Rabbi Zwiebel: Attendance at Upcoming Agudah Dinner is Vital


chaim-dovid-zweibel-1This Sunday, May 9, well upward of a thousand Jews are expected to converge on the New York Hilton in Manhattan for an annual dinner that is much more than an annual dinner.

In addition to the program itself at Agudath Israel of America’s 88th Anniversary Dinner – featuring an address by the Novominsker Rebbe, shlit”a, the Rosh Agudas Yisroel; a special video tribute to Rabbi Chaskel Besser, z”l; and the bestowal of well-deserved honors on a group of outstanding askonim – the very gathering itself is designed to serve a critical purpose: to demonstrate to the many elected officials and other notables expected to be present the strength and determination of the Orthodox community.

That fact was strongly emphasized this week by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president, who, in a number of recent community gatherings, called attention to the “extraordinarily trying times” in which we are living, and how they demand “extraordinary advocacy” on the community’s part.

Rabbi Zwiebel cited the threat to Israel posed by a dictatorial and delusional near-nuclear power and undue pressures to create peace with enemies scornful of peace; anti-Semitism in an assortment of places and guises; a disturbing abundance of prosecutorial zeal in the case of an Orthodox Jewish man, Sholom Rubashkin; and severe economic pressure on the community’s individual members and mosdos.

“The confluence of so many challenges,” says Rabbi Zwiebel, “places upon our shoulders the responsibility to do what we can to show our unity and, yes, our numbers.”

“To elected officials,” he explains, “numbers do count-and exposing them to the ko’ach ho’rabim of our community often results in tangible benefits to the causes we support and the mosdos haTorah whose interests we advocate.”

The upcoming Agudah dinner, Rabbi Zwiebel asserts, “will give government officials in attendance a first-hand look at the vast numbers of people who share our goals and values. So it is important for every member of the community who can be part of the gathering to do all he can to participate.

“It is especially critical that we not only make our voices heard but also our faces seen.”

Reservations can still be made, by contacting Agudath Israel’s dinner office at 212 797-8177.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Why do we still hold the “annual dinner” as a fund raising event?

    Let us assume that the cost of a plate at such event is $100. This is a purely nominal figure which, in reality, could be far higher.

    A very large percentage of this $100 goes directly to the venue, the caterers and for the cost of administrating the event.

    The actual net sum that finally goes into the organizing charity’s bank account is a very, very small proportion of the original, nominal, $100 ticket price.

    It is perfectly acceptable and highly laudable to honor those selfless men who have worked so very hard for the cause in question – there is absolutely no question about that.

    But why should such a large percentage of our tzedoka donations go into the pockets and bank accounts of ‘nochshleppers’?

  2. For the avoidance of any doubt, my earlier message about the cost effectiveness was NOT levelled at the Agudah’s upcoming event nor at any other specific cause.

    My gripe was about the institution of charity testimonial dinners in general.

  3. G-d bless the Agudath Israel for stepping up to the plate and speaking out against the unfair persecution of Sholom Rubashkin.

    I cannot attend the dinner, but would like to make a donation to the Agudah because of their tremendous dedication to a fellow Jew. Can you post a link for those of us who are not able to make it or even necessarily connected to Agudah to make a contribution to this worthy organization?


  4. #1 – You missed the point of the article! Please re-read this paragraph:

    “To elected officials,” he explains, “numbers do count-and exposing them to the ko’ach ho’rabim of our community often results in tangible benefits to the causes we support and the mosdos haTorah whose interests we advocate.”

  5. Speaking of problems facing our collective community, what are we going to do to fight the militant “Hashchasa” movement? How can we keep our Machane – Kodesh? How are we going to fight for HKB”H’s Kavod? All the things metioned above are takeh important but the ikar is, what does Hashem want from us going foward. Hatzlacha raba!