In any given year, Machon Yaakov serves 30-35 total students between the 1st and 2nd-year classes (with an incoming class of about 20).
Students are selected based on a strong desire and ability to learn and grow intellectually, spiritually, and individually.
Our typical student possesses a strong character, a passion for growth, an intellectual curiosity, and a natural sense of leadership.
Although mostly from the United States, Machon Yaakov students hail from a wide-range of countries, including Costa Rica, Venezuela, Russia, England, Germany, Australia, Lithuania, and Hungary. However, fluency in English is required, as all classes are conducted in English.
Though all texts are studied in the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages, many of our students arrive with little or no background in Hebrew. A Hebrew language program is provided to bolster vocabulary and grammar. Most students make tremendous progress in reading skills within a matter of months, if not weeks, as the program is highly intensive and motivating.
The average student age is about 24, ranging from 20-30 (with exceptions made on an individual basis).
Machon Yaakov students represent such universities as Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics, as well as many others.
Beyond geographic diversity, our students hold a wide-range of interests as well, including backgrounds in business, finance, consulting, medicine, the arts (with several accomplished musicians and actors), and professional sports. While some students arrive at Machon Yaakov with professional experience, others come just after university or graduate school (or after receiving deferrals from specific undergraduate or graduate programs).
Each student is encouraged to express the uniqueness he was given, with no absolute right or wrong path to growth. The vast majority of our students naturally establish themselves as businessmen, doctors, lawyers and academics, while a small percentage may find their calling as rabbis and teachers (see Alumni section).