Torah Umesorah’s Lakewood Shabbos of Chizuk


Parshas Yisro, with its reference to Matan Torah, provided the perfect backdrop for Torah Umesorah’s Lakewood Shabbos of Chizuk at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ. The annual event celebrates Lakewood’s finest: the mechanchim entrusted with the holy mission of transmitting the Torah to the next generation.

Participants were greeted on Erev Shabbos by Torah Umesorah’s stellar staff of professionals, whose only goal was for participants to glean as much chizuk, encouragement and motivation as possible. At the helm was Rabbi Shea Ryback, director of NYCP, and Rabbi Dovid Weinstein, director of IT for Torah Umesorah. The staff oversaw each detail to foster a smooth and exhilarating event. The welcome kits included Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky’s sefer, Kovetz Halachos on Purim, and the new ArtScroll book, Yemima Mizrachi Speaks, inscribed with a special dedication in tribute to the wives, “who always go beyond the call of duty for the benefit of our tinokos shel bais rabbon.”

The esteemed guests included Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva of Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, PA; Rav Yeruchem Olshin, rosh yeshiva of Bais Medrash Govoah of Lakewood, NJ; Rav Chaim Bressler, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Beth Moshe of Scranton, PA; and Rav Ahron Dovid Goldberg, rosh yeshiva of Telshe Yeshiva of Cleveland, OH.

After an inspiring Kabbolas Shabbos, Rav Dovid Nojowitz, menahel of Torah Umesorah, launched the event by describing the chashivus of the role of the mechanech. He pointed out the eternal influence of mechanchim and encouraged them to consider each talmid like the seed of an oak tree, which needs nurturing and will blossom for generations.

Reb Abish Brodt and his sons sang zemiros throughout the weekend and participants were treated to delicious food served by Greenwald Catering.

As the kedusha of Shabbos enveloped the crowd, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rav Chaim Bressler and Rav Ahron Dovid Goldberg shared chinuch-related insights. At the same time, Rebbetzen Dina Fink, founder and director of Lechu Venelcha of Brooklyn, NY, infused the women with chizuk, using divrei Chazal that illustrate their unique and vital role of sustaining Torah in their homes.

Shabbos morning commenced with divrei chizuk and bracha from Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky. Rav Dovid Katzenstein, Rav Yitzchok Schwartz and Rav Yochanan Zehnwirth conveyed their experience in a panel for menahalim moderated by Rav Dovid Bernstein, director of Torah Umesorah’s Aish Dos. Rav Yitzchok Schwarz shared his insights with the men, while Rav Dovid Katzenstein shared encouragement and inspiration with the women.

On Shabbos afternoon, participants strolled along the Asbury Park boardwalk to take advantage of the sunny sky and warm temperatures. After seudah shlishis, Rav Yeruchem Olshin expounded on the fundamental role of a mechanech, while Rebbetzen Dina Fink once again shared divrei chizuk with the women.

On Motzoei Shabbos, a rabbeim panel forum addressed elementary school chinuch issues. Rabbi Elimelech Guttman, Rabbi Avrohom Pepper and Rabbi Osher Stern focused on primary and grade 1, moderated by Rabbi Moshe Kravetz. Rabbi Dovid Newman, Rabbi Yoel Boruch Cohen and Rabbi Shmuel Grama addressed 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, moderated by Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm. Rabbi Shmuel Blau, Rabbi Naftoli Donner and Rabbi Velvel Soloveitchik fielded questions regarding 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades. The panel was moderated by Rabbi Asher Dicker.

At the same time, Mrs. Esther Baila Schwarz addressed the women.

The evening’s guest speaker was Rabbi Ephraim Glassman.

The climax of the weekend was the arrival of Rav Matisyahu Salomon, mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoah, whose divrei chizuk and bracha closed out the event, leaving participants exhilarated and inspired to bring the chizuk they received over Shabbos into their classrooms, homes and lives.

{ – By Rochel Weinstein}


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