News & Developments

See our blog for the latest news and developments occurring at Yeshivah Gedolah.

Rabbi Cohen: Forty Years at the Helm

Rabbi Cohen - 40 Years

4 Menachem-Av this year marks 40 years since Rabbi Binyomin Cohen arrived in Melbourne to serve as Rosh Yeshivah of the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand.

Born and raised in London, Rabbi Cohen entered Gateshead Yeshivah rather than university after completing his secondary schooling. While at Gateshead, he studied some of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s early Sichos (talks) and became attracted to Lubavitch. This led to a regular Shiur and developing relationship with the famed Chossid, Reb Mendel Futerfas.

It was not long thereafter that he went to Israel and joined the student body in the Lubavitcher Yeshivah at Kfar Chabad, under the tutelage of the widely admired and revered Mashpia, Reb Shlomo Chaim Kesselman. He then studied at the Lubavitcher Yeshivah in Brooklyn, New York, married and continued his learning for four years in Kollel, whilst at the same time teaching at Hadar Hatorah under the direction of Reb Yisroel Jacobson.

Some 42 or so years ago, Rabbi Cohen asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe for guidance as to which path his career should take, and the answer has guided him ever since. “The Rebbe told me that the more Torah, the more Brocho. That was all I needed to hear to set me on my career path,” he said.

In the last 40 years, Rabbi Cohen has seen the Yeshivah grow from a handful of students to 70 students. They come not only from Melbourne and Sydney, but from all around the world.

Rabbi Cohen is known far and wide as a ‘no nonsense’ Rosh Yeshivah by whose schedule one can set a clock. “My adherence to time is a natural thing for me, and gives me a sense of order and stability,” he says.

His adherence to order has made its mark in the international Yeshivah world. According to the college’s administrator Avrohom Procel, many students seek to come to Yeshivah Gedolah because of Rabbi Cohen.

Rabbi Cohen sees himself as an educator and facilitator. Despite giving two to three Shiurim every day, including high-level Shiurim to Shiur Alef and to the Shluchim, he devotes some of his time each day to teaching and examining students on an individual basis as well. He has intentionally steered clear of other rabbinic roles and does not answer halachic questions.

Rabbi Cohen believes that his work at the Yeshivah has been enhanced because he had the privilege of working with and learning from the Yeshivah’s founder, Reb Zalman Serebryanski.

Yeshivah Gedolah is indebted to Rabbi Cohen for his dedicated efforts and tireless devotion as Rosh Yeshivah over the past 40 years and his major contribution towards its success. We wish him good health and continued success in his work for many more years to come.

Rabbi Cohen - 40 Years

Rabbi Cohen - 40 Years

Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

On Shabbos Shlach (June13-14), students of the Rabbinical College of Australia & NZ enjoyed the annual mid-winter Shabbaton, arranged by Yeshivah Gedolah. The Shabbaton took place at Log Cabin Camp, a rustic bush resort located at scenic Creswick, a two hour drive from Melbourne.

The Bochurim enjoyed some recreation when they arrived at the campsite, after which they made their final Shabbos preparations. Friday night began with Mincha and a moving Seder Nigunim, which was followed by Seder Sichos and a very lively Kabolas Shabbos. The Bochurim shared stories and Divrei Torah around the Shabbos table. Before long, the Shabbos meal turned into one of YG’s legendary “Hiskashrus” Farbrengens that went on late into the night, past 2:30 in the morning.

Despite the late night, Shabbos morning began bright and early with a refreshing Mikvah dip in the ice-cold lake, followed by pastries and a packed Shiur Chassidus by the fireside. One of the highlights of davening was the Aliyos auction, in which Hachlotos (good resolutions) were tendered as bids.

The Shabbos meal and Farbrengen was interlaced with inspired singing, and went all the way to Mincha. Shabbos concluded with a Seder Nigunim, Maariv and Havdalah.

At the Melave Malka banquet, the Bochurim viewed a special video collage of the current year at YG. There was also a bit of time for a grand game of Gaga before the Bochurim then boarded the bus for the ride back to Melbourne – refreshed and reinvigorated by the inspirational Shabbaton.

Special thanks to all who made this project possible, including the Shluchim for arranging and coordinating the Shabbaton, the team of Bochurim who helped make the Shabbaton the success that it was, and Mr Mordechai Joseph for overseeing the Gashmius and chaperoning the event.

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

YG Shabbaton 5774

MISHMOR & THE INTERNATIONAL CHIDON

Mishmor Melbourne Chidon

Every Thursday night (7:30-8:30pm), school boys aged 8-13 attend Mishmor at the Rabbinical College. In recent months, Mishmor participated in the Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos; an international tournament of the 613 Mitzvos, culminating in a live game show finals in New York. After months of learning and being tested on the “Yahadus” curriculum, school student Mendel Greenbaum was crowned Melbourne’s winning finalist, and travelled to New York as Melbourne’s representative to the Chidon.

Mishmor Melbourne Chidon

Mishmor Melbourne Chidon

Mishmor Melbourne Chidon

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