Yeshivas Meishev Nefesh tells Matzav.com that, b’ezras Hashem, this coming Rosh Chodesh Adar Rishon, (Tuesday, February 9th) will mark the beginning of its third year. Headed by the experienced and popular Rabbi Yehoshua Danese, Meishev Nefesh is a yeshiva specifically geared for high school boys who have no yeshiva to go to.
When queried as to how a yeshiva goes about beginning a school year in February, Rabbi Danese explained, “Amongst the 25 boys who came to our school last year, there were two groups: boys who were expelled two years ago – they were the ones who slept until 5 pm and wandered the streets till daybreak. And then a second group who were expelled during the year by administrators who had neither the patience, nor the tolerance for them and let them go, not even helping get into a new yeshiva not even caring at all as to what would happen to them. I know for a fact that all these boys were angry and bitter to the bottom of their hearts as to how they were mistreated.”
With Rabbi Danese’s perseverance and insistence, the boys at Yeshiva Meishev Nefesh soon learned that they had the ability to be successful and that being successful was worth the effort.
Rabbi Danese strove to teach all subjects to the boys but it was a years worth of stirring talks of emunah that strengthened them that each boy, by the end of the school year, took the independent initiative to re-enter the mainstream yeshiva world. “They had forgiven the system.”
“When this Elul came around I realized that I had given away almost all of my students to different schools. It dawned on me that this was a tremendous accomplishment and I came to understand the important contribution that Yeshivas Meishev Nefesh had made in the lives of these young men in the last two years,” said Rabbi Danese. “By September over 90 percent were starting school elsewhere.”
With September rolling around and very few of his original students left to teach, Rabbi Danese understood that the endemic problem of boys wandering the streets at night and placing themselves in danger of engaging in risky behavior remained all too real. He asked Gedolim if he should make the effort to rebuild and reopen. The response given was, “Each day you delay in opening your yeshiva is a churban.”
“Because of all this,” sums up Rabbi Danese, “we are starting in Adar.”
Besides the educational track that will lead to either a GED or Regents diploma, the boys will also be given the choice to work during the afternoon. Rabbi Danese has already procured a host of employment opportunities for his students. “Most boys out of the system reach a point that if they cant be in yeshiva they want to work and make money. So to address that reality we have lined up career oriented jobs for boys in the financial world as well,” declared Rabbi Danese. “To be quite honest, they could earn a better than decent salary and will have the chance to receive training for a lucrative parnosa.”
“At the same time, too much money could also lead to problems, therefore the boys will be “encouraged and guided to invest their new-found income into mutual funds so it will be growing and there for them later in their lives when they will need it the most.”
First seder in Yeshiva will be until 1 pm. The afternoon hours will be filled by the limudei chol program or if they so choose the boys may work. That will be followed by night seder with a late evening activity. Rabbi Danese adds that he has arranged for a boarding option for out of town bochorim and that “all of the boys will be taken care of from morning until night, every day.” Recreational activities will include regularly scheduled trips, Shabatonim that are replete with genuine ruchnius and a tremendous amount of chizuk.
For more information concerning Yeshivas Meishev Nefesh, please contact Rabbi Danese at 347-274 -4914 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.