Tonight: Torah Academy for Girls Annual Dinner Dedicated in Memory of Rav Moshe Weitman zt”l


rabbi-moshe-weitmanThe Torah Academy for Girls (TAG) family will gather tonight at The Sands in the Five Towns for a memorable event as it dedicates its annual dinner in memory of Rav Moshe Weitman zt”l, who served with distinction and devotion as dean of the school for over four decades. As the first yahrzheit draws close, this will be a unique opportunity to pay tribute to Rabbi Weitman’s many accomplishments and to recognize the vital role that he played in creating and building the first Bais Yaakov school in the community.

If one closes one’s eyes, it would be hard to visualize the Far Rockaway community of 1964 when a young dynamic Rabbi Weitman, who had served the Monticello community with obvious leadership qualities, was hired to run a fledgling Bais Yaakov type school, called Torah Academy for Girls. The idea of a Bais Yaakov was not welcomed by many in the community who did not understand the need for an all-girls school. So, with a student body of 70 girls in grades kindergaten thru 7, the founders of the school sought a menahel who would literally build a Bais Yaakov school that would win acceptance for its excellence in both limudei kodesh and limudei chol. They found such a person in Rabbi Weitman.

One has only to look at the amazing growth of TAG to appreciate how much koach, energy, determination, and, of course, siyata diShmaya went into building the school. The growth of TAG has directly influenced the growth of not only Far Rockaway, but the Five Towns as well. Through the efforts of many dedicated parents, community members, principals and teachers, the dream of a vibrant Bais Yaakov has become a reality. At the helm, actively directing each aspect of the school, was Rabbi Weitman, whose loss can never be adequately measured, but whose hadracha will always be treasured.

Rabbi Weitman forged a personal kesher with so many of his students. During the shivah, literally hundreds of stories were recounted regarding some of the seemingly unimportant issues which meant so much to a young girl and left such a deep impression. “Rabbi Weitman was like a father to me” was repeated over and over. This connection left an indelible imprint on so many of his students.

Rabbi Weitman derived much nachas from “his girls.” Nothing made him happier than having an alumna return to TAG with her own daughter, anxious to provide her child with the same exemplary TAG chinuch that she was privileged to receive. Lately, there have been quite a few granddaughters of original students enrolled at TAG.

So many memories, so many years and so many homes built on Torah-true hashkafos. This is the meaningful legacy that Rabbi Weitman left behind. And this everlasting legacy lives on, with a current student enrollment of over 1,300 students, bli ayin hara. With his son, Rabbi Meyer Weitman, who worked alongside his father for twelve years before his petirah, now at the helm, the staff and parents feel confident that Rabbi Moshe Weitman’s legacy and hashpoa’ah will continue to live on, as the many future doros of bnos Yisroel take their rightful place in Klal Yisroel.


After the passing of their beloved dean, the Board of Directors of Torah Academy for Girls instituted the Rabbi Moshe Weitman Memorial Award , which will be presented annually to individuals who represent the hashkafos and middos of Rabbi Weitman zt”l.  The dinner chairmen, Moshe Feuer, Evan Genack, David Klein and Jeff Weinberg, were delighted to learn that despite a longstanding policy of never being publicly recognized for his many efforts on behalf of the klal, Dr. Moshe Katz has agreed to accept this inaugural award, together with his wife Hinda, at TAG’s upcoming annual dinner.

For those who knew of the close and mutual admiration that was the hallmark of the relationship between Rabbi Weitman and Dr. Katz, receiving this award is a natural outgrowth of the special bond that they shared. It was their shared dream to create a Bais Yaakov in the wastelands of what was Far Rockaway in the 1960s that bound them together for over 45 years. But Dr. Katz was no stranger to dreams. He lived through the nightmare of the Holocaust as he so vividly portrays in his best-selling book, “Nine Out of Ten.” Dr. Katz feels that he has a mission to teach the next generations about the Holocaust and he lectures whenever he is asked. He teaches a Holocaust study course in TAG High School and at the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway.

When the Katz family arrived in the community, they found a much different place than we see today. Dr. Katz and a group of like-minded friends joined together to establish Yeshiva of South Shore, followed by Torah Academy for Girls. He became the first president of the TAG Board of Directors and has served as president for many terms. It is TAG’s good fortune that it never believed in “term limits.”

Through all its ups and downs, building campaigns, hiring of new principals and most certainly budgetary crises, Dr. Katz worked hand in hand with Rabbi Weitman. Dr. Katz was the president and his wonderful wife, Leah a”h, could be considered the first lady. Soft spoken and refined in every way, Leah was active in the Women’s League and supported all of her husband’s efforts on behalf of the school. Today, the TAG High School auditorium proudly bears her name as a fitting memorial to her kesher with TAG.

Blessed with finding a second wife, Mrs. Hinda Katz is a true eizer kenegdo. She is supportive of all Dr. Katz’s communal activities, which include being a much sought-after mediator, along with being active in Agudath  Israel of Long Island where they daven.  

It will be both moving and fitting that Dr. & Mrs. Moshe Katz will receive the inaugural Rabbi Moshe Weitman Memorial Award at the dinner.


Torah Academy for Girls will be presenting the Parent of the Year Award to Marc and Sharon Friedman.

Marc and Sharon are the proud parents of six children, bli ayin hara. Their TAG girls – Aliza, who is in fourth grade, and Deena, who is in kindergarten – are enjoying the special TAG chinuch and bringing their parents tremendous nachas.  The school looks forward to welcoming baby Rikki into TAG to join her sisters as soon as she is old enough for the nursery. The Friedman boys – Shauli, Azi and Yoni – attend Yeshiva Darchei Torah.

Marc is extremely busy in his real estate and development firm, yet he always finds time to learn and has spent many years learning in Yeshiva Sh’or Yoshuv.                 

Sharon works as a school psychologist in Yeshiva Darchei Torah and still finds time in her busy schedule to serve as treasurer of their Women’s League.

The Friedmans daven in Sh’or Yoshuv, which is a second home to the family.  The Friedman mishpacha forged a special kesher with the illustrious rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, Rav Shlomo Freifeld zt”l. This kesher has been strengthened through the involvement of the entire Friedman family since the yeshiva‘s inception. Sharon’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Schuster, are also wonderful role models and were actively involved in mosdos in their community of Riverdale.

The Friedman home is imbued with Torah values, and as any Shabbos guest can attest, the atmosphere is full of good food along with the special aura of an authentic Shabbos table.

While the Friedmans shun the limelight, hakoras hatov is so ingrained in them that they were motivated to graciously accept this award. They are truly grateful that their daughters are thriving in TAG with wonderful moros, teachers and principals who are instilling in them a love for learning and hashkafos that will be the very foundation of their lives.

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