Rabbi Daniel Simon (read bio) is the executive director of Magen Avos and principal of the Talmud Torah’s older division. Rabbi Kobernik is the principal of the younger division. Rabbis Goldbaum and Slutsh are in charge of the afternoon program, and Rabbis Weill and Sofer are the Gemara coordinators. Rav Ben Lulu is the Hebrew and Mathematics coordinator.
Yeshivas Magen Avos is a warm caring Yeshiva that believes in every student. Handpicked Rabbeim build up the boys self esteem from within. They go on to Yeshiva Ketanas and High schools with tremendous skills and ambition to meet their challenges in life. The approach is by emphasizing each success, thus bringing on more success. We start by choosing a reasonable curriculum with lots of review and allow time for questions and true understanding. This gives the boys a sense of accomplishment and a desire for more. Chumash and Navi are learned with the taamei hamikra (trupp) and mishnayos are learned by heart with song. Analytical thought is encouraged early, in order to prepare them for Gemara. Gemara is introduced in fifth grade and is readily absorbed due to the learning style leading up to fifth grade. By the time they reach eighth grade most boys feel quite at home with Gemara and are well prepared for both types of Yeshiva high schools. The school is endorsed by Gedolim and local Rabbanim who visit the school and have contact with the children. Physical disciplinary methods are unacceptable, and smoking in school is unheard of by any faculty member. Good middos is very important, and the teachers set an example of that. Graduates of Magen Avos are learning in the finest the finest Yeshiva Gedolos: Yeshivas Chevron, Ohr Yisroel, Ponevitz, Nachlas, Volfson, Yad Aaron, Itri and many more.
The curriculum consist of generally five hours of limudei kosdesh in the morning with chumash, mishna, navi, halacha, and gemara, with three hours each day of limudei chol; including math, Hebrew, English, science, history, geography and physical education. The school is accredited and supervised by the Israeli Board of Education.
In addition to the straight forward learning, there are many motivational programs, plays, contests, hikes in the mountains and valleys, and a major Torah exhibit each year in order to engage the students’ hearts and bodies, as well as their minds.
The daily schedule is
1st and 2nd grade learn from 8:00-1:30PM (optional 3:30 PM program for an additional cost.)
3rd and 4th grades learn from 8:00-3:30 PM
5th and 6th grades learn from 8:00-4:30 PM
7th and 8th grades learn from 8:00-5:15 PM
The yearly schedule for the boys’ school is eleven months, from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Tisha B’Av. There is a summer break of three weeks during bein hazmanim. During the summer zman of July there is half day learning of limudei kodesh and half day optional swimming program.
Olim receive Ulpan five times a week during school hours. There are two ulpan teachers, one for the younger division and one for the older division. They are divided into groups of two to four students. Ulpan is required for all new oleh students and is considered an additional tuition cost. In moving to Eretz Yisrael parents must understand that investment in a support system for the child is essential, in order to facilitate healthy adaptation to a new language and environment.
The school is built on a beautiful campus of ten dunams (approx. 2.5 acres) with several playgrounds, a basket ball court and soccer field. There is a Hebrew library opened nearly every day for the child with a more literary bent.
There are several special education teachers on staff to work with children who have learning issues. They take children out of classes and work with them. There is a subsidized fee for this service. In addition, there is a guidance counselor on staff and a psychologist from the municipality of Beit Shemesh who works with the school.