40th Yeshiva Darchei Torah Dinner, January 6

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Naftoli Tepfer

By D. Maimon

Yeshiva Darchei Torah has scheduled its 40th annual dinner for January 6 on its campus in Far Rockaway.

Parents of the Year: Mr. and Mrs. Naftoli Tepfer. Exemplary parents like Tuli and Rachel Tepfer are one of the yeshiva’s greatest assets. Their readiness to graciously assist whenever called upon raises the bar for loyalty and parental involvement.

Their connection with Darchei Torah began 14 years ago with their son, Chaim, who is now married and living in Eretz Yisrael. Five other sons are currently talmidim in Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid, Mesivta Chaim Shlomo, or elementary school, giving their parents a unique overview of the yeshiva.

That vantage point is enhanced by Rachel’s status as one of the yeshiva’s highly regarded fifth-grade teachers, having taught math, science, and social studies for the past ten years.

“Darchei Torah has been the best partner that parents can have when it comes to the chinuch of their children,” Tuli says. “At Darchei, not only is the learning on the highest level, but the yeshiva is filled with a ruach and warmth that allows each boy to thrive and excel.” Rachel concurs, noting, “The caring atmosphere permeates the yeshiva and has taught our children to be sensitive to the needs of others. Every day our children witness firsthand the importance of chesed and the responsibility that each student must have to all of Klal Yisrael.”

As a member of the staff, Rachel has witnessed numerous occasions when the hanhalah went to special efforts to help a child, even at a financial or political cost. “This is a place where people don’t merely pay lip service to doing chesed—they act,” she says.

Tuli, a son of Berel Tepfer, a’h, and Thea Tepfer, is an alumnus of Yeshiva Shaar Hatorah of Queens and Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim, where he continues to learn and enjoy a close relationship with the roshei hayeshiva. He is the owner and president of High Road Press LLC, a Manhattan-based marketing/printing company founded in 2004. Tuli is also the past president and chairman of the board of Kehillas Bais Yehuda Tzvi in Cedarhurst. He gives a daily daf yomi shiur at 5:45 a.m. to shul members and is often asked to give various shiurim in the neighborhood.

Rachel, a daughter of Simcha and Pesi Tsatskis, attended Prospect Park High School, Michlala Seminary, and Baruch business school. She holds degrees in education and accounting. Before coming to Darchei, Rachel was a mechaneches and limudei kodesh teacher in a local girls’ high school. In addition to her teaching and homemaking responsibilities, Rachel finds time to think of others, devoting hours to working on shidduchim, as well as providing free shidduch-coaching, a much-needed service in the frum community. In addition, for many years she coordinated Shabbos meals for families temporarily in need of outside help and chizuk.

Mazel tov to the Tepfers on their well-deserved award. May they continue setting a sterling example for others to follow.

Young Leadership Award: Mr. and Mrs. Motty Jacobowitz. The yeshiva is fortunate in having among its parent body Motty and Hadassa Jacobowitz, outstanding individuals and role models in their community. Both were raised in homes steeped in chesed and communal responsibility.

Motty, a son of Jack, a’h, and Susan Jacobowitz, is an alumnus of Torah Temimah, Torah Vodaath, and Mercaz HaTorah of Yerushalayim, where he formed a close bond with Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, zt’l. After his marriage to his eishes chayil, Hadassa Zwebner of Toronto, Motty learned in kollel while also attending Touro College. He worked at Deloitte and Touche for two years where he earned his CPA.

In 2003, Motty founded Bluejay Management LLC, a real-estate investment and management firm. Motty’s financial savvy and business integrity have won him a sound reputation in the field. Despite the pressures of business, Motty continues to make learning Torah a focal point of his life, with an early-morning chavrusa session with Rav Dovid Weinberger, rav of Shaaray Tefilah, and an evening seder with various kollel members framing each day.

Hadassa, a daughter of Chaim and Leora Zwebner, is an alumna of Bais Yaakov of Toronto and Bnos Chava Seminary. In addition to being a devoted mother, she is also a skilled social worker, with a master’s degree from Fordham University. After several years with the TOVA mentoring program, Hadassa currently works for the JCC of the Rockaway Peninsula, providing supportive counseling and guidance.

The couple moved from Flatbush to Lawrence about six years ago. Their three daughters attend Torah Academy for Girls, and their youngest, four-year-old Yaakov Zev, is enrolled in the yeshiva’s kindergarten. Yaakov Zev is named after his late grandfather, Jack Jacobowitz, who performed myriad acts of quiet chesed throughout his life.

Long before they became yeshiva parents, Motty and Hadassa enjoyed a strong connection with Darchei Torah, through Motty’s siblings. “All of my nephews are current or former talmidim of the yeshiva,” he explains. “In addition, many of our friends and members of our shul send their boys to Darchei Torah. Hadassa and I are fortunate to belong to a yeshiva with such an outstanding track record.”

The yeshiva is proud to bestow the Young Leadership Award on this deserving couple. May little Yaakov Zev rise up through the yeshiva’s ranks, bringing much nachas to his wonderful family.

The dinner will also honor Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Landa and Mr. and Mrs. Yisroel Salamon. A special presentation will be made to the Gruss Life Monument Funds, and Mr. Ronald Lowinger will serve as dinner chairman. For more information, call 718-868-2300, ext. 237, or e-mail dinner@darchei.org.

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