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Whatever It Takes…Because Every Boy Has Greatness Within

[COMMUNICATED] For Rabbi Chaim Cohen, Mesivta Gaon Yaakov is more than just a mesivta. Watch him in action, observe his interactions, and listen to him speak, and you’ll recognize that he’s on a mission.A mission to bring out the very best in every single yeshiva bochur.

Whatever it takes.

Because Every Boy Has Greatness Within.

“Every bochur has such huge potential,” says Rabbi Cohen, rosh yeshiva of Gaon Yaakov. “At our yeshiva, the bochurim experience the success that we know is truly possible.”

“When we say that we will do anything to make a boy shine, we mean it,” says Rabbi Moshe Mermelstein, menahel.

The hanhalah of the yeshiva has been innovative in creating an environment that is unrivaled in the world of mesivta education.

“Incentives, Yeshiva Shabbosim and more are utilized to motivate and inspire,” said Rabbi Mermelstein, “but ultimately, the greatest motivator among the Gaon Yaakov boys is them witnessing their own hatzlacha. There is nothing more potent than that success to stimulate them to keep going – and keep striving. It’s amazing to witness this phenomenon.”

Indeed, the success of the Gaon Yaakov approach can be seen in, among other things, the fact that the bochurim do not want to miss a day of yeshiva. Every day is filled with an atmosphere of positivity and aliyah.

The out-of-the box approach includes the very staff members who grace the yeshiva each day. Night seder rabbeim includes local community askanim, business leaders and askanim who make themselves available to the boys to share with them knowledge, skills and ideals that they wouldn’t be exposed to in any other environment.

“The boys absolutely thrive. They love it. They look forward to these interactions and to the opportunity to learn from these rabbeim and mechanchim, who have so much to offer them,” said Rabbi Cohen.

This past spring, the hanhalah of the yeshiva sought to fill the Sunday afternoon schedule of the talmidim. One of the parents, Mr. Shimon Weinstein, a computer specialist, suggested giving a course on building a 3D printer, and a number of talmidim completed the course. When Covid-19 hit, Mr. Weinstein contacted Rabbi Cohen, recommending that the students utilize their 3D printers to make face shields and masks holders for first responders and front-line workers. The boys responded enthusiastically, producing these items with utmost efficiency.

But it’s not just creative projects that make Gaon Yaakov unique.

It’s the atmosphere that fills the yeshiva building, and the special unity among the bochurim themselves.

“High school can often breed different levels or feelings of superiority among the older bochurim,” says a parent. “Not at Gaon Yaakov, where it’s one big family, a group of bochurim who, no matter their age or grade, feel part of one entity.”

It is for that reason that a basketball game at the yeshiva will feature the participation of boys from every grade and every shiur – all playing together. It’s simply inspiring to behold.

“The bochurim experience aliyah and growth in their limud haTorah,” says Rabbi Mermelstein, “and also in their bein adam lachaveiro. The parents tell us that they see a transformation taking place among their sons as the ‘Gaon Yaakov effect’ has an impact.”

Rabbi Cohen’s chinuch approach is contagious. The rabbeim see the love and care he demonstrates, and it carries over at every level. At one point, Rabbi Cohen asked every rebbi to pay a special focus on two talmidim every week, pondering and considering what can be done for those particular boys to help them, guide them, and give them their greatest chance for hatzlacha.

Rabbi Cohen is a picture of serenity and calm, a master mechanech who will never overreact to a bochur’s challenge or a challenging day, always believing that the future is bright and growth is a process. It is for this reason that Rabbi Cohen won’t discuss a chinuch-related issue regarding a talmid in the heat of the moment. Only after a rebbi has gone home and the dust has settled will Rabbi Cohen analyze the matter with the rebbi, finding the most effective response.

“It’s that patient and genuine approach that has made Gaon Yaakov a one-of-a-kind mesivta,” says a parent, “making the boys shine, bringing forth their potential – indeed, doing whatever it takes, whenever, and however.”

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There are 5 Comments to "Whatever It Takes…Because Every Boy Has Greatness Within"

  • Parent of yeshiva says:

    As a parent in this amazing yeshiva I can’t begin to say how much wonders the hanhalah with Rabbi Cohen on top has done for our son, I’m asking everyone to please donate whatever they can to help this mosad continue in their wonderful work.

  • Mamash ah Gevald says:

    MGY is every boys dream Yeshiva. Every parents dream Yeshiva, R Chaim Cohen is every boys dream R’H, all the Rabbeim are hand picked cream of the crop, Creme de la creme, MGY is full of positive energy, full of life, great vibes you name it MGY’s got it

  • M. W. says:

    Where is this yeshiva located?

  • משה זיך מיך says:

    MGY Makes Great Youngsters

    MGY Makes Gevaldiga Youngsters

    MGY Makes Great Yeshiva

  • PROUD Parent of a great student at MGY says:

    Its located on white street. It’s an amazing amazing yeshiva! They literally do whatever it takes to bring out the best in their boys!