Torah L.I.F.E.

Cleveland Heights, Ohio, may be a tiny dot on the world map but in global Torah circles it is well known as a vibrant Makom Torah, where the sounds of Torah & Tefillah are heard virtually around the clock. From 6 am until well past midnight, the Kollel serves as the Cleveland Heights Torah nerve center. It begins with the hosting of the early morning Dirshu program, and for the next 17 plus hours the voices of learning ring out loud and clear.

The Kollel is composed of a core group of 21 Torah Scholars led by the illustrious Rosh Kollel, Rav Baruch Hirschfeld. The primary work of the Kollel is to create a Torah environment that is conducive to learning and spiritual growth. The Cleveland Community has recognized the Kollel as its most prominent Torah Center. Over 200 community members make the Kollel their home away from home.  It is their place to find a Shiur, Chavrusa or simply enjoy learning on their own in the Kollels stimulating atmosphere.

The Kollel’s name Torah L.I.F.E. is most appropriate Learning Is For Everyone.


Reb Chaim Stein Z"L

Reb Chaim Stein Z”L

In 5757 (1996) a group of accomplished community leaders recognized the need for a full time community Kollel in the heart of the Cleveland Heights Jewish neighborhood. With the blessings of the Telshe Rosh Yeshiva, Moreinu Harav Chaim Stein zt”l, Rav Boruch Hirschfeld was chosen to lead this fledging chabura of six yungerleit, five of whom would come from the world renowned Telshe Yeshiva.

The group’s founding members were Rabbi Reuven Gerson, Rabbi Yehuda Jakobowitch, Rabbi Mordechai Simon, Rabbi Mordechai Smilowitz and Rabbi Yosef Sova. Of these original members, Rabbi Simon & Rabbi Sova became Rebbeim in Telshe Yeshiva, and Rabbi Smilowitz works as an editor for Artscroll English Yerushalmi Talmud. Some of the early Kollel members went on to take different positions:Rabbi Moshe Dovid Choueka became chief editor of Nehor Safra, Rabbi Avrohom Goldstein accepted a teaching position in Passaic, NJ, and Rabbi Aharon Dovid Lebovics currently serves as Rabbi in the Young Israel of Cleveland Heights. Over the past 14 years the Kollel has expanded, and today numbers 21 Kollel fellows.

In 2003, the Kollel was named in memory of R’ Chaim Baruch Koval z”l. His sons, Jake and Murray, have been staunch supporters and champions of the Kollel since its inception. The Kollel’s original name Torah L.I.F.E. Institute was the brainstorm of the late Mrs. Beverly Koval a’h to represent that “Learning Is For Everyone!” – the mission statement of the Kollel.