Kollel, Moscow (Russia)
Rabbi Betzalel Mandel was one of the founding members of the Moscow Kollel which was launched in February 2005.
At that time there were a handful of families associated with the Yeshiva Ohaley Yakov community. Today, as a result of the dedicated efforts of the avreichim and their wives, hundreds of families are affiliated with the Kollel/Yeshiva community and the kollel’s avrechim are active in numerous shuls and communities including: Central Choral synagogue, the Kavkazi community, the Bukhari community and lately a brand new community in the southwest end of Moscow.
All of the Kollel members are teachers or otherwise active in the STARS program, bringing Moscow Jewish students closer to their heritage. This program has seen tremendous success as graduates become full members and leaders in the community.
The Kollel wives teach in the local Etz Chaim kindergarten and day-school and have brought the education in those institutions to a new level. Due to the efforts of these devoted women, eligible graduates are able to continue their higher education in Berlin, New York and Israel.
Rabbi Mandel and the other avreichim also run and maintain the Mikvah in the central synagogue servicing close to one hundred families.
Their motto is Dracheha Darchei Noam, -Torah sells itself. From a small gathering of 3 students in April 2005 their shiurim have mushroomed into several nightly shiurim attracting 20-30 attendees each time. The Rosh Kollel, Rav Yosef Kamenetsky shlit”a is a world renowned Torah scholar and author and has gained the respect of all local community leaders and rabbis. Their organization transcends all politics and community boundaries, and they work closely together with almost every Jewish organization in Moscow that is involved in outreach.