Rabbi Moish Schmerler, director, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; Rabbi Gil Student, director, Halacha Commission, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik; executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim

By Rochelle Miller

Since its inception over 78 years ago, the Rabbinical Alliance of America (Igud HaRabbonim) has served Klal Yisrael with distinction. Comprising over 950 rabbis representing a wide spectrum of Orthodox Judaism, the RAA’s members serve the Orthodox community in a variety of capacities. For generations, members of the Rabbinical Alliance of America have distinguished themselves as congregational leaders, religious leaders, chaplains, heads of Jewish organizations, and communal leaders, devoted to their sacred calling.

“We are an inclusive, non-political, national rabbinic organization,” said Rabbi Moshe Schmerler, director of RAA. “Our diverse membership includes rabbis with semichah from Torah Vodaas, Mir, Lakewood, Yeshiva University, and many more premier yeshivos. Representing a rich tapestry of Torah traditions, the Igud’s members are yeshivish, chassidic, Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and are united in their commitment to our treasured mesorah.”

The Igud affiliates with an active beis din, composed of distinguished rabbanim; Rav Herschel Kurzrock, shlita, serves as av beis din. Additionally, the organization provides a wealth of services to rabbis and community members, including rabbinic coaching, placement, assistance with wills, and more, ever expanding the scope of its services to meet the needs of its esteemed members.

To that end, and in response to the many requests it received from members, the Rabbinical Alliance of America has launched its new Rabbis Group Retirement Plan. Developed by Gary Kopstick, a retired tax partner from the prestigious Canadian accounting firm of Crowe Soberman LLP, the plan offers comprehensive features at a low cost.

The architect of this much-anticipated plan is Gary Kopstick, a grandson of the legendary Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt’l, rosh yeshiva of Torah Vodaas, and Rebbetzin Chana Kamenetsky, a’h. Gary was raised with a tremendous sense of ahavas Yisrael and is passionate about dedicating his efforts and expertise to helping the klal. Moreover, the Igud has always had special significance to Gary as his beloved grandfather was one of its founding fathers. Bringing a wealth of knowledge and invaluable advice to the Rabbinical Alliance, Mr. Kopstick, a Toronto native and current Staten Island resident, spent an inordinate amount of time and effort, all in a voluntary capacity, forming the necessary framework and working in conjunction with Ms. Susan Diehl, president of PenServ Plan Services, Inc. to develop a plan that is comprehensive, affordable, and available to all members in good standing of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

Providing multiple benefits, the plan features account set-up, easy transfer of contributions, online investment elections, transfers from other 403b or qualified account plans, and rollovers from IRAs or other employer plans. Featured as well are choice pre-tax or Roth contributions and automatic account rebalance. The user-friendly plan also includes a dedicated account team to assist participants, ensuring a seamless and successful outcome.

To navigate the process, Gary retained the legal services of Robert Friedman, a partner in the global law firm of Holland & Knight LLP. The firm’s expertise spans areas such as commercial litigation, regulatory matters, real estate, and government advocacy. With painstaking detail, Robert Friedman reviewed the retirement plan to ensure it fully complied with the needs of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.

“The retirement plan helps bring a high level of professionalism to the rabbinate, which will help attract a new generation of rabbis to a sacred calling,” said Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. “Thanks to the efforts of Gary Kopstick, Ms. Susan Diehl, and Robert Friedman, we are able to offer rabbis the opportunity to properly prepare for their retirement.”

Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, concurs. “Words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation to Gary Kopstick for organizing the framework for our retirement plan and for working with Ms. Susan Diehl and Robert Friedman in bringing the rabbis a great benefit. This retirement plan will offer rabbis the opportunity to live respectably in their retirement. May Gary, Susan Diehl, and Robert Friedman be blessed for their efforts in enhancing the rabbinate.”

For Gary, dedicating his efforts to benefit the Rabbinical Alliance of America was a labor of love. “Hashem gave me the z’chus to assist these incredible united rabbanim in the organization my Zaida, zt’l, wholeheartedly supported,” he shares. Following in his grandparents’ footprints is surely a fitting tribute.

Rochelle Maruch Miller is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times. She is a journalist, creative media consultant, lecturer, and educator, and writes for magazines, newspapers, websites, and private clients. She welcomes your comments at Rochellemiller04@aol.com.


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