Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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4 Sivan 5762 - May 15, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Agudath Israel's 80th Anniversary Dinner
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

80 years of accomplishment, 80 years of service, 80 years of advocacy for the Torah community were the foci of a celebration that drew a crowd of 1400 to the New York Hilton on Sunday night, May 5, for Agudath Israel of America's 80th Anniversary Dinner.

Major awards were presented by Agudath Israel executive vice president Rabbi Shmuel Bloom to: Yossie Tepfer, recipient of the HaGaon Rav Aharon Kotler Memorial Award for distinguished service to Torah; Dr. Joseph Geliebter on behalf of the Rabbi Leib Geliebter Memorial Foundation, recipient of the Reb Elimelech Tress Award for preservation of the legacy of the Shearis HaPleitoh; and Agudath Israel of Toronto, which was honored with the Moreinu Yaakov Rosenheim Memorial Award for distinguished service to Agudath Israel. Each of the honorees was featured in a special audio-visual presentation produced by Rabbi Yosef Chaim Golding.

Avodas Hakodesh Awards for community service were presented by Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, Agudath Israel's vice president for finance and administration. The honorees were Rabbi Shraga Bohensky, Rabbi Moshe Kolodny, Chaim Krauss, Moshe Kurzmann, Shaya Pilchick and Yankel Ungar. Yoav Taub received the Wolf Friedman Young Leadership Award. Mr. Taub is the grandson of the activist for whom the distinguished award is named.

Mr. Taub, Mr. Krauss and Mr. Pilchick are all members of Agudath Israel's Young Leadership division, which Rabbi Bloom, in his opening remarks, credited with bringing "a freshness and a vibrancy" to the organization.

The Rabbi Moshe Sherer Memorial Award, presented annually to individuals who vigorously and lovingly labored at the legendary Agudah leader's side in the building of Agudath Israel of America, was presented to Yechiel BenZion Fishoff. The award was presented to Mr. Fishoff by Rabbi Sherer's son, Rabbi Shimshon Sherer.

Together with its Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, "individuals whose lives are steeped in the study of our holy Torah, who give of their time and wisdom to guide us and direct us in everything that we do," the source of Agudath Israel's strength is the active and dedicated lay leadership who translate the organization's goals and principles into action, said Rabbi Bloom in his welcoming address. The Agudath Israel representative then took a moment to remember veteran Agudah leader, Mr. Louis Glueck, a"h, who passed away several weeks before the dinner.

The selfless dedication of another segment of the population was acknowledged with a special presentation of funds collected through Agudath Israel of America's 9/11 Relief Effort for the families of fallen rescue workers. The moving segment began with remarks by special guest Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, and concluded with a poignant acceptance speech by Master Conner Geraghty whose father, FDNY Chief Ed Geraghty, perished in the World Trade Center disaster.

The evening's special guest speaker was Rabbi Aaron Dovid Dunner, dayan of the Hisachdus Kehillos HaCharedim of London.

One of the highlights of the program, which commenced with the recital of Tehillim led by Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy, rav, Agudath Israel of Toronto, was the showing of a special audio-visual presentation entitled "Libeinu beMizrach," a moving look at the Torah community's response to the crisis in Eretz Yisroel. In his powerful address, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudath Israel, focused first and foremost on the current suffering of fellow Jews in Eretz Yisroel. "Hashem's `remembering'" Rabbi Perlow explained, "is an act of rachamim, mercy.


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