Rabbi Azriel Chaim Goldfein established and headed the first Yeshiva in South Africa, the Yeshivah Gedolah of Johannesburg. Rabbi Goldfein studied in Telz Yeshiva, under great rabbonim who survived the Holocaust, and was a lifelong talmid muvhak of Rabbi Mordechai Gifter. During this time, he developed a "love of and profound knowledge of" the writings of the Maharal of Prague. With his wife Clarice Goldfein, he came to South Africa from the United States in 1972, "with a mission to establish an authentic, world-class yeshiva... for the training of South African rabbis for South Africa", and "Yeshivah Gedolah" was established the next year, originally based at the Yeshiva College of South Africa. The Yeshivah's derech is built on "Telshe derech", stressing Mussar and Derech eretz alongside Talmud study. In a complementary fashion, the derech of the Maharal influences the Yeshivah's approach to learning, and more particularly, its Hashkafa.