Hebrew Theological College

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Hebrew Theological College
Logo of Hebrew Theological College
TypePrivate, Jewish
EstablishedOctober 15, 1921[1]
Rosh HaYeshivaRabbi Avraham Friedman
Students145 high school
50 men's college
165 women's college
United States Skokie

The Hebrew Theological College, known colloquially as "Skokie Yeshiva," is a Yeshiva in Skokie, Illinois, which also functions as a private university on campus. The school is a division of Touro College and University System and hosts separate programs for both men and women. The primary focus of the Yeshiva is to teach Torah and Jewish traditions. It was founded in 1922 as a Modern Orthodox Jewish institution of higher education in America and currently caters to students from Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish and Chasidish backgrounds.

Hebrew Theological College's primary purposes are to prepare students for the assumption of formal roles as educators, as well as to train eligible students to meet the requirements and demands of rabbinic ordination. As its secondary purpose, Hebrew Theological College endeavors to provide its students with broad cultural perspectives and a strong background in the Liberal Arts and Sciences to facilitate a creative synthesis of general and Jewish knowledge. In so doing, the College also provides a foundation for the pursuit of advanced professional training.[2]


The Yeshiva consists of a Bet Midrash, a Rabbinical School, the Bellows Kollel, the Blitstein Institute for Women, and the Fasman Yeshiva High School. The College is composed of the Bressler School of Advanced Hebrew Studies and the Kanter School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All students complete a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies through the Bressler School, with the option of a second major through the Kanter School.

The men's program offers a B.A. with a focus in Judaic studies and specifically Talmud, with second majors offered in Business, Accounting, and Psychology. The woman's program, located on a separate campus at the Blistein Institute for Women, offers Judaic Studies majors in Bible, Hebrew Language, and Jewish History, with dual majors available in Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Education (including Elementary and Special Education), English, Health Sciences and Psychology.

The Yeshiva also has a men's Kollel with some of the kollel members studying for ordination in a Smichah Program led by Rabbi Chaim Twerski.

The College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The school was founded in the city of Chicago in 1921 by Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Rubinstein and Rabbi Saul Silber. The school's original location was at 3448 West Douglas Boulevard in the North Lawndale community.[3] Hebrew Theological College moved to Skokie (a northern suburb of Chicago) in 1958.

Throughout the history of Hebrew Theological College, its leadership has been shared by its rosh yeshiva and its Chief Executive Officer, formerly known as the President, later the Chancellor and now the CEO.


Rabbi Rubinstein (1872–1944) was an alumnus of Volozhin Yeshiva who arrived in America in 1917. Rabbi Silber (1876–1946) was a pulpit Rabbi in Chicago and served as president of the school for its first twenty-five years.[4]

Roshei yeshiva[edit]

Rabbi Nissan Yablonsky, an alumnus of Slabodka, served as the first rosh yeshiva for the first few years. He was followed by Rabbi Chaim Korb. Rabbi Chaim Zimmerman served as rosh yeshiva from 1947 to 1966.

Rabbi Simon Kramer was appointed President. Under his stewardship, Hebrew Theological College reached its greatest enrollment, with approximately 300 students in the high school and 200 in the college. In 1966 Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik became rosh yeshiva. In 1974, he was forced out of his position, and thus founded Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago. In 1985, Rabbi Shlomo Morgenstern, an alumnus of Yeshivas Chevron, became rosh yeshiva. Rabbi Morgenstern served as rosh yeshiva for 22 years. On January 27, 2008, Rabbi Avraham Friedman was named rosh yeshiva.

Other Roshei Yeshiva include: Rabbi Yosef Babad Rabbi Nachman Barr Rabbi Avrahom Yitzchok Cordon Rabbi Eliezer Y. Gottleib Rabbi Yaakov Greenberg Rabbi Moshe Hershler Rabbi Dovid Kaganoff Rabbi Hirsch Isenberg Rabbi Herzel Kaplan Rabbi Mendel Kaplan Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth Rabbi Yosef Leff Rabbi Yechezkel Lichtman Rabbi Dovid Lipshitz Rabbi Chaim Mednick Rabbi Elazar Muskin Rabbi Chaim Dovid Regensberg Rabbi Mordechai Rogow Rabbi Chaim Zvi Rubenstein Rabbi Nachum Sachs Rabbi Zelig Starr Rabbi Zvi Teller Rabbi Moshe Wernick

A list of the Roshei yeshiva can be found at http://www.htc.edu/component/k2/item/228.html.

Presidents / Chancellors[edit]

The founding president was Rabbi Saul Silber (1922–1946). He was followed by Rabbi Oscar Z. Fasman (1946–1964) and Rabbi Simon G. Kramer (1964–1970), and then by Rabbi Irving J. Rosenbaum. Rabbi Dr. Don Well was president from 1981-1989, Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg from 1989-2013. Rabbi Shmuel Leib Schuman became interim CEO in 2013 and as of 2017 is CEO.


The current faculty include:

  • CEO - Rabbi Shmuel L. Schuman
  • Rosh HaYeshiva - Rabbi Avraham Friedman
  • Chancellor Emeritus - Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg
  • Mashgiach – Rabbi Zvi Zimmerman
  • Chief Academic Officer & Dean (Men's division) – Rabbi Dr. Zev Eleff
  • Menahel Ruchani (Blitstein Institute - Women's division) – Rabbi Binyamin Olstein
  • Dean (Blitstein Institute - Women's division) – Dr. Chani Tessler
  • Principal (High School-Fasman Yeshiva) – Rabbi Dovid Kupchik
  • Assistant Principals (High School) - Rabbi Mordechai Ginsparg, Mr. Peter Gobel

Past members of the faculty include Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits who from 1958 until 1967 was the chairman of the department of Jewish philosophy. Other past members of faculty include HaRav Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe, Chaver Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah in America.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Dr. David Applebaum
  • Rabbi David Bigman - Rosh Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa
  • Rabbi Charles Chavel
  • HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel - Rosh Yeshiva, Mir Yerushalayim
  • Rabbi Moshe Gottesman - Rabbi, educator and community leader
  • Yehiel Mark Kalish, member of the Illinois General Assembly, 16th House District
  • Dr. Menachem Kellner
  • Rabbi Moshe Kletenik - Av Beis Din Seattle
  • HaRav Doniel Lehrfeld - Rosh Yeshivas Bais Yisroel
  • Rabbi Dr. Moses Mescheloff
  • Don Patinkin (1922–1995)), Israeli-American economist, and President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski
  • Rabbi Berel Wein
  • Rabbi Chaim Zimmerman

See also[edit]


  1. "History of Hebrew Theological College". Hebrew Theological College. Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-05-14. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20050920071319/http://www.htcnet.edu/WEB/Catalog/index.htm See also: http://www.htc.edu/
  3. "2006 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places" (PDF). Landmark Illinois. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2009-05-14. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. Wein, Berel (1990). Triumph of Survival. p. 334. ISBN 1-57819-593-4. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]