Photos, Video: Thousands Attend BMG Evening of Chizuk


matzav-lakewood[Video and photos below.] It is truly an event unlike any other perhaps in the entire world. Literally thousands of bnei Torahroshei yeshiva, yungeleit, mechanchim, baalei batim, bochurim – gathering for one purpose – to support lomdei Torah. The Beth Medrash Govoha Annual Evening of Chizuk which was held last night in Lakewood, NJ, once again was mesmerizing, leaving the humongous crowd enriched, uplifted and inspired.

The evening began shortly after 9 p.m., as the crowd began to arrive. Attendees enjoyed a delicious fare prepared by the devoted chef of Beth Medrash Govoha, the incomparable R’ Arye Spielman, whose delicious smorgasbord, served by a tremendous staff, was savored by the thousands in attendance. A central minyan for Maariv was held inside the tent where the event was held, though throughout the evening, smaller, impromptu minyanim – resembling somewhat of an outdoor shtiebel – were held right outside the entrance to the enormous tent, which rose high above at the corner of Cedarbridge and New Hampshire avenues.

Though there are thousands of parking spots at the location, many people arrived at the same time to the event, causing traffic backups on Cedarbridge and New Hampshire avenues. Motorists were patient, though, allowing the Lakewood Police Department and volunteers from the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch to direct the traffic and get everyone parked as quickly as possible. Some people parked further away – even on open grassy areas along Cedar Bridge Avenue – and walked over a mile to the “Tent Event,” as it is known to many.

As expected, Rabbi Mordechai Herskowitz, Executive Administrator of BMG, was on hand to greet everyone personally, as he promises each year. Rabbi Herskowitz also delivered brief remarks from the dais, thanking the many yungeleit and others who devoted time and effort to make the evening a success.

The Rosh Hayeshiva, Harav Malkiel Kotler, delivered divrei bracha, and the event chairman was Rabbi Zvi Tress from Toronto, who, among other things, discussed the recent loss of Harav Elya Svei zt”l, the Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva, whose passing has left a void in the hearts of Torah Jews the world over. A visionary and a gadol baTorah who was unparalleled in his genius, Rav Elya was the voice of daas Torah for decades, guiding, encouraging and leading the Olam Hayeshivos. This year’s BMG Kollel Campaign was dedicated l’illui nishmas Rav Elya, and the speakers throughout the evening recognized the magnitude of the loss of Rav Elya and what he meant to all bnei Torah.

The special guest speaker was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rashbi in Eretz Yisroel, Harav Meir Tzvi Bergman, a gaon and talmid chochom muflag, who honored the assemblage with divrei chizuk and words of hisorerus.

The event was also honored with the presence of a number of gedolei roshei yeshivos, including Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, the Philadelphia Rosh Hayeshiva, and Harav Chaim Leib Epstein, Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Meilich, who joined the Lakewood Roshei Hayeshiva, Harav Malkiel Kotler, Harav Dovid Schustal, Harav Yeruchim Olshin and Harav Yisroel Neuman, at the maamad lechvodo shel Torah. A special guest at the event was Harav Shlomo Kanievsky, a prominent Rosh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, who is a son of Harav Chaim Kanievsky and is a talmid chochom of repute. The presence of these gedolei Torah, who joined local rabbonim, roshei yeshiva and poskim from Lakewood, added to the atmosphere of reverence for Torah v’lomdeha.

Following Harav Bergman’s drasha, the crowd was treated to a fascinating video presentation prepared specially for this event. In the video, numerous gedolei Eretz Yisroel were shown discussing and praising the accomplishments of Beth Medrash Govoha, which was founded by Harav Aharon Kotler zt”l and led later by his son, Harav Schneur Kotler zt”l, under whose direction the yeshiva grew into the burgeoning Torah citadel that it is today. The video featured Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Harav Aharon Leib Shteinman, Harav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz, Harav Chaim Kanievsky, Harav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, Harav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, harav Gershon Edelstein, harav Berel Povarsky, Harav Eliyahu Weintraub, Harav Shmuel Auerbach, harav Yitzchok Scheiner, Harav Nota Freund, Harav Yaakov Hillel, Harav Zundel Kroizer, the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe, Harav Shmuel Markowitz, the Lelover Rebbe, Harav Usher Weiss, Harav Yitzchok Zilberstein, and the Rachmastrivke Rebbe.

Following the video and the drawing of the raffle for a trip to Eretz Yisroel – which was won by Yoel Charach – the crowd was treated to beautiful zemiros sung by Isaac Honig and three other menagnim, with the sound system arranged, as always, by Shloime Friedman of Neginah Orchestra. teamed with Aryeh Joseph of Simchavision – renowned for his world-class photography – to cover the entire event for the tens of thousands of readers across the globe. With permission of Beth Medrash Govoha, the speeches were videod and are presented here for your watching and listening pleasure. We thank Simchavision, whose expertise and professionalism are unmatched, for teaming with us in this endeavor. They can be reached, for fine photography for all occasions, at 732-942-7418

To view photos of the event, click on the following: Album 1, Album 2 and Album 3.

For videos of the event, click below. The first video includes shots of the crowd, the singing of Isaac Honig, remaks by Rabbi Zvi Tress, and the words of Harav Malkiel Kotler. The second video features the remarks of Harav Meir Tzvi Bergman. The third video shows a selection of clips of various portions of the event.

{By Dovid Newscenter}


  1. wow! this is beautiful!!! thanks matzav! Hashem should continue to shower BMG with Hatzlacha and they should continue doing the amazing thin they do!