In the coming weeks, Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns will celebrate the completion of its new home. At its second annual dinner, it will celebrate its 11th year and some of the special people who have given the yeshiva its stature.
After many years of planning and hard work, and with a lot of siyata d’Shmaya, construction of the yeshiva’s new home is almost complete. The yeshiva has earned the respect of our gedolim, many of whom attended the groundbreaking for the new building, almost two years ago. Since its inception over a decade ago, the yeshiva has become a sought-after makom Torah for young men returning from learning in Israel. The yeshiva is known for the high-level shiurim given by the prominent rebbeim, Rav Yaakov Goodman, Rav Gavriel Kaminsky, and Rav Moshe Miller, as well as for its warm atmosphere and unique hashkafah.
But the Yeshiva Gedolah is a multifaceted institution. In addition to having become a prominent makom Torah for its talmidim and kollel yungerleit, it also serves the Five Town community in various ways. The eiruv is maintained by the yeshiva, which sends people to check its status on a weekly basis. The yeshiva provides numerous shiurim to ba’alei batim, ranging from iyun to amud yomi and hashkafah. Its doors are open to all who wish to learn in its inspiring atmosphere. The yeshiva’s yungerleit are available as chavrusas for interested ba’alei batim. Rabbi Yosef Richtman spends much of his day learning with individuals and groups of people in the neighborhood, at their homes or places of work. The yeshiva is looking forward to expanded community involvement, now that its new home is completed.
Guest of Honor. One of the earliest benefactors of the building campaign, Shlomo Mayer, the Guest of Honor at this year’s dinner, was not content in limiting his yeshiva engagement to the mundane. Instead, he actively fostered a close rebbe-talmid relationship with Rav Knobel, learning b’chavrusa with the rosh kollel for the past eight years and becoming a constant presence inside the yeshiva. The Mayer household has evolved into an environment of mutual encouragement for growth in spiritual pursuits. His sons have been a frequent presence in the beis midrash and his daughters have taken active roles in the world of Torah, chinuch, and chesed.
Shlomo grew up in Far Rockaway with his two sisters and brother, all of whose families still reside in the Five Towns area. Though his father passed away at young age, Shlomo had a very special relationship with him and does not miss an opportunity to share stories about him. After his father’s passing, his mother married David Hammerman.
As a child, Shlomo worked hard to help support his family before entering commodities trading, alongside his father. At the age of 21, Shlomo married Naomi, spending the early years of their marriage in Queens before moving to Woodmere. Naomi has shared Shlomo’s commitment to limud haTorah, ensuring that wherever their busy lives take them, time is scheduled for Shlomo’s many chavrusas. Regardless of any other obligations or where they may be, they never miss an opportunity to talk with their adoring children and grandchildren to whom they continue to teach the traits of humility, warmth, loyalty, and respect for all people.
Leadership Award: Burry and Tamar Moskowitz. Managing a dynamic yeshiva environment that caters to a wide variety of audiences is a challenging enough task in itself. Having the added responsibilities of spearheading a building campaign, and making countless critical planning decisions, have made executive director Burry Moskowitz’s role that much more difficult. In this complex web of financial, administrative, and logistical obstacles, Burry has guided the yeshiva with passion, patience, and grace. Always smiling and available, Burry deserves much of the credit for the simcha the yeshiva will celebrate in the very near future.
Burry is a homegrown product of Woodmere, having been raised locally by his parents, Harvey and Ruth Moskowitz. He attended Yeshiva of South Shore for both elementary and high school before departing to Bais Yisroel for two and a half years. Upon returning, he made a stop at Ner Yisrael in Baltimore before settling back in Woodmere at Yeshiva Gedolah. During his time in yeshiva, he attended both University of Maryland and Brooklyn College, preparing him for an initial foray into computer science, and then finally joining the yeshiva administration seven years ago.
His wife, Tamar, is the daughter of Rabbi Baruch and Miriam Lichtenstein from Washington Heights. She attended the Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch for both elementary and high school and then studied in BYA seminary in Eretz Yisrael. Tamar attained her undergraduate degree from Touro College and then completed her graduate studies in Brooklyn College. She currently works as a speech pathologist and acts as a supervisor for Cerebral Palsy Associations of NY State. Burry and Tamar are the proud parents of a beautiful three-month-old girl, Shira Leah.
Harbotzas Hatorah Award: Baruch Aryeh Tzvi (Adam) and Mindy Schachar. The greatest testament to a yeshiva’s success is in the character of the bnei Torah it nurtures and develops. And by that measure, Baruch Aryeh Tzvi Schachar is a shining example of the yeshiva’s finest work. After learning in Eretz Yisrael, Baruch has spent his last nine years in the koslei beis hamidrash, refining his middos, growing in Torah, and acting as a model of chesed and ahavah to the bachurim of the yeshiva. He and his rebbetzin have held an open door for any talmidim who need a meal to eat, a place to rest, or simply an ear to listen, with a continuous flow of people running through the Schachar home.
However, the yeshiva must share the credit for Baruch Aryeh Tzvi’s achievements with his parents Henry and Beverly Schachar, who, after many years of support and encouragement, have formally joined the yeshiva’s family with their recent move to Woodmere. It is clear that the seeds for Baruch Aryeh Tzvi’s ultimate development were planted many years ago in his parents’ household.
Baruch Aryeh Tzvi, also known as Adam, was raised in Great Neck, where he attended North Shore Hebrew Academy before moving on to HAFTR for High School. Upon graduation, he learned in Netiv Aryeh and Yeshiva University, after which he returned to Eretz Yisrael to learn in Mir Yerushalayim. As an avreich, he has tended to the needs of the eiruv and provided a shiur on tefillah in the Great Neck community for the past two years.
Baruch’s wife, Mindy, is the daughter of Mark and Naomi Gross and grew up in the Far Rockaway/Lawrence community. She attended HALB for both elementary and high school before continuing her studies in Darchei Binah and Neveh Yerushalayim. Mindy received her master’s in Jewish History from Touro College and spent four years teaching at Shalhevet High School. Her last few years have been occupied performing volunteer work for TOVA and general chesed coordination, while simultaneously managing a household of five children. Her parents themselves are a quiet but significant presence in the yeshiva. The entire yeshiva has been the beneficiary of the generosity of the Gross family for weekday meals as well as for many of the yeshiva’s events over the years.
Please join YGFT at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4 at the Sands in Atlantic Beach, as the yeshiva recognizes these special individuals who have not only facilitated the yeshiva’s material development but also provided it and our community with its spiritual luster. Please join to highlight these individuals and to begin celebrating the completion of the yeshiva’s new building. In this context, YGFT is also paying tribute to Mr. Yaakov Mermelstein and Ray Builders, who have been at the helm of this project and completed it with sensitivity, care, and concern for every detail to make it a truly worthy home for a special makom Torah. v