The noted askan and ba’al tzedakah Reb Shlomo Werdiger has been elected as the new chairman of the board of trustees of Agudath Israel of America. Mr. Werdiger replaces Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, who now assumes the title chairman emeritus after having chaired Agudath Israel’s top board of lay leaders for the past six years. The venerable Reb Yechiel Ben Zion Fishoff, who served as chairman of the board before Rabbi Weinberger, also carries the title chairman emeritus.
In announcing these developments, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president, spoke about the important role the board of trustees plays in the work of Agudath Israel. “The ba’al batim who sit on our board include some of the most distinguished lay leaders of our time. They are an extraordinary group who support and guide Agudath Israel—and, perhaps most notably, they fully acknowledge that the ultimate decision making authority for the organization resides with our great Torah leaders.”
Rabbi Zwiebel extolled Rabbi Weinberger for his “tireless devotion to the ideals and activities of Agudath Israel” throughout his tenure as chairman of the board. “The good news,” he continued, “is that Reb Gedaliah, in his role as chairman emeritus, will continue to devote his prodigious talent and boundless energy to the many projects of Agudath Israel in which he has been so deeply involved.”
Reb Shloime Werdiger has been active in Agudath Israel for many years, as well as in numerous other organizations and causes. He is known for his generosity, friendliness, and wisdom, and is frequently sought out for his sage counsel on some of the most vexing personal and communal issues of the day.
Mr. Werdiger’s election as the new chairman of Agudath Israel’s board was welcomed by Rabbi Zwiebel as “a major development not just for our trustees, but for the entire Agudah movement. Reb Shloime is universally beloved by Jews from all backgrounds. Admorim and roshei yeshiva consider him their close confidant, colleagues and peers look up to him as a natural leader. He has already distinguished himself as an outstanding Agudah activist, and as chairman of the board he will be’H surely lead us to even greater heights still.”
“I’m grateful to the Ribono Shel Olam for giving me this opportunity to serve such a holy cause, and to my chaveirim on the board of trustees for selecting me to serve as their chairman,” said Mr. Werdiger. “Y’didi Reb Gedaliah Weinberger has accomplished so much. And before him Mr. Benny Fishoff—I stand in awe of this great man. It is both a special honor and a daunting challenge for me to step into their shoes. But I am confident, b’siyata diShmaya, that Agudath Israel will continue to grow and accomplish, in fulfillment of the essential role the Gedolei Yisrael have assigned to it. There’s lots to be done. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!” v