Kesher Yisrael Warms Up Toronto!

Participants at the Kesher Yisrael Learning Program during midwinter break

As the polar vortex enveloped Toronto with record-shattering temperatures and freezing rain, Kesher Yisrael ushered in the warmth of Torah for midwinter break.

The ever popular Kesher Yisrael Learning Program was in full swing again this past Friday, Sunday, and Monday, February 8, 10, 11, at the Ohr Yosef Learning Centre in Thornhill.

The expanded beis medrash was full of boys learning for an hour with their fathers and attending one of five shiurim for grades one-eight. The learning was followed by fabulous raffles for numerous toys, electronics, parent raffles, plus a daily treat, and a riveting story.

The grand raffle on Monday featured gift certificates, sefarim, gift cards, remote-control vehicles, and lots more. Rabbi Leib Irons, the founding director of Kesher Yisrael, enthusiastically described how important learning beyond the classroom is for our children’s chinuch.

“Our children are watching adults and peers addicted to technology with the underlying and unstated message being that nothing is more enjoyable than technology and the outside world. Our mission is to give children such an enjoyment in Torah that they will want to learn Torah and to engage in Torahdig programs when they are outside of school.

“Our greatest challenge as a community is to make Torah and the Torah lifestyle so geshmak that the outside world and technology don’t stand a chance compared to Torah. That will only happen if we provide quality chinuch when children aren’t in the confines of school.

“As well, by voluntarily attending Torah programs outside of school, the children’s geshmak from these programs will be brought back to the classroom.”

A partial view of learning at the Kesher Yisrael Learning Program

The Kesher Yisrael programs have expanded beyond expectations with 70 Toronto boys scheduled to attend the upcoming Pirchei Siyum Mishnayos in Montreal on Shabbos Parashas Tetzaveh. There is also a new delegation of boys from the Kesher Yisrael nightly Mishnayos chaburah who will be going to the Cleveland Siyum Mishnayos, on Shabbos Parashas Pekudei. The Likras Shabbos program, Mishnayos chaburah, bein hazmanim programs, and special events keep on growing.

Rabbi Irons is also very excited to be running the Kesher Yisrael Adar Extravaganza scheduled for Motzoei Purim Kattan for boys, Tuesday, February 19; and on Motzoei Shushan Purim Kattan, Wednesday, February 20, for girls.

These events will feature the world-famous Rabbi Yitzy Erps, The Living Torah Museum, and Simchas Purim with the extraordinary singer Yosef Chaim Bloch and musician Leiby Reifer, and promise to be events the likes of which Toronto has never experienced before.

The Living Torah Museum will also be visiting schools to bring Torah learning to life. Rabbi Irons concluded that, “The future of our children’s chinuch depends on those of us who are willing to step up and to bring quality chinuch at all times to the community. We have done it in Toronto and it should be done in every Torah community.

“I believe that within the next five years, every Torah community will have Rebbeim whose job is to focus on chinuch beyond the classroom. We can’t invest so much in our schools and then watch that very chinuch come under attack once the talmidim leave school at night, over Shabbos, and during vacation.”

To bring Kesher Yisrael programs to your community, please contact Rabbi Irons at or 289-582-9920 extension 6.