Lucerne, Switzerland – Report: Famed Swiss Yeshiva Closing Its Doors

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    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.

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    13 COMMENTS

    1. Well does the yeshiva still house lots of students. Do they have large enrollment? If not then Ok its time to close down and move on. Life changes and generations move on. Lts of famed yeshivas shut thier doors and moved on including man here in the USA. Whats the tzedaka or mitzva to give to a mosod just because it was once chashuv?

    2. I tried to enroll my son 2 years ago and they refused him because they had NO room for him. I was willing to pay $1500 a month and still refused.
      so my question is if they were so packed and well paid where did all the money go?

      • No wonder the yeshiva closed when big spenders like you were willing to pay all of $1500/month….you can hardly run a cheder on such a pittance much less a yeshiva for serious learners. The problem today is too many yeshivos competing for too few serious kollel yungerleit and too many children and grandchildren of once-famous roshei yeshivot trying to keep outdated mosdos operating once the parents are no longer involved. Every rebbele does not need to be a rosh yeshiva, especially money-losing yeshivas.

    3. I’m a Talmud of the yeshivas and was there in the last 5 years that rabbi Koppelman was alive. I’m also American. In my days the only students in yeshiva were either those whose father and brothers were students or Swiss bochurim. The whole point of going was for the Rosh yeshiva! Not surprised!

    4. No Yeshiva closes because of money problem alone. Rabbi Kopelman, zt”l, was 105 years old when he was niftar. The Yeshiva had the greatest reputation. What happened here is not exclusively money problems. There were other big problems.

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