past five years.

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