Academy of higher Talmudic learning. Through its biblical and legal exegesis and application of scripture, the yeshiva has defined and regulated Judaism for centuries. Traditionally, it is the setting for the training and ordination of rabbis. Following the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, a series of yeshivas were set up around the Levant to codify and explain centuries of Jewish scholarship. In medieval times, yeshivas flourished in Europe wherever there were large populations of Jews. The first yeshiva in the U.S., 'Etz Hayyim (1886), later became Yeshiva University (1945).