What is the history of YCQ’s Sunday Learning Program?
The Yeshiva of Central Queens Sunday Learning Program has been running for approximately 17 years. We have adapted the program with the changing times. The central idea behind it is that as Jews, although we live in galus, where Sunday is an “off day,” for us at YCQ there is no such thing as a day off from Torah.
Who enjoys the program the most – the rebbeim, the parents, or the students?
Although all participants benefit from the program, I have noticed something special that the parents gain. The parents spend time, grow, and learn with their children. I have observed the tremendous bond created between those parents and students that were able to take out the time to join together to learn at our Sunday morning program.
What is traditional about the program, and what is not traditional?
The variety of speakers is not traditional. We’ve learned with roshei yeshivah, lecturers, authors, congregational rabbis, and performers. Eitan Katz created an inspiring kumsitz for our program. The world-famous speaker and author, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, spoke to a large crowd of parents, students, and alumni. He inspired and entertained the participants with stories detailing the importance of the family unit’s working together to grow in our connection to Hashem. Each week is a unique experience, because we learn with a different person with a particular teaching perspective and style. However, the idea of learning together on a Sunday is very traditional.
How does Sunday Learning impact weekly learning at YCQ during the school week?
This answer will surprise you. If you ask our moros and rebbeim, they will tell you that there is no interruption – our students go straight from the inspiration of Shabbos Kodesh to Sunday morning learning, which flows seamlessly into our school week. Usually, in school, there is a “reset” after the break of the weekend. We have no need for a Monday morning reset.
What is the presumed base of knowledge for the audience and participants? There is no presumed base of knowledge for our participants. Our parent body consists of people from all different backgrounds, experience, and Judaic education. The blessing of the YCQ Sunday Learning Program is that everyone gains.
YCQ has just completed this school year’s schedule for Sunday Learning. What has been achieved this year?
I can tell you that achievement is recognized when our students ask, “What are we learning next week, Rabbi Bernstein?”