On Thursday evening, February 11, 2021, 29 Shevat 5781, Rosh Chodesh Adar, the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim gathered with family and friends to observe the fifth yahrzeit of its legendary menahel, Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum. “It is hard to believe that it is five years since the passing of Rabbi Tannenbaum, zt’l, our longstanding, highly respected menahel/director and the rabbi of Congregation B’Nai Israel of Linden Heights, also known as the 9th Avenue Shul. Rabbi Tannenbaum left us with memories of optimism and vibrancy. We daven that he be a meilitz yosher for his family and Klal Yisrael. One thing is for certain, we at the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim are committed to continuing his tradition of excellence for the advancement of rabbanus and kavod harabbanus,” commented Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.
Rabbi Meir Melnick served as the keynote speaker and related his personal experiences with Rabbi Tannenbaum. “What impressed us the most about Rabbi Tannenbaum was his love for every person with whom he came into contact. Rabbi Tannenbaum had the patience to take on challenges from which most people would shy away. However, by example he demonstrated what a rabbi is and what rabbinic leadership is all about.”
Mark Meyer Appel, a devoted student of Rabbi Tannenbaum, recalled how he valued Rabbi Tannenbaum as his rebbe and how a day would not go by without speaking with him. “Rabbi Tannenbaum was the voice of the voiceless and the advocate of the downtrodden. He was passionate to help all those in need and suffering. Even when it was unpopular, he spoke his conscience. Sadly, his leaving the world has left a void which is not being filled. It is our obligation as his students, friends, and family to fill that void as best as possible.”
The small gathering consisted of a dozen rabbis, family, and friends of Rabbi Tannenbaum. The evening was dedicated to celebrating the life of this important leader, to reflecting on his life and achievements. In his life, he particularly focused on loving and advocating for Klal Yisrael, making sure to be there for every segment of the community. In that spirit, the Rabbinical Alliance of America invited Deputy Inspector Richard Taylor of the Police Department’s Community Affairs Bureau to congratulate him on his recent promotion. The Rabbinical Alliance of America took the opportunity to thank Deputy Inspector Taylor for making a Kiddush Hashem and for serving as a role model for the community.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, and Rabbi Ari Weiss, governmental and law enforcement liaison of the Rabbinical Alliance of America and a Shomrim coordinator, welcomed and introduced Inspector Taylor. “My experience working with Inspector Taylor with the Shomrim is positive. Inspector Taylor is from among the NYPD’s finest, always extending himself and going the extra mile. It is his dedication to policing that makes the NYPD shine.”
Rabbi Mirocznik remarked, “Rabbi Tannenbaum would have been proud of Inspector Taylor’s accomplishments. Rabbi Tannenbaum firmly believed that an observant Jew must be meticulous in his interpersonal behavior. He must approach business and ethics with the same level of scrupulousness and stringency as he treats the laws of kashrus. Inspector Taylor is such an individual. We at the Rabbinical Alliance of America take note of that and want Inspector Taylor to know the powerful impact that he has on the community and in particular the youth. We pray that the Al-Mighty bless, protect, and guide Inspector Taylor in his professional endeavors. May He grant Inspector Taylor the strength, wisdom, and fortitude to continue in his sacred path and to further advance in the department. In that merit, may he continue to help make the city a safe and great place for all New Yorkers. We at the Rabbinical Alliance of America are confident that history will look back and testify on the impactful and important difference that Inspector Taylor will make for the city. We are confident that this is only the beginning and that the best is yet to come.”
Rabbi Dovid Katz, menahel of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, and Dayan Rabbi Moshe Brody of the Igud Bais Din, spoke of the need to educate the community on the importance of bais din. “Rabbi Tannenbaum believed that the Igud Bais Din, the organization’s crown jewel, must have dayanim/ rabbinical judges who besides attaining Talmudic scholarship of the highest degree, also profoundly understand the public whom they serve. A dayan must be able to connect and relate to the public. Fortunately, the judges on the Igud Bais Din have these qualities,” remarked Rabbi Katz. Rabbi Brody stated, “As dayanim, we have to educate the public and give them the confidence to come to Bais Din to resolve their disputes. We must take the time to help them in a respectful environment built on Torah true principles.”
Rabbi Chaim Zev Tannenbaum gave remarks from the family and stated, “My father, Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, zt’l, would be proud to see that the Igud HaRabbonim is continuing to advocate for rabbanim and Klal Yisrael. I am proud to be a member of the Igud HaRabbonim and look forward to its continued success in its sacred mission, ad biyas go’el tzedek.”