TONIGHT: Torah Vodaas Centennial Dinner to Celebrate the Past, Look to the Future

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Torah Celebration of a Lifetime

As the mother of the yeshiva movement in America, Yeshiva Torah Vodaath bears an illustrious legacy of a century. For five generations, the visionary foresight of the leadership of Torah Vodaath has hewn the path for a Torah-true education and the unprecedented growth of Yiddishkeit in this country.

The historic accomplishments of Torah Vodaath will be celebrated tonight, Sunday, May 26. The Brooklyn Marriot will be the place to be that momentous evening, as a massive crowd, with dignitaries and guests traveling in from across the globe to participate, will unite to pay tribute to a yeshiva that will long stand out in the annals of the American Torah world.

Despite its age, the yeshiva has never grown old. Today, with an enrollment of close to one thousand students, the dynamic vitality and innovative spirit of the yeshiva is reflected in every facet of each of its divisions. The yeshiva is currently located in three beautiful buildings in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Its four educational divisions – pre-school, elementary school, mesivta and bais medrash – is comprised of close to 1,000 talmidim. Due to the high demand for the yeshiva’s methods in education, Torah Vodaath now has satellites programs in the Marine Park and Boro Park sections of Brooklyn.

The unique Torah Vodaath approach in chinuch focuses on the ability to reach every student, enabling every child to reach his maximum potential. Cutting edge resources, innovative teaching methods, contemporary ideas and student-focused programs have always been the defining characteristics of the yeshiva. At the same time, the yeshiva has remained true to its tradition and its vision – the core principles that are at the heart of Torah Vodaath.

Tonight’s centennial dinner program will be unlike any other in recent memory.

Prominent at the dinner will be the presentation of the Belsky Family Centennial Heritage Award in memory of the rosh yeshiva, Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt”l, a grandson of the visionary founder of Torah Vodaath, Rav Binyomin Wilhelm zt”l. Rav Belsky’s son-in-law, the Torah world’s premier philanthropist, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, will participate and introduce the guest speaker, his brother-in-law, Rav Reuven Cohen, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Yosef in Kiryat Sefer.

As the yeshiva remembers its past and pays tribute to its illustrious roshei yeshiva from across the generations, Torah Vodaath will be celebrating its present and future as well with an address from the rosh yeshiva, Rav Yitzchok Lichtenstein. Rav Lichtenstein, a renowned talmid chochom and marbitz Torah, has infused the yeshiva with palpable energy and vitality since assuming the position of rosh yeshiva. Rav Lichtenstein stands at the helm of a chaburah of almost three dozen outstanding bnei Torah who have joined Torah Vodaath since his arrival, filling the yeshiva with a vibrant kol Torah as it enters its second century.

The dinner will feature the Global Centennial Siyum Hatorah, a worldwide effort of limud haTorah in tribute to Torah Vodaath’s present roshei yeshiva, Rav Yosef Savitsky, Rav Yisroel Reisman and Rav Yitzchok Lichtenstein, and in memory of past leaders of the yeshiva, including Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Rav Binyomin Wilhelm, Rav Reuven Grozovsky, Rav Shlomo Heiman, Rav Moshe Rosen, Rav Dovid Leibowitz, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, Rav Shachne Zohn, Rav Gedaliah Schorr, Rav Reuvain Fein, Rav Zelik Epstein, Rav Simcha Sheps, Rav Elya Chazan, Rav Avrohom Pam and Rav Yisroel Belsky.

For decades, Torah Vodaath alumni have followed the derech set for them by the roshei yeshiva and rabbeim, who instilled in their talmidim the drive to live a life of Torah and devotion to the klal. The yeshiva will present a special tribute to classes of distinction who have utilized their talents and abilities on behalf of the yeshiva in particular and Klal Yisroel at large. The class of 1944-46, who will receive the 75 Year Tribute, will be represented by Rabbi Mendel Balsam, Rabbi Bezalel Fixler and Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Neuberger. The class of 1969, who will receive the 50 Year Tribute, will be represented by Rabbi Heshy Arem, Rabbi Nosson Motechin, Mr. Srulie Orzel and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel. The class of 1994, who will receive the 25 Year Tribute, will be represented by Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Danciger, Mr. Yonatan Goldenberg and Mr. Yosef Nussbaum.

The dinner will emphasize the contributions of these prominent alumni, bearing evidence that accepting achrayus for one’s yeshiva can net results that resound for generations to come.

A special tribute will be presented in memory of R’ Yitzchok Fink z”l, the yeshiva’s beloved general studies principal for 36 years.

Harry Skydell and Matis Friedman will serve as the centennial co-chairmen.

Registered dinner guests will receive a complimentary copy of the groundbreaking Belsky-Rechnitz Family Edition of “America’s Yeshiva,” which chronicles the history of Torah Vodaas from before its founding to the present day, providing a historical overview the likes of which has never been compiled or published before. This unprecedented 650-page coffee table size volume has already made waves across the Torah world. Recognizing the transformative impact of this centennial book, painstakingly compiled by ArTech’s Baruch Wenger, Shlomo Yehuda and Tamar Rechnitz have sponsored the book in memory of Mrs. Rechnitz’s father, the rosh yeshiva, Rav Belsky.

Registered guests will also receive the two-volume HaMesivta Migdal Hameah, containing 1,600 pages of chiddushei Torah. This publication, sponsored by the Leshkowitz family, features mostly previously unpublished material, culled from the notebooks and manuscripts of gedolei Torah from the last century and from roshei yeshiva, rabbonim and talmidei chochomim from around the world.

Dinner guests will be treated to multiple media presentations produced by MintMedia, with a variety of fascinating displays, as well as a “Chronicles of a Century” exhibit about the yeshiva’s historical impact.

Preparations for the dinner have been ongoing for many months under the stewardship of the yeshiva’s indefatigable executive director, Rabbi Yitzchok Gottdiener, and the able direction of the dedicated dinner committee and yeshiva administration, with the guidance of H. Leiner & Co., whose firm is coordinating with the staff of the Brooklyn Marriott to ensure that the massive crowd, which will fill the ballroom and the surrounding areas of the hotel, is accommodated comfortably.

It is critically important that dinner attendees arrive at the hotel on time to allow for a smooth-running program. The yeshiva has hired extra staff to direct the overflow crowd, ensuring that there is sufficient parking and that guests can arrive with ease. The reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Those who have not yet made reservations or submitted a journal ad should do so now, as time is running out and space is limited. Your attendance and your personal message in the commemorative dinner journal will be a source of great chizuk and support for the yeshiva. For further information, contact the yeshiva’s office at 718.941.8000 or email [email protected]. Those traveling to the dinner from out of town may call 212.434.0203, ext. 204, or email [email protected] for transportation information.

Tonight, the place to be will be the New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge, located at 333 Adams Street in Brooklyn, NY, where the unparalleled impact of the mother of American yeshivos will be celebrated. You won’t want to miss a moment of this extraordinary event.



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