Yeshiva Torah Vodaas 90th Annual Dinner Tonight


roshei-yeshiva-of-torah-vodaas-smallAmongst the increasing number of outstanding citadels of Torah learning today in America, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas stands tall, proud of its long distinguished history. YTV was established in September 1918 by a small group of dedicated observant immigrant parents in Brooklyn deeply concerned about Torah education for their children. The United States was a true haven to pioneering immigrants, offering every liberty and opportunity except that of Torah education.  The parents intensely desired their sons to have the same Torah learning opportunities as in the old European hometowns and shtetls. Twenty students comprised the opening class. The legendary Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l served as the Yeshiva’s first menahel and as a guiding spirit of growth.

As Jewish immigration continued the Yeshiva worked ever harder and quickly outgrew its temporary home in a small shul on Keap Street in Williamsburg. It outgrew other short-term lodgings, too, until a new building was erected at 206 Wilson Street.  

 Since then, the Yeshiva has grown considerably. It now occupies a campus on East Ninth Street in Kensington/Flatbush, a Beis Medrash facility in Monsey, serving a student body, from nursery through post-graduate kollel, which numbers almost 2,000 students.

 Since its inception, YTV has had a profound influence on America’s observant Jewry. Its   alumni are found in every facet of religious life, as spiritual leaders of congregations, teachers in yeshivas, and officers of religious and charitable organizations. Others are pious businessmen and professionals, fully participating, contributing members.

roshei-yeshiva-of-torah-vodaas Some have also served as political statesmen, enhancing the settings for all yeshivos and for  Jews throughout the world. Rav Shraga Feivel’s leadership directly resulted in YTV’s readiness to serve all of Klal Yisroel. That leadership continues to this very day.

  The roshei yeshiva who have taken part in YTV’s Torah glory, literally a golden chain of tradition, were: Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, zt”l (1886-1948); Rav  Dovid Lebowitz, zt”l (1889-1941); Rav Shlomo Heiman, zt”l (1892-1945); Rav  Reuven Grozovsky, zt”l (1896-1956); Rav Moshe Dov Ber Rivkin, zt”l; Rav Aaron Yeshaya Shapiro, zt”l, Rav Uri Meir Kahanow, zt”l; Rav Shmuel Kushelevitz, zt”l (d.  1963); Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l (1890-1986); Rav Gedalia Schorr, zt”l (1910-1979); Rav Moshe Dov Ber Rivkin, zt”l (d. 1976); Rav Reuven Fain, zt”l; Rav Elya Chazan, zt”l; Rav Simcha Sheps, zt”l (1908-1998); Rav Elazar Kahanow, zt”l (d.2006); Rav Avrohom Pam, zt”l  (1913-2001); Rav Asher Katzman, zt”l; Rav Nosson Eliyahu Gertzulin, zt”l (1919-2006); and Rav Nesanel Quinn, zt”l  (1910-2005).


   They were all preeminent Roshei Yeshiva whose names continue to reverberate throughout the entire world. They were the predecessors to, and colleagues of: Rav Yisroel Belsky; Rav Elya Katz; Rav Yisroel Reisman; Rav Yosef Savitsky; Rav Yitzchok Sekula; and Rav Moshe Wolfson, regal names of today’s Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Tonight, the Yeshiva’s 90th Annual Dinner will be celebrated at Ateres Chaya Hall in Boro Park. The evening will be dedicated to remembering the Roshei Yeshiva, whose aura still permeates Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. A collection of pictures of the Roshei Yeshiva adorned the formal invitation to the Dinner. The special evening will commemorate the lives of the great Torah personalities who literally gave their lives to the Yeshiva. 

 In addition, admiration and appreciation will be given to YTV’s graduating class of 1984, many graduates serving as Ravs, roshei yeshiva, professionals, businessmen, and fervent laymen who continue to carry forward the mission of YTV in their respective leadership roles.

 The Dinner will honor: Rav Raphael Pelcovitz with the Mesivta Torah Vodaas Kesser Rabbanus Award. Rav Pelcovitz is renowned for his leadership role in the Ravnate. In addition to serving for decades as Rav of Congregation Knesseth Israel (the White Shul) of Far Rockaway, he also served as president of the Ravnical Alliance of America (Igud Horabbonim).  Rav Pelcovitz is the author of Table Talk: Shabbos and Yom Tov Divrei Torah, Seforno’s Commentary On The Torah, and Seforno’s Commentary on Pirkei Avos, all published by ArtScroll.

Rav Peretz Steinberg, Rav of the Young Israel of Queens Valley, will be conferred the Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky Kesser Torah Award.  Rav Steinberg is the respected Segan Rosh Beth Din of the Igud Horabbonim, Chairman of the Vaad Halacha of the National Council of Young Israel Ravs, president of the Vaad Horabbonim of Queens, and is the author of Pri Eitz Chaim.

Dr. and Mrs. Aryeh Katz have earned the Parents of the Year Award; Mr. and Mrs. Zev Kraut and Mr. and Mrs. Michel Kraut, in memory of their father, Avrohom Shlomo Zalman ben Yechiel Michel, will be bestowed with the Moreinu HaRav Pam Ahavas Torah V’Chesed Award; Mr. and Mrs. Yehoshua Gellis will be given the Machzikei Torah Award; Rav Naftali Leshkowitz has merited the Kollel Nachlas Dovid Marbitz Torah Award; and Mr. and Mrs. Eli Lichtenstein will be honored as Alumnus of the Year. In addition, the Dinner will ceremoniously serve as the dedication of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas as the Yaakov Elazar Goldbrenner Learning Center.

Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, the indefatigable Torah activist, will serve as the dinner chairman and Rav Yoel Ehrenreich, dinner coordinator.  Chaim H. Leshkowitz is YTV’s distinguished chairman of the board. Shiya Hollander, Gedaliah Weinberger and Moshe Zafir comprise the executive committee. Rav Yitzchok Gottdiener, succeeding the legendary Rav Aharon Braun, zt”l (1926-2007), heads YTV’s administration, outstandingly assisted by Rav Moshe L. Shochet, director of development, and other important staff members.

 Yeshiva Torah Vodaas continues to serve Klal Yisroel into its 10th decade with its superb Torah learning, led by gedolei Torah, as well as its excellent elementary and high school secular studies departments.  

{Dovid Bernstein, Noam Newscenter}


  1. “The legendary Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l served as the Yeshiva’s first menahel and as a guiding spirit of growth.”

    Not true. Rav Shraga Feivel came only a few years later (see the book Reb Shrage Feivel, by Yonason Rosenblum, put out by Artscroll.

    He was preceded by Rav Chaim Yechezkel Mozeson at YTV.

    Also, note that Reb Shraga Feivel was menahel of YTV, not Rosh Yeshiva.

  2. Great article. R’ SF was indeed not founder of Yeshiva but he was and is the luminary visionary still guiding the Yeshiva. Article misses to point out that Rav Yosef Savitsky Shlit”a is one the preminent foremost Magidei Shiur in the world today. His Lomdus and Iyum is unparalleled. The Yeshiva office provides tapes of Shiur upon request.

  3. I was at the dinner last night. It was really nice, especially the video portraying the Roshei Yeshiva ZT”L with great narration by Rabbi Scherman, etc. I was very touched by the words of R’ Yakov Goldbrenner OB”M son, Dov Ber. Also, Mr. Weinberger’s invitation for new members to the board of directors is noteworthy. Hopefully many will answer the call infusing some youth and hischadshus throughout the Yeshiva.

  4. Is Naftoly Hershkowitz a TorahVoDaas yungerman who is a partner in one of the top law firms in the world in NYC?