The Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns is pleased to host its 11th annual Woodmere breakfast on June 16, beginning 9:15 a.m. at the Young Israel of Woodmere. After many years of planning, hard work, and much siyata d’shmaya, the construction of the yeshiva’s new home is rapidly approaching completion. Those of us passing by Mosher Avenue can attest to the daily progress being made. Under the guidance of the rosh kollel, Rav Yitzchok Knobel, shlita, and the rosh yeshiva, Rav Moshe Zev Katzenstein, shlita, over 70 young men are immersed in the study of Torah. Since its inception over a decade ago, the yeshiva has become a sought after makom Torah for young men returning from their Torah study in Israel.
In addition, the yeshiva serves the Five Town community in various ways. It provides numerous shiurim to ba’alei batim, ranging from iyun to daf yomi to hashkafah. Its doors are open to all who wish to learn in its inspiring atmosphere. The yeshiva’s yungeleit are available as chavrusas for interested ba’alei batim. The yeshiva looks forward to increased community involvement when the yeshiva’s new home is completed.
Keser Shem Tov Award: Mr. Jeff Neuman. Mr. Neuman grew up as a child of Holocaust survivors. His parents instilled in him sincere Jewish values and an appreciation of the importance of yeshiva education. These ideals underlie his ongoing support of Jewish education and his involvement with shuls in the communities of West Hempstead, Oceanside, Vacation Village, and Woodmere. In spite of a demanding schedule as a custom jewelry manufacturer, Mr. Neuman manages to find time for Torah learning and for community activities. He is a regular member at Rabbi Knobel’s weekly Gemara shiur in the yeshiva and has been for many years. His wife, Rachelle, is a well-liked teacher at the Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway and was previously at HAFTR. Many graduates have fond memories of Mrs. Neuman from their elementary school experience. The Neumans’ greatest pride and joy are their wonderful children and grandchildren. The yeshiva has been and continues to have an immeasurable positive impact on the entire family. The yeshiva has been fortunate to forge a special relationship with several of their children. Each child shares the parents’ understanding for the importance of Torah and community.
Keser Torah Award: Rabbi Sholom Fried. Rabbi Sholom Fried is a native of the Five Towns. His family has roots in the community for close to 50 years. Rabbi Fried received semichah from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) where he was a talmid of Rabbi Herschel Schacter, shlita, and learned in the kollel for several years. He also received a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva College and a master’s degree from NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, both in computer science. Rabbi Fried is a highly successful professional who works as a system administrator for the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell. But in his heart he has never left the world of the yeshiva. Rabbi Fried gives weekly shiurim in the community and also teaches the daf yomi on the Long Island Rail Road. He is a member of Congregation Aish Kodesh, where he gave the daf yomi shiur for several years, and he occasionally delivers the Shabbos morning sermon in Rabbi Weinberger’s, shlita, absence. In spite of Rabbi Fried’s full schedule, he finds time to be a regular participant in the Tomchei Shabbos deliveries. Clearly, Rabbi Fried could not maintain such a demanding schedule without the support of his wife, Russi. Mrs. Fried plays more than just a supporting role, as she is a force of chesed and education in her own right. Mrs. Fried chairs the science department of Yeshiva University’s High School for Girls, where she teaches biology. Perhaps most importantly, the Fried’s have raised their five children in the Torah tradition that has been passed down from their parents and grandparents.
We are all looking forward to paying tribute to this wonderful institution and to these two outstanding members of our community and their families. v