There’s a small yeshivah tucked in Holliswood, Queens, with a dramatically reduced tuition that offers an outstanding secular and Jewish education to children, grades pre-school through grade eight. This school is called Yeshiva Primary. There is an advanced computer lab and outstanding science program, writer’s workshop program, art workshop, and all English studies are taught according to the latest New York standards.
Many Yeshiva Primary graduates have gone on to receive degrees in medicine, pharmacy, law, and other highly regarded professions. Yeshivah Primary’s goal is to help students progress to mainstream yeshivos and to go on to lead lives filled with Yiddishkeit and love of Torah. In fact, a high percentage of the students move on to mainstream yeshivos.
Dean and Founder of Yeshiva Primary, Rabbi Zalman Deutscher, shared a poignant analogy. “When you get a bank loan, you are asked for guarantors that you will make payments on time. Who are the guarantors of Yiddishkeit? The new generation.” Sending your children to Yeshiva Primary or donating to the Yeshiva, you are guaranteeing that the joy of Yiddishkeit is transmitted from generation to generation. He shared that in the biography of Albert Einstein the biographer asked him that, if he could go back in history and ask one person a question, who would that person be? Prof. Einstein responded that he would like to meet Moshe Rabbeinu and ask him: Do you believe that after 3,000 years the Torah is still being observed?
Rabbi Deutscher spoke at the siddur party for the first grade last year and he emphasized, “What you saw today was not a show. It’s a privilege to peek in and see what goes on, day by day, week by week, in our classroom. This is the day the children have been waiting for.” He then addressed the students and asked them how they should treat their siddur and how they should take care of it. “I am going to give you your siddur and this is something you will treasure and respect.” He taught them: “The siddur is a treasure in every sense of the word.”
So many students and families were changed and influenced through his schools, Yeshiva Academy of South Queens, Yeshiva Institute, and Yeshiva Primary.
One mother of a former Yeshiva Primary student confided that Rabbi Deutscher personally drove her son to Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway every day. She smiled broadly, “Today my son is a rebbe there.”
A graduate from the Yeshiva Primary class of 2012, Avraham Yusupov stated, “Anything good in my life is because of Rabbi Deutscher. I am now happy and comfortable in Waterbury Yeshiva.”
Another former graduate shared that his first introduction to Judaism was Yeshiva Primary. He brought it home and his family was receptive. He went on to attend Yeshiva of South Shore and then Queens College. He is presently studying medicine at Downstate.
Another Yeshiva Primary graduate with a warm smile, who wore typical chasidishe garb told this writer: “After Yeshiva Primary, I went on to study in Adelphia Yeshiva (Talmudical Academy of Central New Jersey) and then I studied at Yeshiva Derech Chaim in Brooklyn. I also studied in Sh’or Yoshuv.” Currently, he is working as an assistant rebbe and teacher in Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion.
A Yeshiva Primary teacher commented, “The school is a mitzvah. It is wonderful how the school brings children in from public school and they learn about Judaism. Otherwise they would disappear into the other world.”
The school received a proclamation from Assemblyman David Weprin. The assemblyman praised Yeshiva Primary and Rabbi Deutscher. He wrote:
“Since its inception in 1969, under the leadership of Rabbi Deutscher, Yeshiva Primary has been a constant source of inspiration and renewal for thousands of young children and their families in Eastern Queens. Through the progress of their mechinah program, Yeshiva Primary has successfully provided a smooth transition for their public school students to better adjust them to a yeshivah curriculum, so that they can become our future leaders. Your tireless dedication to cultural awareness, Jewish education, and commitment for all children, regardless of their backgrounds and cultures, deserve our highest respect and gratitude…”
Mr. Shimon Kolyakov, Founder of TorahAnytime.com, spoke at the school’s dinner and shared: “Rabbi Deutscher is the person who saved my life and that of my family and my children and my future descendants – Rabbi Zalman Deutscher, my rebbe.” In fact, Mr. Kolyakov and his brother Rubin Kolyakov are responsible for spreading inspiring Torah lectures to millions of Jews all over the world with their famous website TorahAnytime.com and their new app for TorahAnytime.com.
The following is a letter from a current fourth grade Yeshiva Primary student:
Thank you for keeping me healthy every day. Thank you for letting me wake up every day. I appreciate you because if you weren’t here, I wouldn’t be alive. I remember learning parshah last week.
Ronnie, grade 4
By Susie Garber