History

Yeshiva Beth Yehudah is the largest Jewish Schools system in Michigan, providing quality Torah-based and secular educational programs for over 100 years.

History

In August of 1914, Rabbi Judah Leib Levin* began the school that grew to become the Yeshiva Beth Yehudah. Its first home was the Mogain Avrohom Synagogue on Farnsworth Street, where students met five days a week for after-school Hebrew study.

In 1923 the growing Yeshiva moved its 35 students to Beth Tefilo Emanuel Synagogue on Twelfth Street and instituted a full curriculum.

Upon his passing in 1925, the school was renamed Yeshiva Beth Yehudah in memory of Rabbi Levin. The Yeshiva moved to several locations until 1940, when they settled into a new building on Dexter and Cortland. By this time, 162 children were being taught at six grade levels.

In 1943, the Beth Jacob School for Girls was established. Rabbi M.J. Wohlgelernter*became Yeshiva Beth Yehudah’s first President and Rabbi Simcha Wassserman, * son of the great Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman,* was appointed Dean of the Yeshiva. Brothers Wolf* and Isadore Cohen* were founding members of the Yeshiva, with each of them taking a turn as President.

In 1944, Rabbi A.A. Freedman*moved to Detroit from New York at the behest of his Rebbi, the legendary head of Mesivta Torah Vdaas and founder of the National Torah Umesorah Day School movement, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz*.  Rabbi Freedman was joined by Rabbi Sholom Goldstein* two years later and together they became the heart and soul of the Yeshiva and of the Detroit Torah community.

Throughout the 1950s and the beginning of the 60s the school flourished in Detroit, until it moved to its current location in 1964, on Lincoln Road in Southfield. Several renowned leaders and educators held positions with the Yeshiva, including Rabbi S.P. Wohlgelernter*, who succeeded his brother as the school’s President; Rabbi Leib Bakst*, who served as Rosh Yeshiva until 1989; and Rabbi Joseph Elias*, who served as Principal from 1951 – 1963.

In 1976, through the generosity of Mr. Norman Allan*, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah was able to purchase a building in Beverly Hills to house the Beth Jacob School for Girls. Around the same time, the Saltsman New Americans Program was launched in response to the influx of Russian immigrants to our community.

In 1991, through the foresight of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Beth Jacob School moved to the newly renovated Bnai Moshe Synagogue in Oak Park, central to the community of its students.

In 1999 a new preschool building was built adjacent to the Boys School building due to the generosity of Edward and Norma Jean Meer.

In 1999 Partners Detroit was founded as the new and exciting adult education and community outreach division of Yeshiva Beth Yehudah.

In 2008 renovations to the Boys School building were completed to accommodate additional classrooms, computer and science labs, administrative offices and a Partners Study Hall.

The Partners Detroit program was named the Jean and Theodre Weiss Partners Detroit by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weiss.

The Southfield campus on Lincoln Road was named the Newman family campus dedicated by Mrs. Ann Newman and family.

Also in 2008, the Bais Yehudah Kollel was founded with eight young scholars devoting their entire day and night to Torah study. The Kollel Bais Hamedrash (Study Hall) was dedicated in memory of Rabbi Avrohom Fishman*, Dean of Yeshiva Beth Yehudah from 1998-2008.

In August of 2013 the Yeshiva’s preschool and Girls High School moved into their new two story building across the street from the Beth Jacob building in Oak Park.

At our 2014 annual Yeshiva Dinner we honored Dr. and Mrs. George and Vivian Dean for dedicating the Bais Yaakov Elementary building through a generous endowment fund.

2016 – After determining that the long time Bais Yehudah Boys School building was at full capacity and unable to handle the Yeshiva’s growth, it was decided to begin a year long construction project to expand the boys school into a two floor state of the art boys school.

Today, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah is educating nearly 1000 students in Preschool through Grade 12, with post-secondary and adult education programs, as well. The Yeshiva continues to follow the path set by its founders of a commitment to excellence in education.

 

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