A Small, Personal School
The small classes at YCTpromote intellectual growth and encourage strong friendships and supportive peer groups. An extremely high faculty-student ratio and the consistent presence of faculty in the Beit Midrash foster lively, stimulating interactions between students and their rabbanim. Teachers concern themselves with the whole student, taking a personal interest in each student’s intellectual, emotional and spiritual development.
Deep commitment to ikrei emunah (faith), tradition, and halakha flourishes in an atmosphere where students are free to ask challenging questions. A non-authoritarian faculty,a comprehensive and interdisciplinary library, a wide range of visiting lecturers, and thought-provoking classes all teach students that intellectual honesty and questioning are key components of religious growth. The multiplicity of voices requires that students are committed to being respectful, both of others’ sensibilities and of our religious traditions and exemplars.
Spirituality & Religious Meaning
YCT cultivates an atmosphere of meaning-making and spirituality. The culture of seeking meaning and asking questions permeates the beit midrash and professional classes. The environment at YCT is such that students naturally seek mentors from among the rabbanim, professional faculty and the mashgiach ruchani, as they actualize a calling to become rabbis of sterling character, with a hashkafat olam rooted in Torah, in halakha, in religiosity, and in morality.
Student self-governance, feedback, and collaboration are essential to create an intentioned and supportive community. A student leadership group emerged as the best way to inspire and direct the life of YCT as a purposeful community and manage the student community and needs with increased autonomy. Members of the group pursue different ideals, including chevrashaft, tzedakah, chesed, and outreach. The group comfortably approaches the administration with issues related to curriculum, policies, new initiatives, and yeshiva culture, constructively sharing a diversity of perspectives and arriving at solutions that balance student feedback with the administration’s pedagogic and strategic goals. YCT’s best chevra events, guest speakers, and learning initiatives have been generated by student ideas. Members of the student body volunteer to plan programs in the yeshiva around chagim or commemorative days, meeting together with the Director of Student Affairs to brainstorm ideas, design a plan, execute the program, and reflect on the process. Outside of the academic context, students represent the yeshiva and serve as ambassadors in their hometowns and local communities.
Responsibility to Others
YCT as an institution and its students as individuals are strongly and actively committed to the principle of tikkun olam, helping others and working to improve the larger world. The entire student body joins together to rejoice with a fellow student at times of simcha, and to give emotional and practical support in times of difficulty. We have the responsibility, as Orthodox Jews engaged in the modern world, to contribute to – not simply benefit from – the larger world. At YCT, the ethos of caring extends outside of the yeshiva. Students regularly participate in soup kitchens and clothing drives, organize rallies for support of Israel, volunteer in homeless shelters, raise money for ma’ot chittim and victims of terror, participate with other seminaries in AJWS missions to El Salvador, help bring simchat yom tov to small Jewish communities, lead programs for underprivileged Jewish youth, and care for the sick.