Tonight: Shuvu to Celebrate Twenty Years of Achievement at 20th Annual Dinner


rav-pamTwenty years ago, we watched the exodus of Jews from the Soviet Union from a geographic and spiritual distance. Twenty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Yiddishe neshamos, Jews we had long considered lost, were flooding the Eretz Hakedoshah and most of us stood by not knowing how to react or what could or should be done. Thankfully, twenty years ago, a prescient and wise tzaddik stepped forward to encourage us to seize this rare and unprecedented opportunity and to demonstrate to Hakadosh Boruch Hu and the world our sense of areivus and unconditional love for Klal Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel.

Most readers of this website is familiar with the story of how Rav Avrohom Pam zt”l recognized that the secular Soviet Jews flooding Eretz Yisroel would tip the demographic balance of the Eretz Hakedoshah in favor of the secular population. Innumerable times, indeed even with his last breath, the gaon and tzaddik gathered his ito rally us to respond to the urgency of his message: every Russian Jewish child should be offered a Torah chinuch, without consideration of cost and despite the resistance of parents or opposition of the Israeli government.

With the help of an elite corps of legendary askonim, Rav Pam founded Shuvu twenty years ago. Repeatedly, he referred to Shuvu as a “Torah movement,” and, in fact, today, over 1,000 Shuvu teachers are educating more than 15,000 students in 67 schools. Thousands of boys and girls have gone on to establish homes of Torah and Yiddishkeit, and the tzaddik‘s war on secularism continues to be fought throughout Eretz Yisroel with the best weapon of all: a Jewish education.

Shuvu’s  20th Annual Dinner, to be held tonight at the Palace Hall in Brooklyn, will celebrate the stunning achievements of this extraordinary organization and will pay tribute to the memory of Rebbetzin Sarah Pam a”h, whose recent petirah was mourned by Klal Yisroel. Rebbetzin Pam was the ultimate eizer kenegdo to Rav Pam. Shuvu was her defining essence just as it was for her revered husband. She mirrored his dedication and selflessness, foregoing a trip to Eretz Yisroel, as one small example, so the funds could be used to pay a teacher’s salary. A special commemoration of her life and contribution to Shuvu’s success, written by Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, will be distributed at the dinner.

A memorial tribute to Shuvu’s founding co-chairman, Reb Yaakov Rieder z”l, will be made at the dinner and presented to his son, Reb Shmuel Yosef, a noted askan and member of Agudath Israel’s Board of Directors. Reb Yaakov spent his days at the forefront of Jewish community life. He and his brother, Harry, established a shtiebel in the Washington Heights neighborhood where he lived for over 30 years. Reb Yaakov viewed his success in business as a means for him to become a staunch supporter of yeshivos and mosdos haTorah vehachesed, and he did it with not only an open hand, but an open heart.  Those who approached Mr. Rieder for support were struck by the sense that he derived greater pleasure from giving than perhaps the recipient had from receiving. When Shuvu was founded, Mr. Rieder, at the request of Rabbi Moshe Sherer zt”l, Agudath Israel’s president, agreed to act as co-chairman.

The dinner will also pay tribute to Aaron Elbogen, Moshe Fuchs and Yossi Hoch, individuals who regard their support of Shuvu as a sacred kesher to Rav Pam. They will receive the Bearers of the Torch Award. Tsemach and Devora Glenn will dedicate a kindergarten in memory of his mother, Chana. The Taub Shuvu High School in Yerushalayim will be dedicated by Mrs. Chana Taub and family.

Dinner chairmen Eli Shindler and Shimmy Greenberger and journal chairman Yitzchok Sussman are encouraging the entire community to pay tribute to the honorees, the memory of Rebbetzin Pam, and the two decades of accomplishments that Shuvu represents.

{Yossi Newscenter}