B'YACHAD! - 13

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B'YACHAD - TOGETHER, the Electronic Alumni Newsletter of Ohr Somayach

Issue #13; Adar 5758

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  • Rabbi Pindrus Rallies Alumni To The Ohr Somayach Cause
  • Keep in Touch
  • The Return of Rabbi Geffen
  • News about Ohr Somayach
  • Simchas & Announcements
  • How to contribute to B'Yachad
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Rabbi Pindrus Rallies Alumni To The Ohr Somayach Cause

    It seems that nothing gets Ohr Somayach alumni in North America together as much as sharing the happy news that "Rav Pindrus is back in town!"

    Who else can see or speak to almost 150 former talmidim of the Yeshiva from California to Maine during a single visit?

    Rabbi Pindrus' most recent visit must be viewed from the perspective of "generations" of Ohr Somayach talmidim in order to fully appreciate it. His first Shabbos was spent participating in the Bar Mitzvah of the son of Rabbi Dovid Silberman. Aside from serving as National Director of the Ohr Somayach Alumni Association, Dovid is a distinguished rebbie in Yeshivas Toras Emes Kaminetz in Brooklyn where his record as a successful educator has inspired scores of alumni to follow his example in contributing their talents to Jewish education.

    Along with our Mazel Tov to Dovid and his family on the Bar Mitzvah, we must add a special thanks to them for providing hospitality to Rabbi Pindrus and to Rabbi Weinbach during their visits to the New York area.

    From one alumni simcha to another! The wedding of Reuven Abedon was a virtual reunion of alumni from a wide range of Ohr Somayach eras. With the renowned Gaon Rav Dovid Cohen, Rav of the Gevul Yaavitz community in Brooklyn and a past Scholar-in-Residence at an Ohr Lagolah Teachers' Training Seminar, serving as Mesader Kiddushin, and outstanding roshei yeshiva participating, Reuven's wedding was a living testimonial to the high regard which the Torah community has for our talmidim.

    In addition to his traditional urging alumni to show their hakoras hatov gratitude to Ohr Somayach with financial support of its efforts, Rabbi Pindrus joined Rabbi Reuven Geffen (see separate article on his trip below) in calling upon former talmidim to help in the recruitment efforts for new students through the JLE summer and winter programs.

    Keep in Touch

    It may seem like a long time since you've been here, but you are still part of the Ohr Somayach Family. You carry our heart and soul with you wherever you go, whatever you are now doing in your everyday life.

    We want to maintain the link. We want you to be able to receive our newsletters, updates and information on reunions.

    Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to give us your current address and phone number. If you haven't heard from us, be expecting a call. If you find a message on your answering machine, please return it. It will only take a minute.

    If you know that we only have your old address or telephone number, don't wait. Call us right away. The special number for this project is (718) 692-3312. You'll get either Rivkah Leah or an answering machine. If you would rather contact us in Israel, call Rabbi Pindrus at 011-972-2-581-0315.

    We want to maintain the connection with you. If you find the time, please write or send us a faxor an E-mail and let us hear what's happening with you. If you know of any other alumni who are not receiving mail from us, please let us know their address.


    Ohr Somayach International
    38 East 29th Street
    New York, NY 10006

    Fax : (212) 213-8717
    E-mail : estern@aol.com


    Rabbi Moshe Pindrus
    Ohr Somayach Institutions
    P.O.B. 18103
    Jerusalem 91180, Israel

    Fax : 011-972-2-581-2890
    E-mail : rabbis@ohr.edu

    The Return of Rabbi Geffen

    So many former talmidim were so excited about the last trip to the States of Rabbi Reuven Geffen that Ohr Somayach prevailed upon him to make a return visit. In a whirlwind two-week tour of communities with large alumni concentrations, the Director of Ohr Somayach's Introductory Program managed to meet and talk with a large number of people who had studied at Ohr Somayach or participated in its JLE programs.

    In Chicago, thanks to the devoted efforts of David Limond and Lyle Wexler, over 40 alumni participated in a get-together which featured a shiur by Rabbi Yehoshua Bertram and a showing of the "Ohr-Dessa" video cassette which dramatically portrays Ohr Somayach's educational system in Russia.

    Rabbi Geffen reported on the new programs at Ohr Somayach and showed film clips of past JLE programs as he urged alumni to take an active role in recruiting participants for JLE programs and following-up on those who have participated.

    During his stay in Chicago, Rabbi Geffen was able to touch base with alumnus Rabbi Yehuda Albin, Ohr Somayach's representative in that city, and with Rabbi Yehoshua Karsch, a former staff member who is now outreach director of the Chicago Community Kolel. He also met with key outreach people in the city such as Rabbi Avrohom Alter of Migdal Torah and Rabbis Donny Deutsch and Moshe Katz of Chicago Torah Network and discussed with them the programs which Ohr Somayach offers to their recruits.

    Baltimore provided Rabbi Geffen with that special experience which is shared by all of the Ohr Somayach rabbeim who go abroad - the unexpected discovery of former talmidim in every yeshiva and shul that they enter. After an alumni get-together in the home of Rephoel Waldman, dinner with Bradley Bregin and telephone conversations with dozens of others, he entered Yeshivas Ner Israel after ten in the evening and ran into five former JLE participants!

    This was a rerun of earlier surprises. On a previous trip he attended a Sholom Zochor on a Friday night together with his host and noticed that the baal simcha kept staring at him. It turned out that he too was a JLE product with fond memories of his mentor. This time around a young man came over to him in a local shul and introduced himself as a former student at the Weizmann Institute in Rechovot who spent a Friday night meal at the home of Rabbi Geffen, who subsequently introduced him to the late Rav Simcha Wasserman, zatzal. As a result of that Shabbos he ended up learning for a while at Ohr Somayach and even when he returned to complete his university studies in the States, he retained what he had learned. Today he is a successful computer programmer with a beautiful family of his own.

    Such encounters took place everywhere Rabbi Geffen went, from a Shabbos in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he met JLE and Ohr Somayach graduates, to the New York area where, in between meetings with JLE Director Rabbi Zalman Corlin in the office in Manhattan, he came into contact with scores of alumni.

    But the biggest event for many of the JLE veterans was the Shabbaton reunion in Passaic, New Jersey. The host and organizer was Rabbi Menachem Zupnik, rav of a major local shul, and head of the follow-up efforts on JLE participants. On Friday night the close to twenty people participating heard the renowned Rosh Hayeshiva of the Passaic Yeshiva, Harav Meir Stern, address them and set the tone for an unforgettable Shabbos experience with Rabbis Zupnik and Geffen.

    Wherever he went Rabbi Geffen communicated to our alumni the need for establishing an alumni chapter in each community which would assume responsibility for following up on returning JLE participants and in bringing the JLE programs to the attention of more and more young Jews whose lives can be changed through such programs.

    We are confident that his appeal will strike a responsive chord in the hearts of all former talmidim who would like to see others receive from Ohr Somayach the same opportunity that they were privileged to receive not so long ago.

    A New Service!

    Ohr Somayach Alumni Directory

    On Line


    You can submit your personal information on-line.

    Simchas & Announcements

    • Rabbi & Mrs. Reuven Geffen on the birth of a boy
    • Rabbi & Mrs Chaim Salenger on the birth of a boy
    • Rabbi & Mrs Dovid Silberman on the bar mitzvah of their son
    • Rabbi & Mrs Reuven Abedon on their marriage
    • Mr & Mrs. Jacob Gerlitz on their marriage
    • Mr & Mrs Meir Kent on the birth of a boy
    • Dr. Richard Warsgall on his graduation from medical school
    • Mr & Mrs. David Ginsberg on their marriage
    • Mr & Mrs. Yaakov Serke on the bas mitzvah of their daughter
    • Mr. & Mrs. Louis Brilleman on the birth of their daughter.
    • Shimon & Melanie Cobersy on the birth of their son.
    • Zev Green on his engagement.
    • Mr. & Mrs. Michael Weiss on the birth of their daughter.
    • Mr. Andrew Silverbeck on his engagement.
    • Mr. & Mrs. Avrumy Jordan on their marriage.
    • Mr. & Mrs. Bradford Hauser on the birth of their son.
    • Rabbi & Mrs. Ephraim Epstein on the birth of their daughter.
    • Mr. & Mrs. Peter Fine on the birth of their son.
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    Editor: Raphael Scott Leban
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Eli Ballon
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    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students. The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.
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