Yeshiva Initiatives Educational Programs


I just wanted to express my gratitude to both of you once again... After many months of job searching, I thank G-d found my dream job... General Studies Principal/ Special Education Coordinator at .....Torah Academy of......


I am positive that my Educational Leadership masters degree played a pivotal role in securing the position. Teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime... Thank you is so inadequate but it will have to do!


I highly recommend Bellevue University’s College program for any student would like to graduate with real knowledge, in a positive environment, using their Judaic education and experience, and in less than eighteen months.

Having the opportunity to attend Bellevue University’s College program was heaven-sent. Rabbi Lerner and staff accommodated us with whatever was necessary to help us through our program. The instructors were knowledgeable and were eager to assist us in any way possible.

Rabbi Lerner’s commitment to get each student to graduate is second to none.

June, 2016

When my daughter came up with the idea of getting her college degree online, I thought this would be some kind of cop out, easy short cut for a historically unmotivated kid who probably spent most of high school in the building's stairwell.  But she pointed out to me that she would be lost in a place like XXXX College, a good school with 100 kids in a class and a school from which all of her siblings graduated. 

I went along with idea simply because I thought opposing it could only lead to arguments with her and possibly being blamed for the rest of my life for her failures.

Today I am so grateful to Bellevue and the experience we have had.  I’ve been working closely with my daughter because her education going in was very weak.  As a result of working closely with her, I have witnessed the unbelievable.  Beyond the knowledge she has acquired on the various subjects we have studied, my daughter has learned to

  • Do research
  • Think critically
  • Argue her point in a constructive, businesslike manner and
  • Become a really good writer, including acceptable grammar!!

She also tells me the experience has increased her confidence.  Thank you for having such a nice program for someone who probably could not have done it in a traditional setting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Grateful Parent


August 2017

From a YIEP-Bellevue student, who graduated our undergraduate degree program and who is now in our graduate degree program:

“I’ve taken classes at other universities and have yet to find more supportive and student oriented professors than the ones we have in the YIEP Bellevue cohorts!”

Dear Rabbi Lerner.

I hope this message finds you well. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate everything you have done for me!

The following is a copy of what I have sent to a perspective student:

Dear Rabbi ****,

I was contacted by our Program Director, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, and understood from him that you would like to receive additional information on the MAEL program.

I’m a current student at the program and as an “Insider” I would highly recommend it!

I’m a former IDF soldier who became observant almost immediately upon my arrival to the US 15 years ago. The world of Education, both secular academia and Jewish studies is not foreign to me and I think I can provide you with an accurate evaluation as to what to expect.

Almost every aspect of this program is tailored for success. From the program itself, its environment, and the amazing individuals who run it.

As a typical secular Israeli and as an Orthodox  Jew I could observe this fusion happening and this is rare to nonexistent in the current academic world.

The degree itself in Educational Leadership can prepare you for many career paths you are currently occupying or would like to pursue in the future. The program is so versatile that even in my field (physical education and public health) the potency of such a degree is evident. Whether you are preparing yourself for ANY leadership role or would like to advance your career, this degree offers an array of venues to explore. This becomes possible only with professors and a directorship team that truly understand your needs as a student. This leads me to the day to day experience.

I’m a father of 4, 36 years old, working, managing a household and trying to serve G-d. This program recognizes that and accommodates the above in almost every aspect. From deadline flexibility, superb communication flow with the professors, and a schedule that is truly suitable for observant individuals (revolving around the holidays, etc.) I needed a program that would not infringe on the rest of my life and I was not disappointed.

The overall package of: Affordability, Accreditation (Regionally Accredited), Flexibility, The Professors, The Support and true understanding of students’ needs is something invaluable in this program. This, together with an incredible teaching methodology that includes great curriculum and discussion forums gives this program a more domestic/ in-house program feeling than you could imagine (And for distance learning it’s a true challenge).

I’m continuing for a Ph.D program in the field of public health upon completion of this amazing program. The doors and opportunities that this program opened for me are vast. I honestly have ONLY good things to say about the program and what it has to offer and I would love to discuss that with you over the phone.



October 2017

August 2011

Brooklyn, NY

Graduation Ceremony; BS in Human Services

Honored graduates and guests,

Who could have envisioned an educational partnership between a University in Nebraska and a non-profit agency serving the
developmentally disabled in the predominantly Chassidic Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park, Brooklyn. But here we are!

Despite this unusual affiliation, the university has taught and the students have learned, culminating in this auspicious commencement and celebration.

Thank you Rabbi Pesach Lerner for being the pre-eminent matchmaker between Human Care Services and Bellevue University. Thank you Bellevue University for taking a leap of faith and piloting a bachelor’s program for Human Care. Thank you graduates for your conscientious pursuit of knowledge. We are so proud of your accomplishments.

During commencement season this past June, the New York Times had an article which quoted many words of wisdom from commencement speakers given at various universities across the country. I made a point of saving the article as I figured it would come in handy for today’s occasion. Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize winning novelist, spoke at Rutgers University in our neighboring state of New Jersey. She chided Thomas Jefferson for using the pursuit of happiness as the third right for every American in conjunction with life and liberty. She believed that a more appropriate right would have been the pursuit of meaningfulness. She understood that happiness is something we all strive to attain and that it informs most of our choices in life yet, it is not good enough. She posited that personal success devoid of meaningfulness and a commitment to social justice leads to a trivial life. It’s looking good instead of doing good. All our graduates are committed to helping the developmentally disabled live the life of their choosing, while living their own lives true to their faith and raising their families. They all look good but most importantly they all do good.

Another commencement speaker of note this past June was Chris Waddell, a champion Paralympics skier, who spoke at the commencement of Middlebury College. He told a most poignant story about going to get his mail from the mailbox at the end of his street. As he parked his car and pulled out his wheel chair, a little girl rode by on her small pink bike with pink streamers on the handlebars. She asked, “What happened to your legs?” He proceeded to tell her about his skiing accident while at college. She asked him, “so you’ll never walk again?” and he responded in the affirmative. As she rode away she proclaimed “that’s too bad.” He wished that he had stopped her to tell her that if he had never had the accident he would never have become a champion Paralympics skier. He never would have turned a hobby into a profession. He would never have met presidents and heads of states and probably would not be a commencement speaker at his alma mater. The little girl only saw the tragedy; she didn’t see the potential gift. Each of our graduates sees the potential in each of the individuals that they support and help.

Our graduates personify a group of women who work tirelessly to support the developmentally disabled even during the current climate of economic recession and decreased funding. This difficult environment only energizes them to look for and highlight the positive attributes of each individual leading to the most qualitative, person centered advocacy possible.

In Jewish tradition when something new and important occurs there is a special blessing that is pronounced. It is the blessing of the Shehechiyanu. This occasion most definitely would qualify.

Thank You

Esther Lustig LCSW
Executive Director/CEO
Human Care Services
Brooklyn, NY