Lucerne, Switzerland – A famous Swiss yeshiva has announced it is shuttering its doors, much to the dismay of its students, some of whom have already packed up their belongings and are looking for a new yeshiva in time for Elul Zman.
Israeli news web sites Kikar Ha’shabbat, and Bechadrei Charedim report, that Yeshiva Bais Yitzchok of Lucerne is closing in the wake of significant debts.
Others from within the kehilla in Switzerland claim the real reason the school is closing is because of internal administrative problems and mismanagement over the course of the last two years. Reports say the school owes 1.2 million Swiss francs, and that the roshei yeshiva have tried to raise the money, but to no avail. In recent years, the yeshiva has been subsisting on the enrollment of students from the United States.
For decades, the yeshiva was run by Rav Yitzchak Kopelman, who was known for fostering generations of talmedei chachamim. He died five years ago. Today, his son, Rabbi Moshe Kopelman, is the head of the yeshiva and has continued in the educational ways of his father.
“People don’t understand that when people speak about the town of Lucerne, they don’t think of the city or the famous bridge, they think of this yeshiva – this growing, spiritual place,” said an unidentified student.” “When someone mentions Lucerne to a charedi Jew, right away they know you are speaking about this yeshiva.” For now, hopeful students say only an intervention from the gedolei ha’dor can likely save this very prominent yeshiva.
There are almost four thousand names on Lucerne Yeshiva’s alumni list.