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2 Av 5769 - July 23, 2009 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah from Eretz Yisroel and the US Gather to Reorganize Chinuch Atzmai

By Yechiel Sever

Gedolei Yisroel, including members of the respective Counsels of Torah Sages of both Degel HaTorah and Agudas Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel, met with a substantial delegation representing the US Counsel of Torah Sages, to discuss ways of buttressing Chinuch Atzmai.

The unprecedented gathering to strengthen the prodigious school system, which saved the education of an entire generation, was held at the Moriah Classic Hotel in Jerusalem. Maranan verabonon kept filing in one after the other to take part in the historic meeting convened to carry out the legal procedures needed to enable the proper operation and expansion of the holy enterprise.

Among the rabbonim in attendance were Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, HaRav Yehuda Leib Shteinman, HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Yitzchok Sheiner, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman, HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, HaRav Nissim Toledano, the Admor of Erlau, the Admor of Sadigora and HaRav Meir Horowitz shlita. HaRav Horowitz was sent by his father, the Bostoner Rebbe, who is currently hospitalized.

From the US, participants included HaRav Aharon Shechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Berlin, HaRav Dovid Feinstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tiferes Yerushalayim, HaRav Aharon Feldman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, HaRav Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Lakewood, and HaRav Yosef Harari-Raful, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres HaTorah.

Rabbi Menachem Porush and Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz, who have been dedicated to Chinuch Atzmai since its founding in 5713 (1953) were also in attendance.

The meeting began with the nomination of the Admor of Erlau as the legal chairman of the gathering, and he was asked to deliver the opening remarks. He spoke about the importance of presenting a united force for the sake of the holy organization and discussed the decline of today's youth as well as ways of bringing them to a life of Torah and mitzvas through Chinuch Atzmai. He also raised the issue of increasing chilul Shabbos and the need to combat it.

Later in the course of the meeting, the participants unanimously named Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz the legal secretary of the gathering. He spoke briefly about the difficulties in managing Chinuch Atzmai that have arisen since so many of its official board members have passed away in recent years. He also said the legal form of the Ottoman organization that has controlled Chinuch Atzmai up until now should be transformed into a registered non-profit-type of organization. He explained the ramifications of the law and the legal procedures that need to be carried out, saying this is the reason the members of the respective Counsels of Torah Sages had come together since they are the supreme authority over the Chinuch Atzmai Central Organizations.

Rabbi Lorincz also said all the members of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah who were unable to attend could give notice of their wishes to join the new organization, noting that a number of prominent rabbonim had already done so, including the Admor of Vishnitz, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, and several members of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of the US - HaRav Simchah Bunim Ehrenfeld, the gavad of Mattersdorf, HaRav Chaim Levine, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chicago, and HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Philadelphia.

HaRav Meir Horowitz read aloud a letter from his father saying that he, too, would like to join the new organization and that he supported any decisions reached at the meeting by gedolei Yisroel shlita.

Rabbi Lorincz than asked HaRav Yosef Efrati, who is regularly entrusted by HaRav Eliashiv, to read aloud the proposed decisions. After discussing the proposals the participants approved the decisions and called on all gedolei Yisroel to join the organization. The Admor of Erlau signed a legal document confirming the decisions reached, as well as other legal documents needed to set up the new organization. The documents were then signed by HaRav Eliashiv, HaRav Shteinman and the members of the three Councils of Torah Sages.

As a sign of appreciation for years of fundraising and promoting Chinuch Atzmai around the world, helping to build it into today's large organization numbering hundreds of schools, maranan verabonon decided to approve their membership in the new organization.

The official decisions include a statement that "the supreme spiritual authority over the organization is maranan verabonon shlita, who serve on the Councils of Torah Sages of Eretz Hakodesh and in the US."

Another decision reached at the meeting was to name Rabbi Menachem Porush and Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz as Vaad HaAguda, making them the executors of the legal procedures needed and charging them with the task of presenting the directors, maranan verabonon, with the recommendations for the renewal of Chinuch Atzmai schools.


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