Some 135,600 bnei Torah are registered in a total of 2,000 yeshivas and kollelim throughout Eretz Yisroel, according to data compiled by Yated Ne'eman and published on Erev Shavuos.
The figures, which were provided by the Union of Yeshiva Managers, show that at least 135,616 are currently studying at 280 yeshivos ketanos and 1,720 yeshivos gedolos and kollelim.
Some 30,000 students are enrolled in the yeshivos ketanos in addition to 33,768 students at the yeshivos gedolos — including 8,000 students from abroad. The kollelim boast 71,848 full-time lomdei Torah.
Added together, yeshiva and kollel students reach a grand total of at least 21.5 million monthly hours spent learning. The typical kollel schedule comes to 140 hours per month, multiplied by 71,848 avreichim, for a total of 10,058,720 hours of Torah study per month.
The sedorim at yeshivas come to a total of 180 hours per month which, when multiplied by 63,768 bochurim, means they study 11,478,240 monthly hours. Of course bnei Torah everywhere also spend time learning outside the official study times.
The figures do not include thousands of other lomdei Torah at yeshivas and kollelim who do not receive government funding.
These encouraging statistics point toward substantial growth in the number of students learning diligently at yeshivas and kollelim, despite numerous financial constraints. Such large numbers are unprecedented in Eretz Yisroel, say roshei yeshivos and roshei kollelim, noting the mesirus nefesh of thousands of avreichim who overcome nisyonos from both without and within the chareidi camp and continue to devote their time to the hallowed tents of Torah.
Meanwhile the heads of the various institutions must wage constant battles against Reform organizations, legal advisors and government ministries seeking ways to reduce their numbers by curtailing funding. In recent years funding has become a heavy burden on Torah institutions because various funding sources around the world have dried up due to the world financial crisis.
Despite all the challenges, yeshiva and kollel heads keep their institutions going strong and are even adding more benches to the botei medrash — lehagdil Torah uleha'adiroh.
Thus despite all of the challenges it faces the Torah world is flourishing and the botei medrash continue to grow, in keeping with the Torah's holy promise: "Ki lo sishokach mipi zar'o" (Devorim 31:21).