Over 1,000 Boys Attend Annual Siyum Mishnayos


siyum-mishnayos-1[Photos below.] Williamsburg Brooklyn was the site of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America’s 46th Annual National Siyum Mishnayos, al sheim Horav Yehoshua Silbermintz, z”l. On Sunday May 10th, Pirchim from throughout the tri-state area converged on the Eden Palace. Buses filled with excited pirchim arrived from Flatbush, Borough Park, Monsey, Lakewood, South Fallsburg, Passaic, Scranton, Staten Island and Washington Heights. The “entrance fee” for participation in the gala gathering was having learned perakim of Mishnayos in honor of the siyum. Many boys also took part in a special hasmodo contest that culminated at the siyum and yielded major prizes for winners.

The actual siyum was conducted by over thirty bochurim who took on the monumental project of learning through the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishna in honor of their Bar Mitzvah These mesyamim arrived at the hall an hour before the event officially began in order to receive an informal “farher” by Rabbi Yehoshua Grunfeld, Rosh Kollel, Beis Medrash Iyun Hatalmud of Monsey.

Excitement mounted as the doors opened and the boys poured into the large hall en masse and proceeded into the ballroom to find their seats.

The program began with the heartfelt recital of Tehillim led by Rabbi Grunfeld. Rabbi Fishel Shachter, rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, chaired the event, mesmerizing the boys with his amazing storytelling and keeping his listeners at the edge of their seats with suspense. Rabbi Ephraim Levi, national director of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America, welcomed the pirchim and noted with sadness the absence of Rabbi Boruch Borchardt, z”l, long-time executive director of Agudath Israel, to whose memory the Siyum was dedicated.

The kovod hatorah was evident as the Lakewood Mashgiach, Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon entered the large hall to the singing of “yamim al yemai melech” as many of the participants tried to get near enough to “give sholom” to the Mashgiach. Rabbi Salomon delivered divrei brocho, explaining that the memories gleaned from an event like the Siyum Mishnayos can be compared to the inspiration of Maamad Har Sinai. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice President of Agudas Yisroel of America, offered divrei chizuk to the participants as well.

The excitement was palpable as the time arrived for the actual siyum of Shisha Sidrei Mishna. The last mishna of Shas, the hadran and the first mishnah of a new cycle of Mishnayos-study were each recited by a different member of the group of mesayemim.

Kaddish was recited by Mr. Abe Eisner, a long time benefactor of Pirchei Siyumei Mishnayos. The walls of The Eden Palace reverberated with the large crowd’s resounding “Amein! Yehei Shmei Rabba…!”

Amid shouts of “Mazel Tov!” the boys and adults present all joined in the singing of siman tov u’mazel tov.

Rabbi Shimon Grama, who served as national director of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel for 14 years, received the Rabbi Moshe Sherer zt”l Award for his dedicated service to Pirchei. The Rabbi Yehoshua Silbermintz zt”l Award was presented to Rabbi Naftoli Katzenstein, coordinator of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of New Hempstead, for his own long-time service. The Rabbi Shimon Zweig Award was bestowed on Rabbi Avrohom Cohen for his tireless work on this year’s siyum.

A hush came over the audience as the lights dimmed for a video presentation on the great Mirrer Rosh HaYeshiva, Harav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. The boys were inspired by the glimpse they received into the life of one the greatest masmidim of our generation.

“Just as adults today still carry with them the warmth and hisorirus from the siyumim they attended when they were children,” noted Rabbi Labish Becker, excecutive director of Agudath Israel, “you can see in the rapt attention of these youngsters that they will carry the memories of this Siyum well into their own futures.”

Shortly before the National Siyum Mishnayos, the Midwest Siyum Mishnayos took place in Chicago, drawing boys from cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and elsewhere. The previous night, a Melaveh Malka was held at that celebration, with the participation of the Chicago Roshei HaYeshivos. Rabbi Maimon Elbaz of “Torah Shows” was the special guest story teller for the Midwest Siyum’s Shabbos program; and the proceedings were coordinated by Mr. Nuchi Stein, long-time Pirchei Coordinator in Chicago.

That same Shabbos also saw an “interbranch Shabbos” gathering in Denver, Colorado, whose local Pirchei hosted Pirchei of Dallas for Shabbos.

Over Shabbos parshas Emor, the happy, learning and singing voices of Pirchei boys was heard clear across the country.

To view photos of the siyum, click here.

{Elisha Ferber-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Rabbi Josh and Mrs. Silbermintz helped me establish my life on a path of Torah. They showed me that being a frum Jew can be fun, and not strictly restrictive.

    I miss Rabbi Josh tremendously, especially nowadays.