How to Judge a Yeshivas Kayitz
Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, Director of veteran Yeshivas Kayitz Minnesota (YKM), on what has changed in the Yeshiva summer programs in the last 13 years.
"Years ago, it was a rarity. There were few programs," says Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, Director of Yeshivas Kayitz Minnesota (YKM), referring to the changing landscape of summer programs for Mesivta bochurim.
As his program in the city of Freeborn celebrates its 13th year, he recalls the early days when "programs were able to succeed without being well-planned or well-run simply because there wasn't much competition."
The 8th and 9th graders that attend these learn-and-play summer Yeshivas are also different nowadays, he told COLlive.com.
"In our first few years, the guys that enrolled wanted to be pioneers; they wanted to be the first, the original. Now the excitement of 'new' wore off, and we're getting guys that are looking for the perfect mix of fun and learning."
Following years as campers in Gan Israel overnight day camps, Bar Mitzvah boys typically looked forward to attending a program that fits their more mature status.
And while the prices continue to be costly, like the camps, Rabbi Wilhelm makes the case that the program is worth the stretch (and flight).
"I think the Yeshivas Kayitz is more advantageous for a bochur because all the koach, all the planning, and all the effort that goes in to them. There is no dual focus. We have one goal - give you the best summer of your life."
"Because today there's a big variety for bochurim to choose from, the programs need to be exceptional in every way," he says and adds a point to his program's advantage: "The best indicator of a great program is its longevity."
Find out more about Rabbi Wilhelm's program at YKMinnesota.com