Rabbi Yisroel Gelber

By Rochelle Maruch Miller

Rabbi Yisroel Gelber
Rabbi Yisroel Gelber

What kind of chavrusa are you looking for? Whether you are in kollel, a busy professional, or a student, or you want to enhance your Torah study, Chavrusa Match is the #1 site for finding your ideal match. Whether you are a seasoned Torah scholar or a curious kid, you will be able to find someone with your interests, your schedule, and your passion for Torah study at Chavrusamatch.com.

Chavrusa-learning puts each individual in the position of analyzing the text, organizing his thoughts into logical arguments, explaining his reasoning to his partner, hearing his partner’s reasoning and questioning, and sharpening each other’s ideas, often arriving at entirely different new insights into the meaning of the text.

A chavrusa helps the individual keep his mind focused on the learning, sharpen his reasoning powers, develop his thoughts into words, and organize his thoughts into topics and arguments. The chavrusa-relationship affords each individual a platform to clarify and explain his position to a partner. This type of learning imparts clarity into ideas that may otherwise remain vague. Having to listen to, analyze, and respond to another opinion inculcates respect for others and enhances Torah study.

“Chavrusa Match is an innovative way of harnessing technology for harbatzashaTorah,” says Rabbi Aaron Tendler, an esteemed faculty member of Ner Israel Rabbinical College and marad’asra of the Owings Mills Torah Center in Owings Mills, Maryland. “Yasherkoach, Rabbi Gelber, for being the driving force behind this project l’ShemShamayim.”

“I was looking for a chavrusa, so I decided to build a site that would allow me to find one online,” says Rabbi Yisroel Gelber, an entrepreneur and Torah educator. An alumnus of Ner Israel Yeshiva and a Baltimore native, Rabbi Gelber is also a rebbe at Yeshiva Tiferes Chaim in Baltimore. He has a master’s degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University and is involved in the treatment of substance abuse.

“I had a night chavrusa on the phone for 15 minutes. We accomplished so much in a year in just that short daily time. I realized I could squeeze a few more of these in during my day but didn’t know where to start to find others who might be interested. Thus was Chavrusamatch.com launched. Acclaimed by rabbanim and Jewish communities the world over, it is an amazing tool that connects users, with alacrity and ease, with a chavrusa meeting their specific needs. Enhancing the learning experience by bringing more Torah into our lives, Chavrusa Match globalizes and streamlines the process of locating a chavrusa who meets one’s interests, background, and schedule. The key component to its utility is its simplicity; the user simply inputs his or her desired learning criteria and can find one-on-one learning opportunities in person, via telephone, or via video chat/Skype for any time, topic, or place–anywhere in the world.

The website has received 23,000 hits in 115 countries and 2,000 cities. It has over 1,000 users and has made over 450 matches, pairing up chavrusas the world over.

“I just wanted to let you know that people from France are starting to use your site to find chavrusas in Israel (and other locations),” writes Mordechai Linhart. “Maybe it would be an idea to add France to your list of countries. I live in Paris and have found two chavrusas thanks to you. Thank you for making this site available to us. Kol tuv!”

Binyamin Clayman reached out to Chavrusa Match to find a chavrusa after reading about them in an article following the siyumhaShas. Binyamin, who lives in Israel, writes, “I signed up four weeks ago and baruchHashem, I have a new chavrusa in Atlanta, Georgia. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for this amazing service to KlalYisrael and we are davening for your continued success.”

Chavrusamatch.com offers its services gratis to the Jewish community. However, tax-deductible donations are graciously welcomed and assist with site maintenance and development.

“My life has changed a lot because of Chavrusa Match,” says Jake Weinman, who found ten chavrusas through Chavrusamatch.com. “It has helped my level of Jewish learning. Chavrusa Match is teaching Torah 24/7 with great pride.”

Chavrusa Match is available to men and women (separately) of all ages, interests, and educational backgrounds. Log on, add your profile, and embark upon a Torah learning experience that will forever enrich your life.


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