Renowned Askanim to Co-Chair 12th Siyum Hashas


metlife-stadiumProminent community leaders Ralph Herzka and Shmuel Yosef Rieder will serve as co-chairmen of the upcoming Siyum Hashas of Daf Yomi, the event’s planners have announced. In October, it was announced that internationally known askan and Torah patron Elly Kleinman will serve as the Siyum Hashas chairman.

The 12th Siyum Hashas will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Wednesday, 13 Av/August 1.

The founder and CEO of Meridian Capital Group, Mr. Herzka has earned a nationwide reputation for expertise, vision and integrity in commercial real estate finance. The Herzka name is associated as well with a broad array of charitable causes. Like his illustrious parents before him, Mr. Herzka maintains an active involvement in Torah and chessed organizations throughout the world, including serving on the board of trustees of Agudas Yisroel of America, organizers of the Siyum Hashas celebration since it was first introduced on American shores.

Mr. Rieder, a real-estate professional well-known for his many worthy chessed and communal efforts, has served as chairman of the Siyum Hashas steering committee since the 9th Siyum Hashas, the first to be held in the main arena of Madison Square Garden. Indeed, Mr. Rieder worked closely with Agudas Yisroel’s late president, Rabbi Moshe Sherer zt”l , in booking the Garden for the 1990 event, a move that effectively took Siyum Hashas celebrations to the next level. In serving as a member of Agudah’s  board of trustees, Mr. Rieder carries on a family tradition of Agudah askanus begun by his father,  Reb Yaakov Reider z”l, who was among Rabbi Sherer’s closest friends and confidants.

Also playing a pivotal role in the planning of the upcoming Siyum Hashas is noted Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, owner of TwinMed, LLP, the largest regional medical supplies distributor on the West Coast. In addition to his many other affiliations with Torah mosdos and chessed institutions, Mr. Rechnitz serves as president of LA’s Yeshivas Toras Emes and chairman of the board of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. In the last several months, Mr. Rechnitz has been instrumental in mobilizing support for the Siyum Hashas among members of the Los Angeles Torah community.

Working tirelessly, as well, to ensure the success of the Siyum Hashas are members of the Siyum Hashas steering committee, which includes Dr. Dudi Diamond, Rabbi Shlomo Gottesman, Hashi Herzka,  Elly Kleinman, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, Yati Weinreb and Shlomo Werdiger.

“The extraordinary efforts of the Siyum Hashas steering committee members – and the many other community lay leaders who are so unbelievably generous with their expertise, time and resources – were critical to the success of the last Siyum Hashas,” says Agudas Yisroel executive vice president for finance and administration Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, who has been at the helm of Siyum Hashas preparations since 1982. “Their input and hands-on involvement is particularly important as we prepare for the largest Siyum Hashas in history.”

Indeed, at a meeting held last week at Agudas Yisroel headquarters, steering committee members, lay leaders from across the country and Agudah representatives exchanged ideas regarding a wide range of Siyum Hashas planning issues. Among the topics on the agenda were ways of mobilizing diverse Torah communities to participate in the upcoming simchas haTorah and methods for rallying shuls, yeshivos and Daf Yomi groups across the country. Also discussed were the logistics involved in bringing thousands of campers to the Siyum Hashas from upstate New York and other tri-state area summer camps. Bringing his considerable experience and expertise to bear on the latter subject was Rabbi Meir Frischman, longtime director of the network of five Agudah camps and director of the Association of Jewish Camping Operators (AJCO).

Explored as well – and generating the most passion and excitement of the evening, observes Rabbi Gertzulin – were innovative ideas for harnessing the power of the Siyum Hashas to increase Daf Yomi study and limud haTorah around the world.

“If the increase in Daf Yomi study that followed every one of the last siyumim is any indication, the 12th Siyum Hashas – which will, with Hashem’s help, be the largest and most magnificent demonstration of kavod haTorah since the time of the Second Bais Hamikdosh – will be a catalyst for an unprecedented explosion in limud haTorah.

“And, in the end, it is by that standard that the success of the Siyum Hashas should and will be measured.”

{Shmiel Newscenter}


  1. I am really not sure what to do with my 2 boys in an overnight camp in the catskills?? Will the camp bring in its campers?? If not, should I take my children out for the day to attend this unique opportunity of Kavod Hatorah??

  2. I am really not sure what to do with my 2 boys in an overnight camp in the catskills. Will the camp bring in its campers?? If not, should I take my children out for the day to attend this unique opportunity of Kavod Hatorah??