Tonight: Azkara for Rav Elya Svei zt”l to Highlight Agudah Convention’s Motzoei Shabbos Keynote Session


agudah-convention[Thursday night session photos below.] The Motzoei Shabbos keynote session tonight at Agudath Israel of America’s 87th National Convention will feature a tribute to Rav Elya Svei, zt”l, Rosh HaYeshiva of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia and long-time member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, whose petira several months ago was a terrible blow to the Torah world. Internationally renowned for his brilliance in Torah and uncompromising promotion of authentic Torah values, Rabbi Svei was regarded as one of Klal Yisroel’s most illustrious leaders.

Born in 1924, Rabbi Svei arrived in the United States from Europe as a young boy. At the age of 20, he joined the Lakewood Yeshiva, where he emerged as an outstanding student of Rav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, in whose footsteps he would follow, combining intensive Torah study with activism on behalf of the Torah community both here and in Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Svei was a son-in-law of Rabbi Avraham Kalmanovitz, the founder of the Brooklyn branch of the Mir Yeshiva, and a brother-in-law of its late Rosh HaYeshiva, Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l.

Offering divrei hisorirus in memory of Rabbi Svei will be the Philadelphia Rosh HaYeshiva and Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah member Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, shlit”a, who was Rabbi Svei’s partner for approximately half a century in the Philadelphia Yeshiva; and Rabbi Svei’s eldest son, Rabbi Yehuda Svei, shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva at the Philadelphia Yeshiva. In addition, the Motzoei Shabbos keynote session will feature excerpts of some of Rabbi Elya Svei’s most memorable addresses at Agudath Israel gatherings.

Rav Elya would frequently use the Agudah podium to enunciate his clear daas Torah on the most difficult issues of the day,” notes Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudath Israel’s executive director and convention program coordinator. “Perhaps the most fitting tribute to his memory, and the most effective way to perpetuate his legacy, is to hear his own fiery words again, and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals he expressed.”

Yet another highlight of the keynote session will be an address by special overseas guest, Rabbi Doniel Alter. Rabbi Alter, son of the Pnei Menachem, zt”l, is one of the most sought after speakers on the international scene.

Also addressing the gathering on Motzoei Shabbos will be Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Leiff, Rov, Agudath Israel of Avenue L, and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America.

The convention will be held Thursday through Sunday, November 26-29, at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, New Jersey. The beautiful new venue is located just a short drive from many major Orthodox communities on the East Coast.

Tonight’s session will be broadcast live to many locations around the country.

See below for photos of Thursday night’s plenary session, featuring remarks from the Novominsker Rebbe and Rav Matisyahu Salomon:

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{Dovid Newscenter}/Photos by Menachem Aidelman}