Rav Mordechai Dov Fine to Make Siyum at 11th Igud Siyum HaShas Today


rabbi-fineThe Igud Horabbonim – Rabbinical Alliance of America – was established in 1942 and today represents a membership of almost 850 rabbis, all serving as congregational rabbis, roshei yeshiva, chassidishe rebbes, and leaders of religious, educational, charitable, and social organizations. The Igud today is led by Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, Igud president for the past 35 years, and by Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock, Igud Rosh Beis Din and Rav of the Young Israel of Kensington, Brooklyn. Rabbi Saul Eisner is the Executive Vice President and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum serves as Igud Director. 

 The First Igud Shas Study Cycle

A monthly Rosh Chodesh seudah of the Igud Horabbonim in the summer of 1997 was held at Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, which is led by Rabbi Dovid Weinberger. At the gathering, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l (1910-1998), Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aries and Chairman of the Igud Horabbonim, introduced and launched the yearly Siyum HaShas by members of a rabbinic organization. In so doing, he too rose to the realm of unique Torah pioneer.

Rabbi Shapiro’s name is now added to the list that includes the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, Rabi Akiva, Rav Yehuda HaNasi, Rav Huna, Rav Yossi, Ravina, and Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin. The Igud Siyum HaShas, established by Rabbi Meir Shapiro in 1997, did not have the privilege of his participation. He passed away on Tammuz 17, 1998, and, after his passing, the Siyum HaShas was dedicated to his noble memory, an honor he earned well.

Today, member rabbis will gather for the sole purpose of celebrating and glorifying the study of Torah, a truly special event. The 5769 11th Siyum HaShas Convocation of the Igud will celebrate this year’s combined annual completion of study of Shas by Igud member rabbis. The very special event is fueled by the warm camaraderie and deep mutual respect of the member rabbis of the Igud.


 Remembering Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l


The Annual Siyum HaShas Convocation will take place this year in the beautifully renovated and enlarged Edmundo and Raquel Safdie Ballroom of Kahal Kol Eliyahu, the Sephardic Lebanese Congregation (SLC) on Avenue T at East 8th Street in Brooklyn, which will, as in years past, host a magnificent event. The seudas mitzvah dinner is graciously sponsored by the Shapiro family, led by the renowned Rebbetzin of the late Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aries and their worthy son, noted philanthropist Pinchas Shapiro.

 Geneology Of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l

Rabbi Meir Shapiro was the son of Rabbi Yesochor Dov Shapiro, zt”l Kechina Rebbe, who survived the Holocaust and settled in the United States. The Kechina Rebbe was the son of Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro, Hy”d (d. 1944), Kechina Rebbe and author of Tzofnas Paneach. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Meir Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe, son of Rabbi Mordechai, zt”l (1824-1894), venerated Nadvorna Rebbe. Rabbi Meir Shapiro was also the grandson of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l (1896-1973), Nadvorna Rebbe. He was also a direct descendent of Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro, zt”l (1728-1790), founding Koritzer Rebbe, and of Rabbi Shalom Mordechai Schwadron, zt”l (d. 1911), Berzhaner Rav and author of Teshuvos Marsham.

Of special note: Rabbi Shapiro’s mother, was the Kechina Rebbetzin, Rachel Shapiro, a”h (1902-2007), daughter of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l ((1886‑1973), Nadvorna Rebbe. Her mother, Rebbetzin Malka, a”h, was the daughter of Rabbi Asher Yeshaya Rubin, zt”l (1845-1914), Kolbasover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yechiel Rubin, zt”l (1810-1860), Kolbasover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Asher Yeshaya Rubin, zt”l (d. 1845), Ropshitzer Rebbe and author of Ohr Yishai; son-in-law of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Horowitz, zt”l (1760-1837), revered Ropshitzer Rebbe and author of Zera Kodesh. The Kechina Rebbetzin knew and remembered well her grandfather, Rabbi Mayer Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852‑1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe, who passed away on Monday, Sivan 30, June 29, 1908.

She was the Rebbetzin of Rabbi Sholom Yesochor Dov Shapiro, zt”l  (1900-1957), Kechina Rebbe, whose beis medrash was in Novisalitz, Romania. The Kechina Rebbe, her husband, was the son of Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro, Hy”d (d. 1944), Kechina Rebbe who authored Tzofnas Paneach and was murdered in the Holocaust. Immediately before the outbreak of WWII, Rabbi Sholom Yesochor Dov and his Rebbetzin fled to then Palestine.

They subsequently moved to the East Side of New York City in 1939, and later to the Bronx. In each of their residences, the Kechina Rebbe established and led a beis medrash, his worthy Rebbetzin always at his side. Their home was open to all who were hungry, needed a place to sleep or just a smile and a good word. After the passing of the Kechina Rebbe, the Rebbetzin continued the beis medrash in the Bronx, serving the declining and aging observant population there. In her final years, she was lived in Boro Park.

The Kechina Rebbetzin, who passed away at age 105, was clear minded to her very last day. She was cheerful, possessed a sparkling sense of humor, and always had a good word for all who greeter her. To sum it up, it was a privilege to know her. Many individuals, including chassidishe rebbeim, would consult with her. She was a wonderful source of history and wisdom.

Elul, Gateway To The New Year
The Igud Annual Convocation is always scheduled in Elul, the month of introspection and reflection preceding the High Holy Days, so that participating rabbis would have the opportunity to share insights gleaned from Shas and other studies. Speakers at the Convocation are universally recognized rabbinic leaders and respected scholars.

The Igud membership participates in an annual cycle of study, members studying one or more tractates and, in combination, complete the entire Shas. In addition to the Presidential Address by Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, Igud President, this year’s keynote speakers are Rabbi Mordechai Dov Fine of Scranton, Penn., who will conclude the Siyum HaShas study; Rabbi Dovid Weinberger of Lawrence, N.Y. who will be the Haschalas HaShas, re-inaugurating the annual Shas study cycle; and Rabbi Dov Aaron Brisman of Philadelphia, who will give Divrei Chizuk, Words of Inspiration.

 Speaking With Emotion

The Convocation consists of two sessions. The first is devoted to Chomer LeDrush, homiletic material presented as a resource for rabbis to draw upon. First session speakers will be Rabbis: Shmuel Pesach Bogomilsky, Mount Sinai Congregation, Ivy Hills, N.J.; Yehoshua S. Hecht, Beth Israel Synagogue, Norwalk-Westport, Conn.; Yaakov Spivak, Kehillas Bnai Jeshurun and Kollel Aishel Avrohom, Monsey; and Avrohom Stone, Khal Adas Yeshurun of Flatbush. Each will deliver an emotional introspective talk in preparation for the Yamim Noraim. They will speak as if addressing their own congregations on Rosh Hashanah, before Tekiyas Shofar, Kol Nidrei, or Yom Kippur. Torah Editor of The Jewish Press, Rabbi Yaakov Klass, will chair the session.

 Learning With A New Start

The second session will be devoted to the formal completion and reopening of the Shas study cycle. Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Zvi Leizerowski, Congregation Anshei Emes, Trenton, N.J., will serve as chairman. Rabbi Leizerowski is the son of Rabbi Boruch HaLevi Leizerowski, zt”l (d. 2000), late Chief Rabbi of Philadelphia, Igud Rosh Beis Din, and author of Taam Boruch. Rabbi Yehoshua Y. Lustig, Igud Dayan, will open the session with a chapter of Tehillim (130) and Rabbi Eliyahu Elbaz, Rav of the Sephardic Lebanese Synagogue, will present welcoming thoughts and words.

Rabbi Mordechai Dov Fine Of Scranton

Rabbi Mordechai Dov Fine will conclude the Siyum HaShas study cycle. Rabbi Fine, serving in the Rabbinate since 1968, is the Rav of Congregation Machzikei Hadas and of the Ohev Zedek Congregation, both in Scranton. Rabbi Fine is also director of Scranton’s kashrus and halachic supervisor of its mikveh. In formally closing the study cycle, Rabbi Fine will open for Pinchas Shapiro, who will recite the unique Siyum HaShas Kaddish honoring the memory of his father, Rabbi Meir Shapiro zt”l.

Rabbi Dovid Weinberger Of Lawrence, N.Y.

Traditionally, immediately upon concluding a Shas study cycle, a new cycle is instantly restarted. As the special Kaddish is concluded, Rabbi Dovid Weinberger will open the study of the Igud 12th cycle of Shas study. Rabbi Weinberger is a noted author and editor, having co-authored the Siddur Nechomas Yisroel for the Bais Ovel; edited five volumes of Limudei Nisson, a collection of the Torah writings of his esteemed late father-in-law, Rabbi Nissan Alpert, zt”l (1928-1986); authored Guide for the Jewish Hospital Patient (an OU publication); a book titled Shema Beni on the laws of Jewish education; and most recently, a booklet on the laws of travel called Around the World the Halachic Way. Rabbi Weinberger is the halachic advisor of Hatzolah of the Five Towns and lectures often for Shalom Task Force. In addition, Rabbi Weinberger is the founder of the Five Towns Rosh Chodesh Program for Women as well of Aneinu, an international Tehillim organization.

Rabbi Dov Aaron Brisman, Philadelphia

Words of Inspiration will be delivered by Rabbi Dov Aaron Brisman, son-in-law and successor to Rabbi Boruch HaLevi Leizerowski, zt”l (d. 2000), late Chief Rabbi of Philadelphia, Igud Rosh Beis Din, and author of Taam Boruch. Rabbi Brisman, as Chief Rabbi, also serves as Rav of the Young Israel of Elkins Park, and has authored Shalmei Chovah and several volumes of Shalmei Chagigah.

Rebbetzin’s Lecture Session

At the Convocation, the Rebbetzins of the Igud Horabbonim will conduct a Rebbetzin’s Lecture Session. Chaired by Rebbetzin Shifra M. Stone, Secular Studies Principal of Yeshiva Ohel Moshe, Brooklyn, the session will hear from noted rebbetzins and mechanchos.

The Rebbetzin’s Lecture Session is coordinated by Rebbetzins: Sara Balkany, Libby Brisman, Sara Elbaz, Suri Elbaz, Shany Fasten, Malka Josephy, Chaya Kurzrock, Zippora Salamon, and Sarah Tannenbaum.

{Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum-The Jewish Press/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. It’s chodesh Ellul, let’s have some emes here. This whole writeup is very misleading. The Igud today is very small and weak. Anyone who wants to see for himself is invited to go and see, or to go to one of their rosh chodesh meetings. The writer of the piece makes a lot of PR for them, but the truth is they are very weak, enough of all the guzma and sheker here.

  2. Weak ? Do you know of any other rabbinical or other organization that has public and open monthly rosh chodesh Torah events or has a siyum hashas from within its own membership. Don’t forget, the 850 rabbis they claim are across the entire United States. If the Igud is weak, I would have to ctegorize the other rabbinical entities as comatose. Enough said.


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