Chevron Yeshiva Knesses Yisroel Celebrates 135th Anniversary as “Yeshiva of Torah Leaders”


rav-moshe-mordechai-epsteinThe Chevron Yeshiva, one of Israel’s oldest and most prestigious yeshivas, is celebrating its 135th anniversary as the “incubator for all yeshivos.” Founded in Slobodka, Lithuania, the yeshiva is known throughout the Torah world as “the mother of all yeshivas.” Since its founding, Slobodka and its successor, the Chevron Yeshiva Knesses Yisroel, produced the foremost leaders of Torah Judaism around the world. More than 1,000 talmidim, some of the brightest young men in Eretz Yisrael and elsewhere, study in the magnificent yeshiva campus in Givat Mordechai.

The glorious history of the Yeshiva includes the legendary sages Reb Moshe Mordechai Epstein, who served as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Knesses Yisrael, and the “Alter of Slobodka,” Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Slobodka’s famed mashgiach ruchani. Reb Moshe Mordechai began learning in the Volozhiner yeshiva at the age of 16, under the guidance of the legendary Torah giant Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik, the Brisker Rav. The roster of legendary Gaonim who were part of the history of Slobodka included Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer, the brother-in-law of Reb Moshe Mordechai. The Slabodka yeshiva flourished under the joint leadership of Rabbis Epstein and Finkel, and many of its students were crucial in nurturing the spiritual level of the Jewish people in subsequent generations.

In 1924, Reb Moshe Mordechai, the Alter, and most of the yeshiva, relocated to Hebron, which was then part of the British Mandate for Palestine. But five years later tragedy struck. In late August 1929, Arab mobs, incited by the anti-Semitic Mufti of Jerusalem, conducted a pogrom in the yeshiva, killing 68 Jews and wounding many more, in what is known as the “1929 Hebron massacre.” The British authorities evacuated the rest of the Jewish community and the yeshiva relocated to the Geula neighborhood in Yerushalayim. Reb Moshe Mordechai’s daughter married Reb Yechezkel Sarna, who succeeded Reb Moshe Mordechai Epstein as Rosh yeshiva of Chevron after his death. Reb Chaim Sarna became the Rosh Yeshiva after his father’s passing. Other illustrious Torah giants who were Roshei Yeshiva at Chevron included Reb Moshe Chevroni, Reb Simcha Zisel Broyde, and Reb Avrohom Farbstein. The legendary Reb Meir Chodosh was the mashgiach of the Yeshiva.

Chevron Yeshiva’s role as the yeshiva of Torah leaders is evidenced by its unparalleled roster of graduates, including such luminaries as Reb Yechezkel Abramsky, Reb Dovid Cohen ( the current Rosh Yeshiva at Chevron), Reb Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Reb Shlomo Goren, Reb Avraham Grodzinski, Reb Reuven Grozovsky, Reb Yitzchok Hutner, Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky, Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Shneur Kotler, Reb Yeruchem Levovitz, Reb Dovid Leibowitz, Reb Avigdor Miller, Reb Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, Reb Dov Schwartzman, Reb Elazar Man Shach, Reb Avraham Shapira, Reb Moshe Shatzkes, and Reb Zalman Sorotzkin.

While the Yeshiva continued to thrive in Geula in producing the Torah leadership of Eretz Yisroel, it took another major leap forward in 1975 when it moved to its current location in Givat Mordechai. This mammoth project was led by the late Reb Mordechai Hebroni, son of the Rosh Yeshiva Reb Moshe Hebroni. It is today run by Reb Yosef Hebroni, son of Reb Mordechai and one of the Roshei Yeshiva. In 2009, thousands of the Yeshiva’s alumni gathered in Binyanei Hauma to celebrate the yeshiva’s 132nd anniversary. To mark the 135th anniversary this year, members of the Chevron yeshiva alumni, friends and admirers, are planning a series of important initiatives in the United States.

{Yair Israel}


  1. Mir founded in 1816
    Kelm ” ” 1867
    Radin” ” 1869
    Telz ” ” 1875

    Furthermore Chevron was founded essentially as a separate Yeshiva.

  2. #1,you are correct but find me Kelm or Radin today! Telz is a skeleton of it’s past. The Mir B’H is thriving but also in 3 seperate metemorphasis.
    So what’s your point?


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