Matzav: Mayor Bloomberg to Address Agudath Israel Dinner

4 has learned that the special guest speaker at this year’s Agudath Israel of America dinner will be the Honorable Mayor of New York, Mr. Mike Bloomberg. That an Agudath Israel anniversary dinner draws a large crowd is well known. Less known, though, or at least less appreciated, is the makeup of the crowd it draws – and what that says.

As in years past, the upcoming 87th Agudah anniversary dinner, on Sunday, May 17, will see many guests converge on the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. Among them will be many “klei kodesh,” yeshiva educators and administrators. They will be there to show their recognition of Agudath Israel’s work on behalf of Jewish educational institutions. Aside from the Agudah’s intensive and constant work to ensure that yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs receive their fair share of permissible governmental funding – both federal and state – and aside for its tenacious interaction with government officials to prevent funding and services to yeshivos from being cut, Agudath Israel provides advice and assistance to hundreds of mosdos in the New York area and across the country on a constant basis.

The organization’s Education Affairs division, moreover, issues alerts and newsletters on an almost weekly basis to all Orthodox institutions, providing administrators information and advice that goes far indeed in helping them do their jobs. So the presence of educators of our community’s boys and girls, and administrators of their educational institutions, at the Agudah dinner is an act of hakoras hatov, recognition of the good work Agudah does for yeshivos.

In attendance as well will be many rabbonim and roshei yeshivos. They will be there because they know the important role Agudath Israel plays in promoting Torah-study and, most importantly, unity within the camp of Jews faithful to Torah. They are also particularly keenly aware of how the Agudah stands up for Torah values in the public sphere, something so vital in our times of dizzying and often disturbing political and social change.

Then there are the doctors, lawyers, accountants and other observant professionals. What they realize is the work the Agudah does on behalf of those Jews in need of professional services. Many of those professionals volunteer their services through the Agudath Israel “constituent services” office, which suggests the right people to help in cases that run the gamut from end of life issues to Sabbath observance problems to custody cases.

Elected officials on the city, state and federal levels make it a priority to be at the Agudah dinner too. They know well the role Agudath Israel plays in advocating for the rights and needs of the Orthodox Jewish community, and its impressive presence in legislative and court chambers across the country. Most important, they know that the organization is synonymous with integrity and responsibility.

And, of course, many will be the officers, board members, trustees and askanim of Agudath Israel itself, who play so critical a role in keeping the organization and its work vibrant and on-target. They will be joined by a broad cross-section of Klal Yisrael, Jews from all walks of life who will be there simply to show their support and encouragement to the Agudah. Whether they are members of the Chassidic, “yeshivish” or Edut HaMizrach communities, they are part and parcel of what makes Agudath Israel what it is, and they attend the dinner to show they are unified under its banner.

Honorees at the dinner will include: Avrohom Halpern, who will receive the Rabbi Moshe Sherer Memorial Award, for lifelong devotion to Klal Yisroel; The Jewish Observer, which will be honored as the recipient of the Hagaon Rav Aharon Kotler Memorial Award, for distinguished service to Torah; Irwin Mehl, z”l, whose family will accept the Reb Elimelech Tress Memorial Award in tribute to Mr. Mehl’s role in preserving the legacy of the Shearis HaPleitah; and Binyomin Berger, who will receive the Moreinu Yaakov Rosenheim Memorial Award, for distinguished service to Agudath Israel.

Avodas Hakodesh awardees will be Ronald Coleman, Yankie Klein, Yosef Rapaport and Dovid Winiarz. Rabbi Raymond Haber will be the recipient of the Wolf Friedman Leadership Award. Shimon Lefkowitz will serve as dinner chairman, and Meir Lichtenstein, former mayor of Lakewood, NJ, as co-chairman.

Agudath Israel heartily extends an invitation to everyone who wishes to lend support at its 87th anniversary dinner on May 17 at the New York Hilton. Reservations can be made by calling 212-797-8177, faxing 646-254-1640 or e-mailing

{Elisha Newscenter}



  1. How can Agudah honor the Mayor so prominently just a few weeks after he prominently endorsed toeivah ‘marriage’ and, not only that, said that he would go and campaign for it to be legalized in the state? And they claim that politicians know that “that the organization is synonymous with integrity and responsibility.”?

    The Mayor is looking for support in his re-election campaign. He has done much good, but how can we ignore this terrible breach when he endorses Sodomite ‘marriage’ in such a high-profile way, to invite him in such a high profile way and give him such honor just a few weeks later?

    Is Agudah going to at least publicly rebuke him at the dinner?