By Leah Goldman
Celebrating almost five decades of Torah education and community service, Sh’or Yoshuv’s 47th Annual Dinner is to be held on Saturday evening, December 14, at the Sands at Atlantic Beach. This year, Sh’or Yoshuv is paying tribute to three alumni who exemplify the values of commitment to Torah learning and community involvement: Rabbi and Mrs. Zev Freundlich are to receive the Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld Memorial Award; Marc and Sharon Friedman are to receive the Kesser Shem Tov Award; and Pesach and Matty Sod are to receive the Community Service Award.
“Sh’or Yoshuv was both the inspiration and foundation for my life’s work. The timeless lessons I gleaned from Reb Shlomo, zt’l, and his expansive outlook form the basis of the educational principles I developed and try to transmit to my students,” says Rabbi Zev Freundlich.
Rabbi Freundlich was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and attended Yeshiva Gedola of Mexico and Yeshiva Bais Medrash Elyon before marrying Yehudis Cohen of Far Rockaway.
After marrying, the Freundlichs settled in the Five Towns. As a member of the Sh’or Yoshuv kollel for four years and a rebbe in the yeshiva for two years, Rabbi Freundlich saw that Reb Shlomo’s educational model worked. Fourteen years ago, he opened Mesivta Shaarei Arazim in Monsey, and modeled his teaching style on the revolutionary chinuch concepts he learned in Sh’or Yoshuv.
By building the individual and infusing him with life principles and skills, Rabbi Freundlich has been blessed with much success and has seen the far-reaching effect this educational approach has. Under his direction and guidance, the Shaarei Arazim philosophy has been adopted in yeshiva high schools throughout the country, including in Lakewood and Baltimore. Rabbi Freundlich will be traveling to Israel to launch Yeshiva Arzei Levonon in Ramat Beit Shemesh, a new yeshiva high school named after and modeled on the successful Mesivta Shaarei Arazim.
Mrs. Freundlich was born and raised in Far Rockaway and Lawrence. Mrs. Freundlich is the daughter of Aaron Dovid Cohen, z’l, one of the first students in Sh’or Yoshuv and a pillar of the Sh’or Yoshuv community. Mrs. Freundlich’s dedication to chesed and community involvement was shaped by the example she saw in her father. She has built the lives of hundreds of individuals and families through her open-home policy and her complete dedication to those who turn to her. The Freundlichs lived in the Five Towns for ten years before moving to Monsey. They are the proud parents of 10 children, ranging in age from 20 to 1.
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“It has been a great honor to be a talmid of the rosh yeshiva, Reb Naftali, shlita, whom I consider to be my ikur rebbi,” says Pesach Sod. “Sh’or Yoshuv is a great Torah resource in our community, with shiurim and learning that starts at 5 a.m. and continues throughout the day, evening and even late at night.”
Pesach and Matty Sod will be the recipients of the Community Service Award. “I am pleased to be able to show my hakaras ha’tov to the yeshiva by accepting this honor,” says Pesach. “Please join me in supporting the Yeshiva at Sh’or Yoshuv’s annual dinner.”
Pesach grew up in suburban New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he is an attorney whose private practice is in Lawrence. During law school, he became acquainted with several members of Sh’or Yoshuv’s kollel and, upon graduation in 1985, he moved to Far Rockaway and joined the yeshiva and its kehillah. The wife of one of his friends introduced him to his eishis chayil, Matty (née Eckhaus), who grew up in Far Rockaway and is a graduate of TAG and Brooklyn College, and they have made their home in Far Rockaway/Lawrence since then.
Pesach and Matty have eight children, ka’h. Their oldest son, Yanky, lives with his wife and son in Lawrence. Their next oldest, Yossi, learns in Medrash Shmuel, Yerushalayim. Their daughter Batsheva lives in Ramat Eshkol with her husband, Rabbi Dovid Levin, and their two sons. Their daughter Baila and her husband, Eli Mann, live in Far Rockaway. Their son Rafi is the manager of a local restaurant. Their son Zev is a pre-engineering student at Brooklyn College. Their youngest daughters, Chani and Sarah, are students in TAG’s junior high school and elementary school, respectively.
Pesach has been active in Shaaray Tefilah, where he served as gabbai of the Nusach Sefard minyan for eight years, and is also active in Partners in Torah. Matty works full time at TAG and has also made many successful shidduchim. The Sods’ Shabbos table is open and they have been graced by guests from all walks of life and backgrounds.
Pesach has been a talmid of the rosh hayeshiva, Reb Naftali Jaeger, shlita, for the past 28 years, first in Reb Naftali’s Monday-night gemara shiur and now in the Sunday-morning Kollel. He believes he has been a talmid of Reb Naftali’s for longer than any of the other ba’al habatim. For many years, Pesach tape-recorded Reb Naftali’s Monday-night shiurim and then took detailed notes from the recordings. The shiur and the transcription of the shiurim tapes were the highlight of Pesach’s week.
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“Sh’or Yoshuv has had an enormous impact on myself and my family, for it is the center of my life. I grew up in a home where Sh’or Yoshuv was an integral part of our lives and gained tremendously from the unique close relationship my father had with Reb Shlomo, zt’l,” says Marc Friedman.
Marc and Sharon Friedman will be the recipients of the Kesser Shem Tov Award. The Friedman family has been connected to Sh’or Yoshuv for three generations through Marc’s grandfather, his father, his uncle, and his own family. “I feel honored to be able to say that the yeshiva started in the living room of my uncle and aunt, Maurice and Debby Friedman, and has flourished to become a world-renowned institute of scholarly learning,” adds Marc.
Marc was born and raised in Woodmere. He learned in Sh’or Yoshuv during his young-adult years and continues to learn in the yeshiva whenever he can. He works in real estate with his father, Alfred Friedman. Sharon grew up in Riverdale. She is trained as a school psychologist. She is actively involved in a number of chesed projects including volunteering for Achiezer.
After marrying, the Friedmans settled in Far Rockaway before moving to Lawrence. The Friedmans intentionally bought a house opposite the yeshiva to be close to Sh’or Yoshuv. They are longstanding members of the kehillah and daven in Sh’or Yoshuv. In addition to Marc’s learning schedule in the yeshiva, their son attends avos u’bonim and Sharon attends Shoshana Jaeger’s shiur.
The Friedmans are the proud parents of a beautiful family. They have children who attend Yeshiva of Far Rockaway, Darchei Torah, and TAG and a baby who is at home. v