The Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns held its eleventh annual breakfast on June 16 at the Young Israel of Woodmere. The two honorees, Mr. Jeff Neuman and Rabbi Sholom Fried, are prominent members of the Woodmere community. The turnout for the event was impressive due to the community’s respect and admiration for the honorees and in acknowledgment of the yeshiva’s important role in the Five Towns.
Jacob Weicholz, the event chairman, started off the program acknowledging all that the yeshiva has contributed to the community over the past 11 years. He detailed just some of the services provided to the community, including the eiruv, which is maintained by the yeshiva. He also updated those present on the progress on the construction of a new building, just two blocks from the yeshiva’s current home. He spoke of how much more the yeshiva would be able to serve the community, in davening and in learning, once it has a more appropriate place to call home. The yeshiva expects to complete the new building in the coming months and will keep the community abreast of the progress.
Rabbi Yitzchok Knobel, shlita, the rosh kollel, presented the Kesser Shem Tov award to Mr. Jeff Neuman. Rabbi Knobel emphasized Mr. Neuman’s and his family’s dedication to Torah. After a hard day at work, Mr. Neuman joins Rabbi Knobel’s in-depth Gemara shiur at the yeshiva, where Mr. Neuman participates with enthusiasm and with engaging questions.
His 11 years attending the shiur exemplify a model of consistency and dedication, one that he and his wife have passed on to their children, each of whom has his own connection with the yeshiva. Mr. Neuman, in his speech, spoke of the yeshiva’s important role in his family’s growth and expressed his gratitude to the yeshiva for all it has done for him and for the community.
Rabbi Moshe Zev Katzenstein, shlita, the rosh hayeshiva, presented the Kesser Torah Award to Rabbi Sholom Fried. Rabbi Katzenstein recounted the yeshiva’s humble beginnings, and how the dedication of many people in the community, along with much siyata d’shmaya, helped the yeshiva get to where it is today. Rabbi Katzenstein noted that Rabbi Fried and his wife not only teach Torah in shiurim and in classes, but also teach Torah by example. The lives they lead and the beautiful Torah home that they have created are truly inspiring. Rabbi Fried, in addressing the crowd, expressed his admiration for the roshei hayeshiva and rebbeim who not only devote their time, energy, and talents to teach their talmidim, but also give shiurim to the ba’alei batim, thereby enriching the entire community. He highlighted the importance of not only having a yeshiva in the community, but having one which exemplifies all the requisite middos and values that come along with proper Torah learning.
In their speeches, both Mr. Neuman and Rabbi Fried echoed the same sentiment. They were motivated to accept the honor only in order to enable them to publicly thank the yeshiva. The roshei hayeshiva and the talmidim have created a makom Torah where all members of the community feel comfortable and everyone can find Torah learning which suits their needs. The yeshiva is a unique institution, maintaining the highest standards of learning while at the same time welcoming all to partake of what it offers.
We all look forward to the next great milestone of the Yeshiva Gedolah: the chanukas habayis of the yeshiva’s beautiful new home, iy’H. v