Rav Yaakov Bender Addresses Town Hall Meeting in the Five Towns


yaakov-bender-1An unprecedented “town hall” gathering took place Monday night for the communities of Far Rockaway and the Five Towns. Over recent weeks, leaders of Agudath Israel of America issued an open invitation to members of the community to meet and exchange information, views and suggestions.Mr. and Mrs. Nochum Aber opened their doors to participants in the town hall meeting, and their spacious home quickly filled with community members. Some 100 people participated, according to Agudath Israel’s director of special projects Rabbi Yonah Feinstein, who organized and chaired the event.

Making short presentations were Agudath Israel representatives Rabbi Mordechai Biser, Esq., associate general counsel; Rabbi Yehiel Kalish, national director for government affairs; Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, vice president for community affairs; Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs; and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president.

Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, delivered heartfelt words of hakoras hatov for Agudath Israel and bracha to the gathering. Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, retired executive vice president of Agudath Israel, also delivered a brief message.

After the presentations, questions and suggestions – the topics ranging from the strain that yeshiva tuitions are placing on parents to increasing the community’s political clout to protecting children from harm – were posed by community members, and addressed by various members of the Agudah delegation. Mr. Elisha Bresher, a member of the planning committee for the meeting, offered greetings at the start of the program and chaired the question and answer session.

“One thing certainly emerged from this meeting,” said Rabbi Zwiebel after Maariv was davened, well after 10:00 pm. “This is a community that cares. That makes it a good match for Agudath Israel. We hope that future days and years will see the Agudah and the Five Towns region’s Orthodox community working hard, and hand-in-hand to address the challenges we face.”

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Nuuu – so what was asked and what was answered about the tuition issue? How about reporting the “meat and potatoes” of what went on?