Alumni Join Rav Kahn in Englewood

By: Chesky Kopel


Seven Yeshiva alumni journeyed to Englewood, NJ for Shabbat, Parashat Tetzaveh, February 19, 2011, to spend a meaningful weekend with the community there. Yonatan Cantor (’06-’08), Yoni Teitz (’07-’08), Akiva Berger (’07-’09), Eitan Urkowitz (’07-’09), Periel Shapiro (’08-’09), Gilad Barach (’08-’10), Chesky Kopel (’08-’10), and Nachi Farkas (’09-’10) accompanied Rav Yair Kahn, head of the Overseas Program to two major community shuls: Congregation Ahavath Torah and Congregation Shomrei Emunah. Rav Kahn addressed both congregations with words of Torah, and the alumni introduced the Aliyot during Kri’at HaTorah in Ahavath Torah.

The entire group enjoyed large, festive meals at the home of Jerry and Anne Gontownik, where they were joined by a large segment of the Englewood community, including many families close to the Yeshiva. At Shabbat lunch, dozens of people rose to express their appreciation of the Gush and their gratitude to its leadership, Ramim, and students. The gathering also served the purpose of a time of reflection for the community, which had lost two young individuals in recent weeks. Rav Kahn and the alumni were touched by the tributes and the mourning of their untimely deaths.

Perhaps the highlight of the Shabbaton for the entire group was the opportunity to meet with local Rabbis. Rabbi Shmuel Goldin and Rabbi Chaim Poupko of Congregation Ahavath Torah gave from their precious time to meet with the alumni, and to provide words of Torah and invaluable advice regarding the special challenges of Jewish leadership.