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Yeshiva Torah Vodaas (or Mesivta Torah Vodaas) is a yeshiva located in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. It was originally founded as a yeshiva elementary school in 1917 by Binyomin Wilhelm, Louis Dershowitz and Rabbi Zev Gold.[1][2] Rabbi Gold was elected as the yeshivas first president[3] and chose to name Torah Vodaas after the yeshiva of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines in Lida where he had studied in his youth.[4] The founding members of the yeshiva soon offered the principalship of the institution to Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. From 1922 to 1948, the yeshiva was headed by MR. Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, under whose leadership a yeshiva high school - known as the Mesivta - was opened in 1927. Later he opened a Yeshiva Gedola as well.

"Torah im Derech Eretz" historically influenced the yeshiva's philosophy [5], but today it is strongly influenced by the haredi philosophy.

One of the current roshei yeshiva is Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, who is also a posek for the Orthodox Union.[6] The yeshiva has had many prominent roshei yeshiva, including Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Pam, Rabbi Shlomo Heiman, Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rabbi Gedalia Schorr, and Rabbi Reuvain Grozovsky. It has also had many prominent students, including Rabbi Mordechai Machlis.


  1. ^ A Fire in His Soul by Amos Bunim - Feldheim Publishers, 1989 page 250
  2. ^ Orthodox Judaism in America by Moshe D. Sherman - Greenwood Press, 1996 page 78
  3. ^ Reb Shraga Feivel by Yonoson Rosenblum - Mesorah Publications, 2001 page 70
  4. ^ Recounted by his grandson - Rabbi Chaim Gold
  5. ^ Ben Zion Weberman (1896-1968): Life and Legacy of an Orthodox Jewish Attorney in New York City During the Interwar Period and Beyond, Moshe Rapaport, University of Hawaii
  6. ^ DEI'AH VEDIBUR, Obituary for Chana Belsky, August 18, 1999



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