Rabbi Shalom Arush shlita established Chut Shel Chessed Institutions in 1985. The original yeshiva was housed in an abandoned building. Although the physical conditions were, to say the least, less than adequate (there were no chairs or tables, and everyone studied, ate and slept in one enormous room) the yeshiva attracted a wide variety of men – from successful businessmen, doctors and movie stars to wayward youths. The common factor was that they were all curious about their heritage and were drawn to Rabbi Nachman of Breslev’s teachings, and Rabbi Arush’s unique focus on learning emuna. Rabbi Arush spent his mornings teaching at the yeshiva, and his afternoons traveling around the country, demonstrating the beauty of Judaism through focusing on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman. In addition, the students at the Yeshiva distributed Rebbe Nachman’s books throughout Jerusalem. Today, Chut Shel Chessed Institutions includes a Yeshiva, a number of different Kollels for married men which combined, learn around the clock 24/6, a boarding school for teenage boys, and a Talmud Torah for younger boys, in addition to schools from preschool through post high school (seminary) for girls.
Many students are drawn to the yeshiva’s unique atmosphere, combining love and joy with intensive study and self-growth. Since the overwhelming majority of the students at Chut Shel Chessed are from secular backgrounds, the classes are geared for their special needs.The central Kollel is a high-level learning program geared specifically for married men. Many well known rabbis teach in the Kollel, including Rabbi Yehoshua HaCohen, author of the famous book Kerem Yehoshua. Until his passing, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef zt”l, son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef zt”l, taught Jewish law.
In addition, Chut shel Chessed publishes and distributes books and CDs of Rabbi Arush’s teachings – click here to help us spread emuna around the globe! The Yeshiva also manages Breslev.com, which posts articles and videos about Judaism, Breslev, and Rabbi Arush’s teachings in particular – in six languages!
Chut shel Chessed also includes a large chessed wing, which provides food for hundreds of needy families for Shabbat and holidays, hot meals for hungry children, a special “Kimcha D’Pischa” program for Passover food for the holiday, support for orphans and widows, and much more. To learn more about our many causes and support Chut shel Chessed’s important work, click here.
Recently, Chut shel Chessed also opened a Beit Din (Jewish court) for monetary issues called “Mishpat v’Chessed,” run by Rabbi Elchanan Elgrod shlita.
The numbers are staggering: over 1,000 students of all ages, more than 7,000 hot meals and over 600 food baskets a month, almost 1,000 free classes and meetings around the country every month, including in jails and hospitals, 60,000 newsletters distributed every week, and much more! It’s no wonder that Chut shel Chessed’s yearly budget is more than $13 million dollars.
Rabbi Shalom Arush and his wife provide both married and unmarried students, as well as their families, with support and assistance in overcoming the unique challenges that face baalei teshuva – newcomers to Torah Judaism. Rabbi Arush constantly emphasizes that “Its [the Torah’s] ways are of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.”Chut Shel Chessed is not just a center of Jewish studies; it is also a warm and supportive community. Every Shabbat, the entire community joins together to celebrate the holy day. The heartfelt singing (Breslev style), sincere prayers and Torah lessons combined with kiddush and communal seudah shlishit (third Shabbat meal) make Shabbat with Chut Shel Chessed into a unique, uplifting experience, one never to be forgotten. Hallel is an experience not to be missed, complete with a band, singing and dancing – often for more than an hour. During Sukkot, the Yeshiva hosts “Simchat Beit Hashoeva” for the community including dancing and meals. There is also an active Nshei for the Kollel wives directed by Rabbanit Arush, which includes classes and special outings. One of the most difficult challenges facing returnees to Judaism is the lack of a close family support system. Chut Shel Chessed fills that gap through community trips and vacations, as well as mutual assistance in both family celebrations and sorrows.
Chut Shel Chessed’s doors are open to everyone and we warmly welcome visitors. On your next visit to Israel, please stop in to see for yourself our thriving Breslev community. For more information, click here.
For the story about the Chut shel Chessed building, previously the Mandelbaum Gate, click here.
For all the ways you can support Chut shel Chessed Institutions, click here to donate.
Chut shel Chessed is a recognized amuta (charitable organization) in Israel, but is not registered as a 501(c)3 in America, and donations are only recognized by the State of Israel.
If you would like to donate by check and receive a US tax-deductible receipt (please note that we cannot track individual donations using this method, so it cannot be used for memberships or to receive any gifts etc. in return), send your donation to:
In the check’s memo, please note that the donation is for “Mosdot Chut Shel Chessed.”