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Yeshiva Gedola of Carteret
Established 2006
Type Yeshiva (Orthodox)
Location Carteret, NJ, USA
Campus Urban

The Yeshiva Gedola of Carteret (Hebrew: ישיבה תפארת יהודה אריה) informally, YGOC, is a yeshiva (rabbinic training school) located in Carteret, New Jersey.

The yeshiva gives Talmudic students at the post-high school level the opportunity to continue their religious studies in an isolated setting, away from the busy – and potentially distracting – hustle and bustle of much larger cities. Founded by Rabbi Azriel Brown and Rabbi Yaakov Mayer in 2006, it has experienced growth; attracting students from cities across North America. The location of Carteret, New Jersey was chosen largely due to its proximity to the Orthodox Jewish population centers in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland.

YGOC’s campus, located on Noe Street, includes a main building that contains a study hall, classrooms, a dining hall, a kitchen and offices, as well as additional buildings that serve as residential quarters. The main building formerly functioned as the local Jewish Community Center (JCC) for the Carteret Jewish community.

The official title, Tiferes Yehuda Aryeh, was given for Yehuda Aryeh (Leon) Mayer, z"l, a Holocaust survivor who rebuilt his life in America.


Student Body

Partial view of the beis medrash (study hall) during seder
The main building from the outside - formerly a JCC

The yeshiva is an all-male Lithuanian (Litvish)-style Talmudic college. Currently, it consists of a Beis Medrash (undergraduate) program, as well as a kollel (post-graduate) division for its married students.

Although the yeshiva has had students from across the United States, Canada, Central America, and even England, the bulk of the students come from the New York and New Jersey areas.


Beis Medrash

The student body of the Beis Medrash program is comprised of two groups: a post-high school constituency which consists of primarily first, second, and third year students (following which it is common for students to spend a year or more of study in Israel); and, a senior group which consists mainly of students who have completed their study in Israel.


The kollel is a recent addition and consists entirely of students who were previously in the Beis Medrash program. The kollel members live in Carteret, near the Yeshiva, and continue to be actively involved with Yeshiva life. Students are frequent guests in their homes, both for Shabbos (Sabbath) meals and informal gatherings.

The members of the kollel are accomplished scholars. Rabbi Yehoshua Heber, originally of Toronto, Ontario, delivers a voluntary lecture on Friday nights relating to topics in Halacha (Jewish law). Due to his expertise, he is often called upon by students with questions in Halacha. Rabbi Rotem Shemesh, who also serves as a sho’el umaishiv (study hall mentor) during the yeshiva's formal Halacha seder (session), recently published a collection of original Torah novella titled Pri Resamim.

History & Leadership

(L-R) Rabbi Mayer and Rabbi Brown, with Rabbi Aharon Feldman

Rabbi Brown and Rabbi Mayer grew up together in New York and both attended the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway, where Rabbi Brown’s father, Rabbi Moshe Brown, is a senior member of the faculty. They again found themselves together at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. At the time, Rabbi Brown was studying under Rabbi Refael Shmulevitz; and Rabbi Mayer, under Rabbi Asher Arieli. Both eventually moved to Baltimore, Maryland and went on to learn for many years under Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg.

Rabbi Brown has authored several volumes of his insights on various topics, including Eidus L’Avraham on tractate Nedarim; Avodah BaYam on the Talmudic concept of “safek d’oraysah l’chumrah”; and Oz L’Melech, on the commandment of “Hakhel”.

The two men distinguished themselves in Baltimore’s Kollel Avodas Levi for their outstanding scholarship and broad knowledge of the Talmud and its commentaries. At the behest of their rebbeim, and with the backing of Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, among others, Rabbis Brown and Mayer founded the Yeshiva Gedola of Carteret in 2006.[1]

The Roshei HaYeshiva and their families live near the Yeshiva in order to facilitate an environment of closeness between themselves and the students.

The other faculty members are Rabbi Heshy Fireworker, a brother-in-law of Rabbi Mayer's; and Rabbi Dovid Farkas; both currently residing in Lakewood, New Jersey.


Rabbi Mayer answering a question

YGOC’s studies are primarily Talmudic texts and rabbinic literature. The yeshiva has a cycle of various tractates it covers over a span of about eight years. Three large chunks of each day (sedorim, or sessions) are applied to the study of Talmud at varying degrees of depth. In addition to Talmudic study, small sections of time each day are allotted for mussar (Jewish ethics) and practical Halacha (Jewish law).

The focus of each day is the shiur (class), which takes place at the end of first seder.

The younger division of students is subdivided into classes mainly based on age. The senior students do not attend a daily shiur but do attend a weekly chabura (study group) which each senior student is expected to give on a rotating basis.

The Roshei HaYeshiva alternate giving a weekly class to the general student body.

Community & Outreach

Rabbi Aharon Feldman (L) and Rabbi Matisyohu Salomon (R) dancing at the Hachnosas Sefer Torah, Dec. 2008

Local business community

Carteret, together with its neighboring towns of Rahway and Avenel, is home to a cluster of Orthodox-owned businesses. Although the exact number is uncertain, it is estimated that as many as 100 Orthodox Jews work in the area, as of 2009. A large percentage of the commuters live in Brooklyn, New York, with smaller contingents from Lakewood, New Jersey; Monsey, New York; and elsewhere. The Yeshiva maintains regular contact with many of the local business people.

There are several "workplace minyanim" (prayer quorums) for Mincha (the daily afternoon service) in the area, a testament to the Jewish presence. Occasionally, the Roshei HaYeshiva attend various minyanim and offer words of Torah.

Community revival

Few Jews remain in Carteret from the community of years past. The building was gifted to the yeshiva by former community activist Garrison Gruhin, who still lives in Carteret with his wife, out of an interest to keep the building in Jewish hands. Out of respect to the building's original occupants, the yeshiva maintains the memorial plaques and commemorates the yahrzeits of past members of the Carteret JCC. In 2007, the Yeshiva participated in the funeral of 103-year old community notable Al Carpenter.

In December 2008, the yeshiva celebrated a Hachnosas Sefer Torah, the traditional festivity upon the completion of a new Torah scroll. Several hundred guests flocked to Carteret for the procession, including several eminent Torah figures. Noe Street was barricaded off to outside traffic as the crowd wound its way to the yeshiva building accompanied by live music and dancing.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Hundreds in Carteret for Hachnosas Sefer Torah". Hamodia. January 7, 2009.  

External links

Coordinates: 40°34′52″N 74°13′19″W / 40.5811°N 74.2219°W / 40.5811; -74.2219

Yeshiva Gedola of Carteret

Type:Yeshiva (Orthodox)
Location:Carteret, NJ, USA


The Carteret Yeshiva (Yeshiva Tiferes Yehuda Aryeh of Carteret) is the latest addition to the growing cluster of yeshivos (Rabbinic training schools) in the suburban towns of Central New Jersey. The Yeshiva, located in the Middlesex borough of Carteret, gives Talmudic students at the post-high school level the opportunity to continue their religious studies in an isolated setting, away from the busy – and potentially distracting – hustle of much larger cities. Opened by Rabbi Azriel Brown and Rabbi Yaakov Mayer in 2006, the Yeshiva is already a rapidly growing force, attracting students from cities across the United States, Canada, and Central America. Like many other yeshiva heads in the area, Rabbis Mayer and Brown chose Central New Jersey largely because of its proximity to mainstream Jewish population centers in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland.

Opening the Yeshiva

Rabbis Mayer and Brown, both originally from Far Rockaway, Queens, were attending the Kollel (graduate program for married students) at the prestigious Yeshivas Ner Yisroel (Ner Israel Rabbinical College) in Baltimore, when the decision was reached to open their own academy of higher learning in mid-2006. One challenge the founders faced was the issue of location. The building they ultimately selected in Carteret was the site of the local Jewish Community Center (JCC), relic of a once vibrant Jewish community of the fifties and sixties that had succumbed over the years to the waves of emigration that swept away all but a small handful of Jewish residents. The JCC building had lain dormant for close to a decade, and was in need of repairs that were both costly and extensive. An even greater difficulty faced by the pioneering young rabbis was the imperative question of building a student body. In the extremely competitive environment of the Yeshiva world, where only the best students are accepted to the most prestigious schools, it is a most formidable task to attract promising youth to a fledgling institution.

The opening of the Yeshiva last year heralded a revitalization of the venerable community, receiving a hearty round of applause from local citizens,[citation needed] and a deep, emotional glow of pride from the few remaining Jewish residents old enough to remember the community in its heyday, and who perhaps attended community functions, prayed, and were bar mitzvahed at the Carteret Jewish Community Center.


External links


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