The Kollel library, which includes
the Nina Lowy and Rina Pushett
Memorial Library, has an
extensive collection of over
12,000 books and is considered
one of the largest and most
important collections of Hebrew
works in Australia. The library contains a large array of seforimon many varied and eclectic subjects, such as the International Date Line in Jewish Law. The Kollel’s comprehensive Halacha section contains hundreds of commentaries on the codified works of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch, as well as on specific subjects such as Jewish festivals, Jewish marriage and divorce, Kashrus, circumcision, medicine, laws of mourning, STa"M, and numerous other subjects. In addition, the Kollel has an extensive selection of Responsa authored by the great Rabbinic leaders from medieval times till present.
As the study of Talmud is a core subject taught at the Kollel, the Kollel houses an extensive collection of commentators on the Talmud from the early medieval commentators till the leading sages of contemporary times. In addition, the Kollel regularly expands its collection, with particular emphasis in acquiring new works on the subjects of study taught at the kollel.
In the area of Chumash [Bible] and ethical development [mussar], the Kollel recently expanded and refurbished its Chaim Aryeh Deutch mussar library. The library includes a large selection of works in both Hebrew and English, as well as a lending library which is also available to the general public. For those wishing to listen to audio lectures on these and other subjects, the Kollel’s Rodney and Lynda Adler multimedia library and self-service Kol HaLoshon kiosk, has over ten thousand lectures presented by hundreds of renowned Rabbinic figures from around the world, to choose from.
The Kollel also has obtained a state of the art digital library which includes the critically acclaimed Otzer Hachochma and Bar Ilan Responsa collection, with over 50,000 Torah works in digital format. The Kollel allows students to access the collection as well as to print copies for their use.
The Kollel’s Torah library is open during school hours, as well as on weekends and evenings.
Among the innovative educational programs offered to students at the Kollel are its live videoconference seminars on extracurricular topics. These periodic seminars grant students direct interaction with leading Torah educators from around the world. These in-depth lectures, which cover a wide range of topics of Talmudic law and thought, are followed by question and answer sessions in which students have the opportunity to have their queries addressed by the foremost experts in Talmudic jurisprudence.
Among the world-renowned speakers to address the Kollel are Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, senior member of the council of Torah sages of Agudath Israel of America, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Director of Star K Kashrus authority and Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, senior Kashrus advisor of the Orthodox Union Kashrus authority.
Some of the topics covered in past seminars were:
The laws of netilas yadayim, yayin nesech, Identification of kosher fowl, fish and mammals, the laws of shechita, hilchos Pesach, the kosher kitchen, Kashrus in the industrial setting, and tevilas kailim. On topics of general interest, the Kollel invites the entire community to attend the lecture.
Chavrusa study – study partners
The Talmud (Sukka 49b) teaches:
What is meant by the verse (Proverbs 31:26) ‘And the Torah of kindness is upon her tongue?’ Now, is there Torah of kindness, and Torah that is not of kindness? Rather, Torah that is taught to others is considered Torah of kindness. Torah that is not taught to others, is considered Torah that is not kindness.
This above statement represents one of the guiding philosophies of Torah study at the Kollel. The Kollel is dedicated to enable each student to maximize their fullest potential in Torah growth and learning. To this end, the staff encourages students who are having difficulty with a specific area of study, to approach their lecturer, or any member of the faculty, for extra assistance. It is not uncommon to find an instructor or senior faculty member, spending time with an individual student after school sessions, who was seeking additional clarification on a given subject.
The Kollel also encourages students to actively assist a weaker student, such as by volunteering to study the subject with them. The Kollel has in place a chavrusa program, where older students are requested to allot some time each day to learn with a younger or weaker study partner. An advantage of the give-and-take chavrusa study system – over the more traditional tutoring method – is that in the chavrusa setting each participant views themselves as an equal partner in the learning experience. This is opposed to a student/teacher relationship, where one party actively imparts information to the other and the recipient largely views themselves as merely the beneficiary of the other’s largesse. An additional benefit is also accrued to the stronger student. Through the reciprocal nature of the dynamic interplay in the chavrusa interaction, the information becomes crystallized to the one imparting the information, while enhancing his communication skills.