Q: What happens on Shabbat at Orayta?
A: The Shabbat atmosphere is an integral part of the learning experience at Orayta. The Yeshiva spends many uplifting Shabbatot throughout the year as a group, both in the Yeshiva and in various communities throughout Israel. In addition, there are 'Optional' and 'Out' Shabbatot during the year. On 'Optional' Shabbatot, students can choose whether to stay in the dorms or spend Shabbat elsewhere. During these weekends, at least one Orayta Rebbe will spend Shabbat at the yeshiva with the students and whenever Orayta's dorms are open, dorm staff will be present and sleeping in the dormitories at night. On 'Out' Shabbatot students spend Shabbat with families in different communities around the country. Our staff happily helps students make arrangements for home hospitality on these weekends.
Q: What happens during Chagim (holidays) and breaks at Orayta?
A: Chagim are an exciting time in Israel and many Orayta students go on hikes together and participate in organized biking and other outdoor activities. The entire Yeshiva celebrates Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Simchat Torah, Chanukah Purim, Yom Ha'atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot together as a group. During breaks from Yeshiva ("Bein Hazmanim"), the dorms remain open and are supervised by a madrich (including chol hamoed). During Yom Tom and Shabbat Chol Hamoed, the dorms are closed. If students require hospitality for Shabbat or Yom Tov, the Orayta staff happily help them make arrangements, and often personally host students during the Chag.
Q: What is Orayta’s facility like?
A: Orayta is located in the Old City of Jerusalem overlooking the Kotel. The main center is housed in a magnificent 900 year old Crusader building with an incredible rooftop view of Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), Mount of Olives and into the Judean Desert.
Orayta's dorms are located in a central building located a few short steps from the Kotel. All dormitories are supervised by trained, experienced dorm counselors.
Q: What is the security like at Orayta?
A: All Orayta buildings are kept locked at all times. The Old City is protected by security camera surveillance and security patrol.
Depending on the security situation in Israel, student travel to certain areas may be limited. Orayta remains in continuous contact with the security establishment.
Q: Is the Orayta student body diverse?
A: Yes! Orayta goes to great lengths to ensure a multi-faceted and diverse student body. Our North American students have hailed from many different cities in addition to those in the tri-state area including: Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Silver Spring, Baltimore, Houston, Dallas, Memphis, Miami, Boca Raton, Hollywood, Boston,Toronto, Montreal, etc.
As well, Orayta maintains an international presence at the Yeshiva attracting students from South Africa, Australia, Germany, England, and the Netherlands.
Q: Will I have the opportunity to learn conversational Hebrew at Orayta?
A: Yes! For those interested in developing their conversational Hebrew skills during their year in Israel, Orayta offers a morning seder in Hebew for those students interested and has also developed an optional Ulpan course. Through the course, students take part in Hebrew immersion experiences twice a week. The program includes tours and various activities around Jerusalem and other parts of the country through which students learn about Israeli culture, history, politics and art – all while speaking Hebrew.
Q: How will Orayta remain a part of my life after my year in Israel?
A: Remaining in close contact with our alumni is a major priority for Yeshivat Orayta. Our Rebbeim are personally in touch with alumni on an ongoing basis and regularly visit college campuses to spend time with alumni. In addition, Orayta runs ongoing alumni shabbatonim, retreats and events in America. Orayta also hosts dozens of alumni every year at the Yeshiva for an 'Alumni Week' during winter break filled with special classes and programming. And of course, our doors are always open to alumni, at any time of year, to return for a visit. All of these opportunities serve to help maintain incredibly strong ties between the Yeshiva and our alumni.
Q: Is Orayta a member of the YU Joint Israel Program?
A: Yeshivat Orayta is an official participant in the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. For more information about the program and to apply, visit http://yu.edu/israel-program/.
Q: Are there opportunities for parents to be involved in learning at Orayta?
A: Yes! We strongly encourage parents to take part in the Orayta learning experience and have created a number of opportunities to facilitate that happening. Every winter Orayta hosts an annual 'Parents Program' in Israel for parents of current Orayta students. The 5-day program combines touring, classes, and discussions with members of the staff and culminates in an unforgettable Shabbat experience with the students and staff in the Old City. We strongly encourage parents and/or members of the family to participate in this very powerful experience. As well, throughout the year, parents receive the weekly e-newsletter with Divrei Torah from faculty and students, and are invited to participate in periodic teleconferences, webinars and shiurim.
Q: I have more questions! What do I do?
A: Be in touch! We are always happy to hear from you at: