Kollel Chazzu

April 11, 2024

The Perfect Solution for a Bachur’s Bein Hazmanim

Dov Ackerman

The kol Torah in the local beis medrash is booming. Tens of bachurim are huddled together over their sefarim, passionately discussing various sugyos. As you walk through the aisles, you can’t help but be drawn in by the pure joy of the limud haTorah.

Who would believe that this scene is taking place during bein hazmanim?

But it is actually happening in 45 locations in Lakewood and beyond, thanks to Kollel Chazzu.

Bein hazmanim back then

Pesach season is here, bringing with it the hallowed days of bein hazmanim. Years ago, that meant days without structure and the lure of local eateries and running car-cleaning businesses. Serious-minded bachurim were left to their own devices, relying on their own willpower to maintain the growth of the previous zman. Yes, the occasional learning program would open in a shul, but most boys were still left without a steady learning schedule.

As Lakewood grew, those few bachurim returning home from yeshivah multiplied into thousands of bachurim, and the need for something more just grew and grew.

A need fulfilled

In 2015, several individuals assessed this need and attempted to do something about it. Our precious boys who were shteiging in yeshivah needed something during these carefree days to keep them rooted in the growth they had experienced all year. Kollel Chazzu opened its doors nine years ago in an effort to help our bachurim maximize the days of bein hazmanim.

The premise was simple: Give the boys an innovative and structured program which balances serious learning with the freedom and relaxation they need as well. To meet this goal, Kollel Chazzu brought its program to shuls that would benefit from it. The kollel provided a hearty and filling breakfast to fuel the bachurim for their morning seder, leaving them no reason to go elsewhere after Shacharis, and enabling them to thereby remain in the beis medrash until Minchah. The boys would spend their morning learning together with friends b’hasmadah under the guidance of an experienced rosh chaburah from Kollel Chazzu. Once again at night, the bachurim would head out to their shul for a night seder with a chavrusa followed by a hot fleishig supper to enhance the program.

It didn’t take long before the concept spread like wildfire. Shuls lined up to be a part of this bein hazmanim revolution. Today, over 45 Kollel Chazzu locations operate in Lakewood and beyond.

The program runs through the three bein hazmanim periods of the year: Tishrei, Nissan, and the summer break, with Pesach being the longest break and enjoying the largest attendance.

Now, as bachurim wrap up their zman, they are not anticipating a regular vacation; rather, they are looking forward to Kollel Chazzu’s exhilarating learning program. Parents and bachurim alike enjoy the structure that is provided, which is essential for a ben aliyah during his time off from yeshivah. It is remarkable to walk into one of the many locations and see a beis medrash full of bachurim, energized and excited to learn.

The rabbanim’s take

“Our beis medrash in Lakewood Commons has a kol Torah that is enhanced by these bachurim,” shares Rabbi Aryeh Sherwinter, rav of Lakewood Commons and menahel of Mesivta Mekor Chaim. “The younger children and adults in the shul are all drawn in as well, as the excitement of the learning is contagious.

“Structure is an essential ingredient for a bochur’s Bein Hazmanim,” Rabbi Sherwinter adds.

Rabbi Menachem Indich, sho’el u’meshiv in Yeshiva Knesses Bais Levi and menahel of Kollel Chazzu, has been part of the program since its inception. Rabbi Indich makes his rounds of the various locations, ensuring that all their needs are met. He can’t help but notice the smiling faces of the bachurim who are learning.

“This is when bachurim realize exactly what they are all about.”

Rabbi Akiva Londinski, the rosh chabura of Kollel Chazzu Westgate, makes sure everything is in place for the bachurim to be able to enjoy both b’ruchniyus and b’gashmiyus. “I am so invested in Kollel Chazzu because I see the success it has with the bachurim,” he says.

Rabbi Londinski’s message to the boys: “By joining Kollel Chazzu, your whole day will be transformed.”

He says his biggest nachas is watching the bachurim sit together at breakfast, schmoozing as friends before beginning a strong learning seder.

Rabbi Mayer Gleiberman, an administrator in Yeshivat Or Hachaim, is very involved in the Kollel Chazzu branch at Khal Ohr Yoel Meir, the Williams Street shul. He remarks that during bein hazmanim, the shuls in Lakewood become the focal point of their neighborhoods thanks to the atmosphere Kollel Chazzu provides.

The highlight of bein hazmanim

Parents are effusive in their praise of Kollel Chazzu.

Bachurim from tens of different mesivtas learning in one beis medrash together is such a nachas,” shared one father.

One mother expressed appreciation that due to Kollel Chazzu, her son is eager to get up on time every morning; his entire day is different because of it.

Many bachurim have related that Kollel Chazzu is the highlight of their bein hazmanim. It’s the perfect balance between learning and a change of scenery. The environment is warm and inviting, and bachurim simply want to be there. Some locations have tens of bachurim while others have hundreds, yet each bachur feels he is part of something special and bigger.

Dovid Zuckerman and Yisroel Gershbaum, talmidim in Bais Medrash Govoha, who were part of the original group back, in 2016, reflect on their years in Kollel Chazzu and the impact it had on them. Dovid says that for years, it provided the boost that enhanced his bein hazmanim. He was able to learn b’chaburah with his friends with the same geshmak in learning that he experienced during the zman. Yisroel marvels at how it started with a few bachurim on his block. Now, there are thousands learning each day of bein hazmanim. The growth—and the impact—are phenomenal.

Thousands of other bachurim could testify to the incredible effects this program has. Parents and bachurim look forward to the signs going up each bein hazmanim announcing the dates of the Chazzu program. The bachurim begin discussing and planning with whom and at which location they will spend their bein hazmanim. The shuls begin filling up on the first day, as everyone is eager to get a seat.

Rabbi Binyomin Gewirtz, an avreich in Bais Medrash Govoha and a main driving force behind Kollel Chazzu, asserts, “As the zman comes to a close, so many bachurim are discussing who they will be learning with and at which location of Kollel Chazzu. It’s a chizuk to watch their excitement as they take their accomplishments from the zman and have the opportunity to further develop them during bein hazmanim, recognizing the importance of the weeks in front of them.”

As in previous years, the program takes on extra meaning as it is dedicated l’ilui nishmas chavareinu Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Stern zt’’l. Rav Yakakov Yitzchok had a special chavivus for all bachurim and dedicated much of his precious time to help them achieve true success and taste the mesikus haTorah.

Join the revolution

The demand for Kollel Chazzu only continues to grow. More and more bachurim and shuls are clamoring to join.

The Chafetz Chaim in Sheim Olam cites the Tanna D’vei Eliyahu, stating that “Klal Yisrael will be redeemed from 10 people together sitting and learning b’chaburah with their voices intertwined with each other.”

As we enter the time period of geulah, let us join Kollel Chazzu to bring the voices of bachurim throughout Lakewood together in the most beautiful song of Torah.

Join us in supporting this remarkable daily kiddush Hashem affecting thousands of bachurim in our community and neighborhoods. Let’s ensure that every bachur has the opportunity to have a fulfilling and uplifting bein hazemanim.


Take part in this great zechus! Sponsor the limud haTorah of Kollel Chazzu and make Pesach bein hazmanim a time of aliyah for over 2,000 bachurim. Contact Rabbi Binyomin Gewirtz at 848-525-1145.

You can donate by calling the Kollel Chazzu’s 24-hour hotline at 732-605-6007. Checks can be made payable to Kollel Chazzu and mailed to 293 Dewey Avenue, Lakewood, NJ 08701.


Kollel Chazzu Participating Shuls

Albert shul

Ateres Yeshaya

Bais Medrash D’Brookwood—Jackson

Bais Medrash D’Chesterfeild

Bais Shabsi—Pawnee

Beis Efraim Tzvi—Rav Shemano

Beis Elazar—Rav Kahanow

Beis Medrash Chayei Yisroel

Beis Medrash Elmwood

Beis Medrash Tefillah L’Moshe—Rav Flam

Beis Medrash of Arlington

Beis Medrash of Bunker Hill—Toms River

Beis Medrash of Pine Street

Beis Medrash of Westgate

Beis Medrash Pine Lake Park East

Beis Medrash Ohr Shimon—Raintree

Beis Medrash Tikun Shlomo

Beis Shmuel—Princeton

Chateau Park Ashkenaz

Chestnut Ohr Gedalya

Chestnut Rav Greenfield

Forest Park shul

Hearthstone shul

High Street shul

Khal Meor Chaim—Rav Hertzka

Khal Ohr Yoel Meir—Williams Street

Khal Yaakov Akiva—Alvarado

Khal Zichron Refoel—Dewey Avenue

Khal Zichron Yaakov

Lakewood Commons shul

Minyan Avreichim Sfardi

Nachlas Yaakov—Central Court shul

Ocean Pointe shul

Pine River shul

Presidential Estates shul

Prospect Park shul

Prospect Square shul

Prospect Vines shul

Rav Forchheimer’s shul

Somerset Walk shul

Spruce Street shul

Sterling Place

Tal L’Yisroel—James Street