It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that the Yeshiva will be closed for in-person learning for the next several days.
As a result of our discussions with the Department of Health, we will be closing the Yeshiva for several days while they conduct their investigation of the COVID-19 cases at the Yeshiva.
The Health Department officials are currently in our building and have begun discussions with our safety committee. We have offered our continued full cooperation and transparency.
Beginning tomorrow morning your sons’ distinguished rabbeim and teachers will be conducting their classes via our KZoom system and teleconferencing (depending on the grade). Our efforts at setting up the KZoom system are in full swing but, due to the short notice, might not be fully implemented across all grades in time for tomorrow morning. We appreciate your patience as we go through this nisayon together.
Rosh Hashana is coming, a day when we declare Hashem’s Kingship over the universe.
Let us put our faith in Him, and Him alone. Ein od milvado.
He wants us to stay strong and to keep learning and teaching his holy Torah.
While the closure of the Yeshiva is a very bitter bill to swallow, I know that it will not last forever.
Rabbi Yaakov Bender
Yeshiva Darchei Torah
257 Beach 17th St
UPDATED 3:40- Busing to and from the Yeshiva has been suspended due to the positive cases. A representative from the transportation office relayed:
“Please be advised that effective immediately, the bus contract has been suspended for transporting students to and from Yeshiva Darchei Torah due to concerns of positive cases of COVID. The suspension will continue until the appropriate government agency confirms that the proper safety protocols are in place for transporting students to and from school- this includes transporting them home today. We understand that this is an inconvenience however this action is being done to ensure the paramount safety for all students.”
This morning an article from POLITICO specified the closing of Yeshivas Darchei Torah closing due to Covid concerns.
Here’s the memo from Rabbi Bender:
As many of you have already heard, there is a concern that the Yeshiva may have to close because of a proposal from the City of New York.
Let me assure you that we have been in daily and open communication with the Department of Health. We have made them aware of any cases within the Yeshiva – both confirmed and possible – and the precautions we are taking. These include sending home entire classes if there was a single case in the class and quarantining Beis Medrash bachurim in their on-campus residences. This is in addition to the months of preparation that we invested in opening school safely. From mask procurement, to daily disinfection of our facilities, to daily temperature checks of students and staff, to social distancing and ‘cohort’ measures throughout the school, we have taken every possible precaution to keep our talmidim safe.
– Yeshiva Darchei Torah is in compliance with all published City, State and Federal government rules and regulations.
– Yeshiva Darchei Torah is in daily consultation with leading infectious disease specialists, and has accepted and implemented all of their recommendations and suggestions.
– Yeshiva Darchei Torah remains in contact with the Department of Health and we are confident that together we will come to a reasonable and amicable resolution that will keep the interests of the children at the forefront.
There is no replacement for in-person learning, which we have been conducting in a safe and efficient manner — in careful adherence to the instructions of world-class infectious disease specialists — since late August. However, our staff is hard at work preparing a plan to transition to virtual learning.
We are working feverishly to resolve any issues and will keep you updated. This is a nisayon. Life is full of nisyonos, and our job in life is to overcome them–and grow in the process. Im Yirtzeh Hashem we will pass this nisayon with flying colors.
I close with the tefillah from Selichos that should be our focus during this nisayon, as we ask Hashem:
“Asei limaan tinokos shel bais rabban shelo chat’u.”
Rabbi Yaakov Bender