This edifice has been in the making for decades. True, the renovations on the Kollel’s new Southeast Torah Center, located at 4902 S. Xenia St., only took several months, but it is the product of a community that has seen sustained growth, both in physical as well as spiritual terms, for years. The Kollel has been bringing Torah learning, Torah teaching and Torah living to the Southeast community since its inception nineteen years ago, but its involvement moved to a whole new level with the arrival of Rabbi Moshe and Yehudis Heyman and Rabbi Dovid and Faigy Gertz ten years ago. Today, there are four Kollel families (including Kollel Dean Rabbi Shachne Sommers) and several Kollel alumni living in Southeast Denver.
“Back in 2007, Rabbi Yaakov Meyer (of Aish Denver in Southeast Denver) and the Kollel Deans had the vision that the Southeast community would take the next step,” says Rabbi Heyman, who is now Kollel Director. “That vision has been realized many times over, but the opening of this Torah Center is truly a milestone.”
On the Shabbos of March 17-18, Rabbi Chaim Mintz, mashgiach (spiritual overseer) of Yeshiva of Staten Island and founder of the renowned Jewish outreach organization Oorah, visited Denver to celebrate the Chanukas Habayis (inauguration) of the Kollel’s Southeast Torah Center. Rabbi Mintz delivered a number of talks and Q&A sessions for both men and women throughout Shabbos, with over 250 people attending the various talks.
Included in these events was a Friday night learning session at the Torah Center Bais Medrash that attracted over 40 men. Simultaneously, a shiur (lecture) for women was delivered by the Kollel women at the Sommers home, which is adjacent to the Torah Center.
The learning was followed by an Oneg Shabbos/Chanukas Habayis featuring divrei bracha (words of blessing) from Rabbi Mintz and Rabbi Yaakov Meyer. Rabbi Mintz discussed the impact a place dedicated to Torah study has on a community, explaining the Torah learned in the bais medrash brings blessing in both the spiritual and material realms, and that Jews of all walks and backgrounds will be impacted by the Torah studied of the Kollel scholars and the community.
The Torah Center has been dedicated by Rabbi Meyer in memory of his father, Rav Yissochor Meyer, who passed away in 2015, as well as in memory of his cousin, Rabbi Yissochor Meyer, founder and Dean of Yeshivas Hanegev in Israel until his passing in 2011. The Torah Center will be named Ohel Yissochor, a reference to the tents of Torah frequented by the Tribe of Yissochor.
“It is wonderful that the Kollel now has their own independent Torah Center in Southeast Denver,” says Rabbi Meyer. “Anything that increases Torah learning and brings greater honor to Hashem is a wonderful addition to our community, and I wish the Kollel greater success each passing day.”