Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh hosted a special Simchat Beit Hashoeva on Tuesday in honor of the Yeshiva's 70th anniversary (1953-2023).
Thousands of alumni and friends of the Yeshiva gathered on the campus and enjoyed a wide variety of activities for adults and children. These included shiurim by Rosh Yeshiva Emeritus Rav Mordechai Greenberg, Mashgiach Emeritus Rav Avraham Rivlin, as well as by Yeshiva Alumni Chief Rabbi of Netanya Rabbi Kalman Behr and Bet Din HaGadol Dayan Rav Eliezer Igra. Interactive tours were held throughout the Yeshiva campus. Shows and moon bounces were available for children.
For the main event, thousands gathered for a rousing performance by Ishay Ribo, followed by dancing led by the band Lehava.
The performance opened with remarks by Roshei Yeshiva Rav Gavriel Saraf and Rav Aharon Friedman. A special tribute video in honor of 70 years of KBY was shown as well.
Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh was founded 70 years ago by Bnei Akiva students who learned in Kfar HaRoeh, among them Rabbis and well-known communal figures such as Rav Zalman Baruch Melamed, Rav Zefania Drory, Rav Yaakov Filber, Rav Shmuel Binyamin Herling among others. Founding Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht zt"l led the Yeshiva for 40 years and was awarded the Israel Prize in 1991 as a representative of Israeli Yeshivot Hesder.
In addition to originating the Hesder program, Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh has been a pioneer in other realms of the dati leumi community, including a Kollel Avreichim for Rabbanut and Dayanut, a teachers' training institute, and an overseas program in which thousands of students have studied. Over the years, about 1500 of these students have made aliyah and established their homes throughout the land of Israel. Tens of Jewish communities in Israel and around the world are headed by KBY alumni.
To date, the Yeshiva boasts approximately 7000 Israeli and overseas alumni, including Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbis, Dayanim, and communal leaders. Many have founded Yeshivot and other institutions.
There are currently over 360 students studying at KBY and over 50 Avreichim in the Kollel Rabbanut and Dayanut.
Alumni and friends of the Yeshiva have been told about plans for further development, including expanding the Beit Midrash to accommodate increasing numbers of students and constructing a large fortified building so that learning may continue even during emergencies.
The tribute video, which was shown to thousands of participants, began with the words of Rav Chaim Drukman zt"l, one of the Yeshiva founders. These words were initially said at the "Asufot" Yeshiva gathering held two years ago at Kerem B'Yavneh. The Rav spoke about the tremendous influence that KBY has had on Torah learning in the Dati Leumi world. "This Yeshiva was the only Zionist Yeshiva in Israel...and see today how the Torah world is blossoming...it is impossible not to be astounded."
Indeed, according to the Association of Yeshivot Hesder, there are 12,000 students learning in Yeshivot Hesder throughout Israel. This is a thousand-fold increase from the 12 students who comprised the first class of Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh.