Agudath Israel Dinner to Honor Prominent Askanim


shmuel-bloomThe 93rd annual dinner of Agudath Israel of America will take place on May 10th at the Hilton New York. The dinner will celebrate a year of solid achievement for the Tzibbur, whether it’s ensuring a hard working Orthodox employee retains his job without having to work on Yom Tov…obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for Yeshivos…fighting to protect religious liberties, specifically in the areas of Shechita or Bris Milah…helping parents of children with special needs navigate the convoluted reimbursement system… All of these and much much more have been part of the fabric and fiber of Agudas Yisroel’s efforts during the year.

The dinner will also be an opportunity to honor a number of prominent Askanim, who each in their own right have done much for Agudas Yisroel and Klal Yisroel.

The Rabbi Moshe Sherer memorial award will be bestowed upon Rabbi Shmuel Bloom. Rabbi Bloom served in senior executive positions at Agudath Israel for more than 35 years. He was a close confidant of Rabbi Sherer, who Rabbi Sherer relied upon to help with his agenda for the Orthodox Jewish community. Rabbi Bloom, then executive vice president, assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer upon Rabbi Sherer’s petirah. During his tenure Rabbi Bloom capably guided the growth of the Agudah nationally and launched many new programs and initiatives. Most recently Rabbi Bloom spearheaded the campaign to support the Shmittah-observing farmers in Eretz Yisroel.

The Harav Aharon Kotler Memorial Award will be presented to Moishe Chopp, a prominent business man and Baal Chessed from Flatbush. Mr. Chopp founded and continues to serve as the president of the well-known organization Keren HaChessed, which has distributed many millions of dollars in the value of clothing and food to the needy since its inception. He is a loyal stalwart of the Yerushalayim Yarchei Kallah, sponsored each year by the Torah Projects Commission of Agudath Israel, which he has attended since its inception fifteen years ago.

Dr. Michael Zelefsky will receive the Moreinu Yaakov Rosenheim Memorial Award. Dr. Zelefsky is a radiation oncologist in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and has been instrumental in the treatment of hundreds of Yidden including many Gedolei Torah. He is renowned for his medical skills and compassionate demeanor. Dr. Zelefsky works closely with many medical assistance and referral organizations including Ezra Lemarpah , RCCS, Echo , Agudath Israel’s Chayim Aruchim and Rabbi Elimelech Firer.

The Reb Elimelech Tress Memorial Award will be presented to Mr. Fischel Roth. Mr. Roth is a scion of a family of Askonim who have been devoted and faithful friends of Agudas Yisroel for many decades. Mr. Roth serves as the vice president of the Gel Spice Company in New Jersey. He is heavily involved in the Laniado Hospital of Netanya, as well as the Klausenburg Children’s Home of Netanya. Mr. Roth is as a Klausenburg chassid and the son of Rav Chaim Alter Roth, who was the Reb Elimelech Tress awardee in 1983. He has been a regular attendee of Agudas Yisroel conventions and dinners, as well as its Yerushalayim Yarchei Kallah.

The Chairman of this year’s dinner is the President of Agudath Israel of California, Dr. Irving Lebovics. Dr. Lebovics has a long record of legislative and community involvement on behalf of Agudas Yisroel in the city of Los Angeles and the state of California. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Agudath Israel.

“We are extraordinarily privileged this year to have a slate of honorees who Agudas Yisroel can be truly proud of. Each and every one of them is an Askan par Excellence in their own right. We very much look forward to them receiving the honor that is due to them at this coming dinner.” said Agudath Israel Executive Director, Rabbi Labish Becker.