An upswing of activity and increased aid to yeshivos and Torah institutions through Keren HaTorah has been promised in reaction to the persecution of the Torah world which has manifested itself this past year in Eretz Yisroel, resulting in heavy financial difficulties falling upon the heads of kollelim and roshei yeshiva.
As was reported last week in Yated Ne'eman, the electric company has cut off the electric power to Yeshivas Knesses Chizkiyahu in Kfar Chassidim due to large debts they accrued. This announcement was met by rallying support for the yeshiva from sources wishing to lighten the debt with their donations. A large portion of this money came through Keren HaTorah headquarters which coordinated and processed the donations through many individual donors sent to them for yeshiva and were, in turn, transmitted to the yeshiva.
Keren HaTorah was established in 5767 with the enthusiastic blessings of gedolei Torah and an ongoing consultation with HaRav Eliashiv and ylct"a HaRav Shteinman every step of the way. It is an umbrella funds collecting organization for most of yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, serving as a depot for all donations 24 hours a day by individuals who wish to give money to any specific yeshiva [or to the Keren in general].
Thanks to the generated public interest and enthusiastic response to the dire situation of the yeshivos in general, many ramim have appealed to the Keren to arouse public attention to the fact that salaries to the yeshiva rabbonim are constantly late or lacking due to the ongoing unbearable maintenance and budgetary costs of the yeshivos. Notwithstanding, these rabbonim and staff members continue to serve devotedly at their holy posts while being forced to borrow money from gemachim for their own family needs, with deep anxiety about how they will be able to pay back these loans. The many yeshiva administrators hope and pray that the slashed government budgets will be reinstated together with incoming funds from generous philanthropists here and abroad for the yeshivos' sake.
In light of the critical condition which has arisen, the Keren HaTorah administration has decided to establish a special "Kvod Chachomim" Free Loan fund to sustain the honor and integrity of talmidei chachomim by offering loans to rabbonim whose salaries have been in arrears, with very easy repayment terms. Requests for such loans will be carried out in a discreet manner through the yeshiva's own office. At this stage, several major established gemachim have deposited considerable funds to enable this new gemach to get off the ground. It is important to note that currently, due to the numerous requests reflecting the great need, the Keren does not really need any more such requests but rather, increased donations from the public at large to meet the demand.