10 Years in the Making: “Rabbi Sherer”


sherer-smallThis past week, when the biography of Rabbi Moshe Sherer went to press, the excitement in the ArtScroll office was palpable. Many ArtScroll staffers had personally known Rabbi Sherer, who led Agudath Israel of America for over four decades, and who was arguably the most effective Jewish lay leader of his time. They had experienced firsthand his warmth and caring; they had seen his rock-like dedication to the principles of emunas chachamim and selfless service to the Jewish people, as well as his wisdom.

Capturing both the achievements and the personality of a man as talented, energetic, and multi-faceted as Rabbi Sherer was a challenge – and a pleasure, says author Yonoson Rosenblum, biographer of such luminaries as Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, and Reb Elimelech Gavriel (Mike) Tress. Reb Yonoson interviewed over 100 people before beginning to write. He spent hours poring over Rabbi Sherer’s shererthousands of letters, memos, and notes, as well as boxes of transcripts of the “aides-memoire” that he dictated at the end of every event-filled day. “Rabbi Sherer had an eye to the future and a sense of history – a biographer’s delight,” says Yonoson.

Rabbi Sherer was at home in many worlds. He was the servant and confidant of great Torah sages and a friend and adviser of people in the highest echelons of power, but he was attentive to the needs of the humblest Jew. Much that we take for granted today was shepherded by him through Congress and the courts. Even more: He rescued Torah life from the American melting pot, and helped build it into the vibrant and growing entity of today.

In this beautifully crafted biography we learn about both the public and private Rabbi Sherer. We meet those who inspired him and shaped him: his mother; his mentor, Mike Tress; and two generations of gedolei hador. We get an inside look at governors, mayors, and legislators – even Presidents. We go behind the scenes of the legal battles to strengthen Torah life and secret activities to rescue Jews in danger.

This is a book of history, but it is much more; it is a life-transforming work. As Yonoson Rosenblum says, “No one can read this book and not know what his responsibility is to each and every person, and each and every Jew, that he meets.”

{Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I remember the Agudah Convention in Parcippany, NJ, the last convention that Reb Sh. Schwabb Z”L spoke and attended.

    There was a speaker, who ended his Drasha with “Let’s hope this winter should be one of happiness, success and Reffuos for Klal Yisroel”

    Rabbi Sherer approached him after the session, and told him, that there is no need to add the words of Klal Yisroel, to the exclusion of others. He added “I feel sick to my bones when I hear of a child – any child – that is R”L not well”. Rabbi Sherer added, that even in the confines of one’s own home, one should feel the pain of every child and adult, regardless of which kind of mother they happened to be born to.

    What a breath of fresh air.

  2. In skimming through this magnificent book, a story that sums up how Rabbi Sherer operated came to mind.
    Before the 9th Siyum HaShas, in 1990, the Agudah staff and officers wanted to procure the main arena of Madison Square Garden for the event; problem was, the Ringling Brothers & Barnum/Bailey Circus owned the date that was needed. At that time, Paul Reichmann was negotiating with The Garden to build a new MSG near the Railyards. I asked Rabbi Sherer if he could call Mr. Reichmann to see if he could possibly help. Within a half hour, the president of MSG personally called Rabbi Sherer, saying he would do whatever he contractually could to get the Agudah the date. After a few days, he told Rabbi Sherer that they had a right to “buy out” the Circus…which is what the Agudah did!
    And the rest is history.

  3. Rabbi Moshe Sherer was a great man who devoted all of his energies to the Klal. He worked on a daily basis on myriad issues with his partner in his avodas hakodesh,Rabbi Naftoli Neuberger of Baltimore. I heard them on the phone all the time and most of what they did will never appear in a book and ,if it does, others will get credit. That’s the way they were. i wish there was a comparible book on Rabbi Neuberger. They epitomize the “zugos’ of Pirkei Avos.

  4. I am in middle of this book , however I should really call it a Sefer. The beautiful words of torah that he used to say are spread out through out this sefer ,is just a glimpse into how much of an amazing homiletic speaker he was.
    It is truly amazing to see a person with such power be such a Tzaddik as well.
    I have been up well into the nights struggling to try to put down this powerful biography.
    This book should be mandatory reading in our Yeshivas and Girl schools , so that the children should learn true American Jewish history and how much one person could accomplish for klal yisroel and “reb yisroel”