Two leading Roshei Yeshiva and members of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudath Israel will be amongst the roster of speakers at a mass asifa at the Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin of Avenue L in Brooklyn on Sunday May 17th at 10:30 a.m. to rally behind the security of Har Hazeisim. Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and Harav Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore will be amongst Gedolei Yisroel who are expected to participate. The asifa is being organized by the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim (www.saveharhazeitim.org), under the leadership of its chairman Avrohom Lubinsky and Harav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, the moroh de’asrah of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin who will also address the asifa.
Other speakers will include Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Menachem Lubinsky, co-chair of the ICPHH. Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America will be the chairman of the event.
The ICPHH is demanding the immediate construction of a new high security wall to prevent the periodic desecrations of graves and to protect mourners and visitors, according to Avrohom Lubinsky, chairman of the ICPHH. Founded in 2010, the broad based ICPHH has managed to arrange for many improvements, including the installation of 137 surveillance cameras, the establishment of a police sub-station and improvements of many infrastructure projects. Despite these achievements, said Mr. Lubinsky, ” we are still a long way from total security. “With a new government, it is imperative that we send a strong message that Har Hazeisim is the national cemetery of the Jewish people and nothing short of complete security will be acceptable. No Jew who comes to daven or mourn should be subject to the fear of being stoned or harassed.” The Committee is pushing for additional cameras, a more robust and permanent police presence, a new high wall, tough new legislation to punish rock throwers and many other security and development projects.
For the past five years, a group of dedicated activists in the US, Canada, Europe and Eretz Yisroel have been working hard to secure and develop the 3000-year old ancient cemetery on Har Hazeisim in Yerushalayim following years of abuse, neglect, and desecration. Working closely with the Israeli government and the Jerusalem Municipality, the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim has made enormous progress in securing the 2.2 square kilometer cemetery where 150,000 Jews are buried.
In 2014, the Asifa was held at the home of Harav Lieff but because of the anticipated large attendance, this year’s event is being moved to the Agudah of Avenue L so that larger number of attendees can be accommodated. A light breakfast will be served and the Ezras Nashim will be open.