Two months after a historic delegation of prestigious rabbonim traveled to Toronto to raise funds to provide the recent waves of French immigrants to Israel with a solid education within the Charedi school system comes a second trip to benefit the recently established French Children’s Fund, this time to Chicago.
The Satmar Rebbe, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, and Rav Malkiel Kotler will be joined by Rav Dovid Feinstein on their Tuesday journey to Chicago. Although the days preceding Rosh Hashana are extraordinarily busy for all involved, the need to provide for the spiritual health of the French Jews was significant enough to warrant making the trip during the final days of Elul.
Over the past few weeks, more than 1,000 French children were placed within Charedi schools in Israel with the help of French Children’s Fund, which also sent money to Paris to assist floundering community institutions facing imminent closure because of their perilous financial situations. With so many of these children now successfully enrolled in proper yeshivos, the focus is widening to include their whole families and plans are underway to open five centers, known as merkazim, that will offer batei midrashim, shiurim and other community services.
The rabbonim will be flying by private jet for the eight hour Chicago visit with several private individuals, accompanied with the fund’s leading philanthropists Rubi Schron and Reuven Wolf. The trip is part of a larger effort coordinated by the Kalever Rebbe, who has been working tirelessly for years to benefit France’s Jewish community. Having representation from so many facets of the Jewish community emphasizes the importance of the mission to provide French children and their families with a solid foundation in yiddishkeit and Torah values, both in France and in Israel.