On May 4, a year of milestones was marked as Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel’s family of supporters united for the Yeshiva’s 31st annual benefit Dinner. As the Dinner progressed, attendees heard about the yeshiva’s accomplishments since last year’s Dinner, and they knew a new year of milestones was set to begin.
The Annual Dinner, held at King’s Terrace in Flatbush, drew a croud of hundreds of supporters, some long-time friends, and others newcomers to the YGBY family. Many special guests joined the Dinner to pay tribute to the honorees and the Yeshiva’s accomplishments: Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser served as the Dinner Chairman. Rabbi Eli Mansour attended along with many of his shul’s member, paying a special tribute to their own Alan Ades, an honoree. Rabbi Eliyahu Brog, Rav of Rabbi Miller’s Bais Yisroel shul, also participated.
This year’s Dinner honored alumnus of the year Rabbi Ari Neuwirth, an accomplished educator and well-known newspaper columnist. Jeffrey Levy and Alan Ades, long-time supporters and students of Rabbi Avigdor Miller, were the evening’s guests of honor. The Dinner was specially dedicated to the memory of Mr. Levy’s mother, Linda Levy a”h.
Rabbi Neuwirth, principal of the Jewish Foundation School of Staten Island, recalled as a bochur being responsible for coordinating Rabbi Miller’s vaadim in the Yeshiva; he said it was an honor he missed sorely. He is the author of the Parenting Principles column that appears weekly in Yated Ne’eman.
Jeffrey Levy ‘s long friendship with the Yeshiva began when he attended a Chumash class by Rabbi Yehuda Brog at the home of Sammy Botton.
His mother, Linda Levy, was remember by family members for her unshakeable honesty and generosity. Jeffrey recalls the home was always open to guests – some of whom spent years living with the Levy family.
Alan Ades, a devoted student of Rabbi Miller, recalled how his life was transformed when his friend Sam Gindi introduced him to Rabbi Miller’s teachings. He expressed his appreciation to the Yeshiva for spreading Rabbi Miller’s teachings and shared his hapiness at being able to help support the Yeshiva.
For the first time, the Dinner served an exciting second purpose: as the forum for announcing the winner of a Rabbi Miller iPod. Each year, the Yeshiva raffles of an iPod pre-loaded with almost 2,000 Rabbi Miller lectures – a coveted product that retails for $2,000. Donors who respond to the yeshiva’s mailings may be enterred in the raffle. This year’s winner was Menachem Levy of Passaic. He was not able to attend the Dinner, but sent warm words of appreciation for the iPod and for the Yeshiva’s efforts to spread Rabbi Miller’s teachings.
A surprise addition to the Dinner program was the moving speech by YGBY talmid Yitzy Gross. Gross noted that the Rosh Yeshiva is a student of both Rav Miller, ztl, and Rav Aaron Kotler, and he remarked how YGBY bochurim grow on a personal level because of their close proximity to a Rosh Yeshiva of such caliber.
“It was of utmost terribly importantance to my father to see the Yeshiva thrive and succeed,” commented Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Shmuel Miller. “The Yeshiva is grateful to the dedicated supporters who attend the Dinner and support the Yeshiva’s activities.”
In the Dinner Video, the Rosh Yeshiva commented that it was quite gratifying enough to lead a yeshiva where chashuva talmidim shteig in Torah… it is especially reqarding that the yeshiva proactively disseminates the teaching of his father, Rabbi Avigdor Miller. The Rabbi Avigdor Miller Legacy Library, and its publishing wing, Simchas Hachaim Publishing, were started by the Yeshiva in 2011 for the purpose of spreading Rabbi Miller’s teaching ever farther. Besides its aggressive publishing agenda, it has launched an online audio archive where members enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of Rabbi Miller’s famous lectures. Additional programs are in formation, such as a children’s education program and kiruv projects.
Rabbi Yehuda Brog, the Yeshiva’s executive director, also announced another long-awaited milestone: the beginning of construction on the yeshiva’s new Bais Medrash building in the Raintree section of Lakewood.
Each attendee receive a free copy of Ohr Avigdor Shaar Avodas Elokim, the newest sefer by Rabbi Avigdor Miller published by Simchas Hachaim Publishing.