Friday, June 29, 2012

English Siyum HaShas Controversy

Two organizations, two separate events, two different dates, one venue, one English speaking crowd, and one Siyum HaShas. 

In celebration of the 12th Siyum HaShas, there will a matchup of organizations competing for the English speaking crowd. First up, on Tuesday, 12 Av/July 29th, Dirshu will host an event held in Binyanei Ha’uma. Though, just five days later, another Siyum HaShas is being planned and hosted by Kollel Iyun Hadaf; and where else does it take place if not for Binyanei Ha'uma?

To me it seems rather perplexing that the events weren't combined into one. After all, how many English speakers will be around this summer to attend? More so, it is quite decieving that Dirshu is advertising its Siyum as "the major event for English speakers", forcing the KIH to recently advertise its own Siyum as "The Original English Siyum HaShas in Yerushalayim".

Just like they are implying, the Kollel Iyun Hadaf (KIH) hosted a celebration for the last Siyum in 2005, while Dirshu did not (I'm pretty sure Dirshu didn't even exist then). Around 6,000 people showed up to that Siyum, way more than the 3,000 expected. The big difference between the events- Dirshu's event is totally free, while KIH sells tickets for 65-75 nis. It's interesting to note that KIH is connected to Agudas Yisroel of America, while Dirshu is connected to Agudas Yisroel of Jerusalem. Either way, here are the details of both events so that the reader can decide which event to go to, unless you'd like to go both. 

Dirshu Poster
The Dirshu Siyum: On Tuesday, 12 Av/July 31, Dirshu will be holding a siyum at the Binyanei Haumah Convention Center in Yerushalayim. Admission is free. Venerated English-speaking Torah giants including Hagaon Harav Yosef Sitruk, former Chief Rabbi of France who was instrumental in bringing a teshuvah revolution to French Jewry, as well as Hagaon Harav Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Kaminetz Yeshiva, and Hagaon Harav Simcha Hakohein Kook, shlita, Chief Rabbi of Rechovot, as well as numerous others will address the event.

After that event, buses will bring the massive crowd to the immense, open-air Daf Hayomi Siyum HaShas in a large park in the French Hill neighborhood, co-sponsored by Dirshu and Agudat Yisrael of Yerushalayim.

Additionally, there will be a simultaneous women’s English program in an adjacent, separate hall at Binyanei Haumah. That event will feature live video of the event with separate programming. One highlight will be an address by the consummate educators and internationally acclaimed speakers, Rabbanit Tzipporah Heller and Rabbanit Yitty Neustadt. 

For more details/info, or to register for free seats, call 073-249-0901 or email

Kollel Iyun HaDaf Siyum
The KIH Siyum: On Sunday, August 5th/17 Av, the English Siyum in Yerushalayim will be held in Binyanei Ha’umaDoors will open at 5PM for both men and women participants to view some exhibits, and the Siyum will start at 7PM. The guest speaker will be HaRav HaGaon Aharon Feldman Shlita. Special entertainment will be included, such as a chazzanut and choir performance, and a special performance of new songs composed by R' Shmuel Brazil. 

Prices for admission start at free for Maggid Shiurim, 35 nis for children under 13, group rates at 55 nis a ticket, 65 nis for avrechim/students, 75 nis for men/women, and 180 nis for a VIP ticket. For reservations and additional information one may email, call 02-651-5004, or visit the official website at

KIH's 2005 Siyum HaShas video


  1. where is the parking lot in 'french hill'?
    is it the light-rail's parking lot by givat hatachmoshet/amunition hill which is across from 2 sderot eshkol??