In the late 1960s the lack of full-time Torah institutions began to be felt and the existing communal structure was unable to retain the youth, which began drifting away. This slow but steady decline of the community was the main driving force that led to the creation of the Kollel.

In August 1970 the first Rosh HaKollel Rabbi Mordechai Shakovitsky zt”l was brought out to SA together with the first group of full-time Kollel members.

The first step was to import, support and maintain 10 families whose sole profession would be to achieve a high calibre and all-round Torah education. The intent was to build these families into models of integrity and sterling character traits.

These families would then engage with the wider Jewish community in an effort to have a positive and long lasting impact on the Jewish observance.

The project proved extremely successful as these young scholars became a beacon of spirituality and an educational resource for the broader South African community.

They provided a welcoming hub for vibrant Jewish learning for Jews of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of observance. And they formed the nucleus that would form the community with the next generation of leader’s educators and rabbinic advisors.

The myriad of shiurim and activities of those years succeeded in creating a much needed revival of Judaism and resulted in many young Jewish men and women being sent to Yeshivos and Seminaries overseas.

In 1977, Rabbi Baruch Grossnass was brought out from Israel to join the faculty and to set up a yeshiva . Not long after he succeeded Rabbi Shakovitsky as Rosh Hakollel. Over a period of 40 years Rabbi Grossnass headed and maintained the Kollel avreichim. During this period many Torah Communities, Schools and Organisations were set up and in many of those the core members were products of The Kollel.

In 2018, Rabbi Grossnass handed over the reins of leadership to his nominated successor, Rabbi Baruch Rubanowitz, who occupied the position of Rosh Kollel for just over 3 years before returning to Eretz Yisroel. Over this period, Rabbi Rubanowitz expertly shared his vast depth and breadth of Torah knowledge with the broader Johannesburg community.