The Secret of Bensalem; The Thriving Destination Community Only a Drive Away

[COMMUNICATED] “The Bensalem Kollel is a place of energy, opportunity, and unity. It’s a kollel within a beautiful community, a place where yungeleit and their families are thriving, thrilled to be making a difference.”


This is testimony from a member of the kollel in Bensalem, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 

But Bensalem isn’t just a flourishing kollel and community. In fact, it is one of the best-kept secrets on the East Coast.

“Those who live here feel that they are making a difference,” says Rabbi Moshe Travitsky, rosh kollel and head of the Bensalem Kollel and Jewish Outreach Center. “The benefits of living in a smaller community are recognized by the yungeleit and their families who have settled here.” 

Bensalem is a thriving, close-nit Torah community that boasts a kollel, shul, mikvah, eruv, and virtually every amenity that a young frum family would desire.

The bnei aliyah who comprise the Bensalem Kollel are a cohesive group, all of whom have seen great hatzlacha since relocating to Bensalem from other locales. 

“The impact that these couples are having on the kollel and surrounding community are easily recognized and appreciated,” says Mrs. Malky Travitsky, wife of the rosh kollel. “They see it, they feel it, and they embrace it.”

Bensalem is centrally located less than an hour from Lakewood and a bit over an hour from Brooklyn, making it an easy drive from the major frum East Coast areas.

“The pace of life here is friendly and easygoing, with no pressure to keep up with the Joneses,” says Rabbi Doniel Asher Miller, a member of the kollel.. “It’s refreshing and invigorating. It’s a healthy environment with much less pressure – and less traffic, too!”

The yungeleit in the kollel have a fulfilling learning experience, as they can earn semicha, with farhers from Rav Shaul Katz. The afternoon seder features an Amud Yomi program with chazarah and bechinos. At night, the yungeleit learn with members of the local community and alumni of the kollel.

Each kollel family, in addition to a monthly check, receives an apartment, as well as enrollment for their younger children in the local pre-school. The elementary school students are bussed to the excellent Politz Hebrew Academy in Northeast Philadelphia. 

Another financial component that is quite attractive is Pennsylvania’s EITC program, through which businesses and individuals can have their state tax dollars go to mosdos as scholarship money, bringing down tuition rates significantly. 

Furthermore, for those yungeleit who consider purchasing a home in Bensalem, the Bensalem Kollel provides the down payment, helping to bring the dream of owning a home to fruition. 

“It’s a phenomenal kollel, with a unique balance between the kollel learning and the outreach,” says Rabbi Miller. “We have strong first and second sedorim, as mentioned, with shemiras hasedorim. The yungeleit are truly shteiging. And being in Bensalem gives us an opportunity for true kiruv, making a real difference in the lives of those who live here, whether through learning with them, having them over for meals, joining them for a Lag Ba’omer event, and so on.” 

Rabbi Miller adds that the kollel provides an opportunity for yungeleit to step “out of the box” and develop themselves. “Every week, each yungerman checks a section of the local eruv,” he says, giving one example of how communal responsibility expands a yungerman’s scope of knowledge. The yungeleit give shiurim and acquire the skill of speaking to – and impacting – a diverse range of people. 

Rabbi Shabsi Sorscher, who moved with his family to Bensalem eleven years ago, concurs. 

“The learning is on a truly choshuve level, and the chevrah are tight-knit, there for each other in a very warm and encouraging way,” says Rabbi Sorscher, who is now a kollel alumnus, entering the field of social work. “The members of the kollel and the alumni of the kollel feel an achrayus to the shul and to the community, and there’s a fantastic feeling knowing that you’re making a difference. You’re a ‘someone.’ Your life is being enhanced while your enhancing the lives of families in your community.”

“Bensalem is comprised of serious bnei Torah,” adds Rabbi Miller, “and our rosh kollel, Rabbi Travitzky, is a tzaddik, with a heart that has room for everyone. He truly cares about everyone here and will do whatever he can to assist the local yungeleit and their families.” 

“Being part of this kollel and kehillah provides a certain maturity to a yungerman and his family,” says Rabbi Sorscher. “It allows you to become independent and develop skills that perhaps you never even knew you had. And the feeling of being mashpiah on people is unparalleled. For many of the people who the kollel yungeleit learn with, that is their entire Yiddishkeit. It’s an incredible zechus.” 

“There’s a feeling of togetherness here,” says the wife of one of the yungeleit. “There’s great programming for the women, and everyone comes to shul on Shabbos, spending time together at the Kiddush, making friends, and bonding in a way that’s unique to this special community.” 

“It’s a Torahdike environment that, at the same time, has an unmistakable out-of-town feel, and yet we’re a relatively short drive from New York and New Jersey,” says Rabbi Miller. “I like to say that Bensalem gives us the best of both worlds – the benefits of being relatively close to the ‘in-town’ areas with all the positives of an out-of-town community, where everyone knows each other and we all feel that we matter.”

For more information about Bensalem and possibly making it your community, call 267.225.7003 or email [email protected].


This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. I’ve been to Bensalem and its a wonderfull community! The housing crisis in lkwd should help grow these places. I heard they are looking for moer yungerleight…

  2. When I visit Bensalem from time to time, the only thing that surprises me, is that the secret has not gotten out yet, and families are not grabbing the houses yet. It is bound to happen sooner or later. Of course these things are all b’yad Hashem, but the most beautiful structure for a community exists and it’s not even far from anywhere in the tri state area.

  3. If you buy a house in Bensalem make sure it’s on high ground as Bensalem does have a major flooding problem as the Delaware River does come up occasionally.

  4. i hear many yungerleit are buying houses in Elkins park p.a. rabbi rabonowitz yeshivah is moving there, and hes opening a large kollel

Comments are closed.