Tonight: Legacy Dinner to Celebrate Be’er Hagolah Institute’s 30th Anniversary


beer-hagolah Hundreds of friends and supporters of the largest kiruv yeshiva in the United States, Be’er Hagolah Institutes, prepare to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The celebration will take place tonight at Terrace on the Park. Mr. and Mrs. Moshe Wolf, prominent members of the Flatbush community, and Dr. Arkadiy Izrailov, a noted physician from the Bukharian community, will be honored at the dinner.

In addition, Be’er Hagolah will pay tribute to a group of graduates and honor their accomplishments. There is great diversity in the lives of these graduates. One is a doctor, one is a lawyer, one is a rebbi, and others are businessmen. But all are united in the fact that they are fully committed to Torah and mitzvos.

Getting to this point in their lives, however, was not always easy. Coming from homes devoid of Yiddishkeit, there was often friction and unhappiness. 

Twelve-year-old Marina told her teacher, “On Erev Shabbos, I started to set the table. I didn’t have to put a lot of plates on the table, because no one wanted to do Shabbos with me.” 

Then there was 15-year-old Julia who wanted nothing else for her birthday but a set of Lamed Tes Melachos. She needed it, she explained, because she didn’t always remember the halachos of Shabbos and there was no one at home to help her. The set cost $100. Her mother wouldn’t buy it for her, saying that she was already too fanatic. “I’ll buy you jewelry, toys, clothing, anything – but not Hebrew books.” On the day of her birthday, Julia entered her classroom at Be’er Hagolah. There it was, on her desk – the entire set, gift wrapped. Her classmates had surprised her and bought it for her.

There were parents who were willing to learn. Six-year-old Boris – now Boruch – got in trouble in school. His teacher was upset, because day after day Boruch would forget his Alef Binah at home. Finally, Boruch started crying. “It’s not my fault. My father takes out my book every night. He wants to learn how to read and he forgets to put it back.”

Thirteen-year-old Mordechai told his rebbi that on Shabbos, he brought his siddur and divrei Torah to the table. He wanted his father to make Kiddush, but his father couldn’t read Hebrew. So he said each word out loud, reading from his siddur, and his father repeated it after him.

Moshe Wolf
Moshe Wolf

There are hundreds of stories among the over 700 students in the four schools – the boys high school, the boys elementary school, the girls high school and the girls elementary school – that Be’er Hagolah operates. Some are happy and inspiring stories.  Others are filled with sadness and strife. 

Tonight, the guests at the Be’er Hagolah dinner will be able to celebrate the fact that these young men and women, alumni of Be’er Hagolah, representing the many, many hundreds of graduates who have passed through the halls of the yeshiva, are establishing their own Torah homes, raising families and enrolling their children in the various yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs in our community. A generation almost lost to Klal Yisroel has, boruch Hashem, been restored.

Malka Zolotick, an alumnus being honored, is living proof of that. She treasures a picture taken in Russia of herself as a two-year-old. Also pictured are her parents, obviously secular Jews, and her grandfather and grandmother. Her grandfather has a long white beard and her grandmother wears a black kerchief, covering her head. Her grandparents’ sad eyes tell the story of the success of Communism. It seemed like Russian Jewry would be lost forever. When Malka and her parents came to the United States, Be’er Hagolah embraced her. Today, that picture stands on a shelf, surrounded by seforim in the Lakewood apartment of Malka and her husband, R’ Pinchos.

Zarema Rayzberg joined the Bobover kehillah when she married her husband. Chana Touretski, whose husband learns in Bais Medrash Elyon, lives in Monsey and is involved in many chessed activities within the community. 

Daniel and Esther Gavrielov are unique in that they are both Be’er Hagolah alumni. He is a rebbi and she is pursuing a Masters degree in special-ed while being a full-time mommy.  

Vicky Strobel feels greatly indebted to Be’er Hagolah. “I got lucky being able to attend such an outstanding yeshiva,” she says. Her oldest son is about to enter Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. 

Inna Ingel’s children attend Prospect Park Yeshiva, Toras Emes and Mirrer Yeshiva. “Imagine,” she says, “if Be’er Hagolah would not have taken me in as a child. Where would I be today?” 

Tova Rauzman sums up her experiences in Be’er Hagolah as transforming her life.

Dr. Natalie Zelenko, another honoree, graduated from Be’er Hagolah as the class valedictorian. She and her husband, Vlad, are building a Torah home, prepared to transmit their Jewish heritage to their own family.

the-portraitYitzchok Lempert will be honored for his growth in Torah and for becoming the type of person he is today.

Miriam Kariyev says that entering Be’er Hagolah opened the doors to Yiddishkeit not only for her, but for her entire family. “We all grew in Yiddishkeit and absorbed all that we were taught.”

Gary Rozenshteyn recalls his early days in a new country. “Not only was I accepted without even a discussion about tuition, but I will also never forget the chickens the yeshiva delivered to our home for our first Shabbos in the United States.” 

Tanya Rosen is giving back by teaching a most popular aerobics class at Be’er Hagolah.

Julia Jaman’s path to building her beautiful Jewish home with her husband began years ago in the halls of Be’er Hagolah. She exemplifies all that Be’er Hagolah stands for.

These young couples, who are part and parcel of their individual communities, are involving themselves in all aspects of tzedakah and chessed activities. 

Elisheva Perlman is a perfect example of that. She and her husband will receive the Community Service Award for their outstanding involvement in many organizations and tzedakah activities in the Jewish community. Elisheva’s relationship with Be’er Hagolah began when she was an honors student at the school. She later returned as a teacher.

Thirty years ago, when Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l said that the subject of Russian Jewry is the responsibility of our generation and that every Jew will have to answer after 120 regarding what he or she did to be mekarev Russian Jews, he would add, “Had we been left behind in Russia, we would be among those needing help.” 

It had been feared that Stalin had won. It seemed like Russian Jewry would be lost forever to assimilation. But netzach Yisroel lo yeshaker. Boruch Hashem, the gedolei Yisroel took action and established a yeshiva, Be’er Hagolah. 

The alumni being honored are living proof of what can be accomplished if one has determination, patience and an abundance of love.

The celebration tonight is a celebration for all of Klal Yisroel.

{Dovid Newscenter}


  1. May the zchus of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky, zatzal, who supported Be’er HaGolah from its beginnings, protect and aid us all. Who knows how much we have gained in the merit of bringing the lost ones of Russia back to the Torah?