When Mosey Kaplan was in the Pre-1A, his family moved from Brooklyn to Far Rockaway. When their house was built on Beach 6th Street, a load of shaimos that had accumulated at Yeshiva Darchei Torah was buried according to halacha in the foundation of their home. Throughout Mosey’s childhood, there were many occasions when his father, Joel, would be preparing to leave the house.
“Where is Daddy going?” the children would ask their mother.
“To help Rabbi Bender,” Mrs. Kaplan would reply.
Over the years, Joel has served his children’s yeshiva in various capacities, whether as executive director, president or active board member – which he remains to this day. In addition, he is the executive director of the United Jewish Council of the East Side and the chazzan at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence. It was in this home, literally and figuratively founded on Torah and communal activism, that Moshe Yisroel Kaplan was raised.
When Mosey reached the eighth grade in 1994, Yeshiva Darchei Torah had been in existence for 23 years, as an elementary school. The following fall, Mesivta Chaim Shlomo was founded. Mosey joined its pioneer freshman class, and remained as each additional class was added until graduation. He then remained for the newly-founded Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid, where he studied under the rosh yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Avigdor Altusky. He then learned at Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim, before returning to the States to learn at Bais Medrash Govoah in Lakewood.
In 2007, Mosey married Shira Jacobs of Brooklyn, a graduate of Prospect Park Yeshiva and Hadar Seminary. Rabbi Kaplan then joined the nascent Chavrei Hakollel, a trailblazing institution in Lakewood that provides a learning framework for bochurim who do not fit in to a normative yeshiva setting. Today, he is a beloved mentor and rebbi at the yeshiva, which has graduated scores of successful bnei Torah over the years and recently expanded to include a bais medrash coupled with a vocational training program. Mrs. Kaplan heads the office staff of Chavrei Hakollel, in addition to teaching the fourth grade at Yeshiva Ketana of Lakewood.
“He brings a ruach [both] inside and outside the bais medrash,” says Rabbi Simcha Greenwald, Chavrei’s dean. “He’s able to connect with a boy through his humor; [to] open someone up [or] lighten someone’s day.”
Wherever Mosey has been, whether at Darchei Torah, at Camps Naarim, Bonim and Govoha, or at Chavrei Hakollel, he has made an impact that went beyond his official position, with his ebullient personality and genuine concern for the needs of others. He is mekadesh sheim Shomayim in each of his endeavors.
Mosey’s brothers followed his lead and attended Darchei. Meir is now a talmid at Bais Medrash Govoah, and Avrohom Yochanan and Yitzchok are in the yeshiva‘s Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid and the fourth grade, respectively.
The Kaplans will be receiving the Alumnus of the Year Award at Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s dinner on January 10 at Marina Del Rey. For reservations or journal ads, call 718.868.2300 or email [email protected].