[Video and photos below.] Acheinu, the kiruv movement founded 17 years ago to return unaffiliated Israeli children to Torah, held its 2nd Annual Lakewood Asifa at Bais Faiga Hall in Lakewood, NJ, last night.
Hundreds turned out at the asifa in support of Acheinu and to hear divrei chizuk delineating Acheinu’s sustained, quantifiable hatzolas nefashos work. The large turnout attested to the fact that the bnei Torah of the Lakewood community feel a special bond with the underlying goal of Acheinu – to create bnei Torah who will dedicate their lives to Torah learning and living.
Acheinu is an organization that has developed a unique strategy for kiruv – a strategy that reaps a phenomenal success rate, translating into some 93% of its charges becoming and remaining shomrei Torah umitzvos. Acheinu works with a very targeted segment of the non-religious Israeli public, with the specific goal of not only ensuring that their charges assume shemiras hamitzvos, but that they also grow into bnei Torah who will remain between the walls of the bais medrash, engaged in in-depth Torah learning, and lead lives dedicated to limud haTorah.
Attendees were treated to a live video hookup from Bnei Brak of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman. The live message from Rav Shteinman was moderated by Rav Chizkiyahu Mishkovsky, mashgiach of Yeshivas Orchos Torah.
The event began with a separate special video presentation featuring shailos and teshuvos with Rav Shteinman on chinuch issues.
A moving video featured the venerated senior rosh yeshiva, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, nosi of Acheinu.
The audience heard opening remarks from Rav Eliezer Ralbag, rov of The Lakewood Courtyard shul. Divrei bracha were delivered by Rav Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha. Rav Dovid Hofstedter, founder of Acheinu and Dirshu, spoke as well, underscoring the uniqueness of Acheinu, which, recognizing a bochur’s need for constant support and chizuk, invests in an entire staff of avreichim to serve as mentors. They learn with and advise the boys, and are there for them throughout their yeshiva years and beyond, until they become true bnei Torah, marry and establish Torah homes.
The event featured the participation of many local rabbonim, including Rav Yeruchem Olshin, Rav Matisyahu Salomon and Rav Shmuel Blech.
At the event, a beautiful hot buffet was catered by R’ Itche Meir Greenwald and Greenwald Caterers. Attendees were also entered into a raffle for a trip to Eretz Yisroel, with two winners selected to attend Acheinu’s 5th Annual International Kiruv Conference in Bnei Brak.
Click below for video clips of the event:
See below for photos: