Video, Photos: Bnei Brak Mayor Yaakov Asher Pays Uplifting Visit to Lakewood


bnei-brak-mayor-visits-lakewood¬†[Video and photos below.] The lay leaders of two of the largest Torah communities in the world met today to share words of chizuk and strategies, and to establish a connection for future cooperation. Rabbi¬†Yaakov Asher, mayor of Bnei Brak, home to one the largest concentration of chareidi Jews in the world with a population of over 160,000, paid a visit to Lakewood, NJ, perhaps the fasted growing frum community in North America, where he was given a tour of the town’s infrastructure and, most prominently, the heartbeat of the Lakewood community, Beth Medrash Govoha, the largest yeshiva in the Diaspora.

Bnei Brak is synonymous with the timeless values of Jewish tradition, boasting myriad Chassidic centers, shuls and yeshivos, and can be described as the capital of chesed in Eretz Yisroel.

Rabbi Asher was welcomed to Lakewood by Rabbi Aaron Kotler, Chief Executive Officer of Beth Medrash Govoha, who led the tour. Rabbi Asher expressed his amazement at the staggering number of lomdei Torah in the various botei medrash of BMG, including the Forest Avenue Bais Medrash on the Kleinman Campus, Bais Sholom and Bais Aron on the Irvington Campus, Bais Eliyahu, the Bendheim Bais Medrash in the Adolf and Ethyl Beren Building, the Gestetner and Klein botei medrash in the Israel Henry Beren Hall Building and the Hershey and Raisy Friedman Chaburah Center.

The Bnei Brak mayor also briefly visited the highly respected Chemed (Center for Health Education, Medicine and Dentistry) medical facility.

Earlier, Rabbi Asher met the Lakewood roshei yeshiva.

Following the tour, Rabbi Asher gathered with askonim of the community in the offices of Rabbi Aharon Kotler. Among the dozens present were Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski and Committeeman R’ Meir Lichtenstein.

Following remarks from Rabbi Aaron Kotler, Rabbi Asher discussed what he has tried to accomplish in Bnei Brak, stating that he believes that Bnei Brak and Lakewood can serve as “twin cities,” utilizing their experiences, resources and makeup to better both cities of Torah.

Rav Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, joined the meeting for the final few minutes and was presented by Rabbi Asher with a special gift: a copy of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman’s new sefer, personally inscribed by Rav Shteinman in honor of the rosh yeshiva. A beautiful plaque of the Ponovezh Yeshiva was presented to Rabbi Aaron Kotler. In turn, Rabbi Kotler and Beth Medrash Govoha presented Rabbi Asher with a set of Mishnas Rav Aaron, inscribed by Rav Malkiel Kotler in honor of the mayor.

The visit was an uplifting one and, it is hoped, a harbinger of future cooperation between the two cities of Torah, Bnei Brak and Lakewood.

Click below for video clips of the visit:

Bnei Brak Mayor Visits Lakewood from on Vimeo.

See below for photos:

{Media and report courtesy of Yated Ne’eman-USA}


  1. Lakewood’s Mayor Sholom Langert exchanged places with Bnei Brak’s Mayor. Lakewood’s Mayor Langert was in Bnei Brak while Bnei Brak’s Mayor was visiting Lakewood.