May 17, 2019
"Despite a drenching rain outside, there was a tangible sense of excitement in the filled-to-capacity auditorium."
The Kollel’s community-wide Inaugural Event was held at Congregation B’nai Israel Ohev Zedek this past Sunday. The elegant affair was enhanced by the attendance and participation of the Philadelphia Roshei HaYeshiva, Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva Harav Malkiel Kotler, Shlita, all of the local Rabbanim, as well as Roshei Kollel from the Greater Philadelphia community. Despite a drenching rain outside, there was a tangible sense of excitement in the filled-to-capacity auditorium.
The evening program began with Tefillas Mincha followed by the speeches of the Roshei HaYeshiva and of the M’ara D’Asra, Rabbi Yehoshua Yeamans, Shlita and concluding remarks by Kollel Board President, Ezra Wohlgelernter.
HaGaon Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Shlita delivered divrei bracha. The Rosh Yeshiva noted that for decades in the Olam HaTorah, “Philadelphia” was synonymous for the “Philadelphia Yeshiva”; now Philadelphia is also marked by the first Community Kollel in Northeast Philadelphia. The Rosh Yeshiva commended the Kollel’s leadership and the community for the meisras nefesh to build, support and sustain the Kollel.
Rabbi Yeamans spoke on behalf of all the community’s Rabbanim in lauding the many years of work undertaken by Reb Tuvia Goldstein to establish a Kollel in our community. Rabbi Yeamans spoke passionately about the impact Limud HaTorah has on a community. He shared his personal family history and how it was transformed by exposure to advanced learning. We thank all of the Rabbonim for guiding the Kollel's lay leadership in its formative years leading up to the formation of the Kollel.
HaGaon Rav Malkiel Kotler, Shlita spoke with great pride of the effect of Community Kollelim in America. The visible pride of the Rosh Yeshiva in seeing BMG’s avreichim moving on to a community Kollel was palpable. Rosh Kollel Rav Yonah Burr, Shlita completed the program with Divrei Torah and Chizuk. The Rosh Kollel spoke of the carrying of the Aron Kodesh mentioned in Tanach where The Aron was carried by itself, an illusion to the fact that our job is to grab on to the Torah it will carry us through life. The Rosh Kollel praised the dedication of the Chavrei HaKollel, their Hasmada and the connections they have made to members of the community.
Following the program, the attendees were treated to an exquisite dessert reception facilitated by Pinache Party Planning. We thank Reb Tuvia Goldstein for his persistence in preparing, planning, and executing the event. The Kollel thanks all who attended and supported this event. May we continue to see in the coming years the continued growth and impact of the Kollel.