As Oholei Torah launches its 60th Year campaign, a Charidy drive will be held over the next 24 hours with the goal of raising $2,000,000 for the venerable institution.
Below are profiles of the three generous sponsors, each of whom will be matching every dollar donated, and each with their own special connection to Oholei Torah.
Join the campaign at https://www.charidy.com/ot.
Friends of the Brooklyn Jewish Center Circle
In 1920, the famous Brooklyn Jewish Center, on Eastern Parkway, opened its doors to cater to all aspects of Jewish Life. During this time, Crown Heights was one of the most exclusive Jewish communities in New York, and many prominent doctors, lawyers and politicians in the community were amongst the founding members of the Center. Of its many facilities, the Brooklyn Jewish Center boasted a wedding hall, gym, sauna, swimming pool and a large Hebrew Academy. What was most unique however, was the tremendous devotion, energy and resources that its members invested into the Center.
It was largely due to their devotion, that the stronghold of remaining members and Board of Trustees first rented the facilities to the Educational Institute Oholei Torah, to ensure that the building stay part of the Jewish Community. Some years later, the building was sold, at a fraction of its value, to Oholei Torah where it has continued to flourish and expand. The Brooklyn Jewish Center is one of the few synagogues that have remained, and flourished, as a part of the Jewish Community in the entire area.
Today, the landmark building of the Oholei Torah Campus is familiar to all members of the Chabad community worldwide, as well as to the thousands of guests who attend the myriad of simchas and functions that take place in Crown Heights
Throughout the years, a warm friendship has been maintained between the administration of Oholei Torah and the former members of the Brooklyn Jewish Center. The members have joined in and taken pride in several momentous events at Oholei Torah and have participated in various yeshiva building campaigns and annual dinners.
A group of those trustees who were instrumental in the sale of the center building to Oholei Torah, back in 1982, have chosen to generously support and partner with today’s 2 Million Dollar Charidy Campaign. This is yet another link and show of mutual respect and support between the former members of the BJC and the Oholei Torah community.
Rabbi Nosson Blumes, Director of Development for Oholei Torah, spearheaded these efforts and founded the BJC Circle in 2008. To further familiarize yourself with the BJC Circle, feel free to visit www.brooklynjewishcenter.org
HaRav Yitzchok and Rebbetzin Shaindel Raitport
The Raitports’ connection with Oholei Torah goes back close to 60 years. As a young child, Rabbi Raitport lived in close proximity to Oholei Torah, which was then on Rochester Avenue and Eastern Parkway. His mother, Rebbetzin Pesha Raitport OBM, was an acquaintance of Rebbetzins Esther Teitelbaum OBM and Sara Roitblat OBM, founders of Oholei Torah’s women’s auxiliary. With warm memories, Rabbi Raitport recalls how his mother would come in to yeshiva with a full pushka that she and her children had filled and, with great pride and joy, present it to the yeshiva office, thoroughly pleased to be supporting a yeshiva whose ideals stood true to those of the “alte heim.” This was notwithstanding the fact that she was raising her family alone after having lost her husband.
His mother’s dedication to support Oholei Torah made an indelible impression upon him, leading Rabbi Raitport to make it his mission to further the goals of Oholei Torah, not only by way of financial support, but also by investing efforts to raise the bar of its students’ Torah study and spiritual growth.
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Raitport have both keenly followed the growth of Oholei Torah and have generously supported many of its major endeavors. As close and personal friends of Oholei Torah’s founder, Reb Michoel Teitelbaum OBM, and, yibadel lechayim tovim, Executive director, Rabbi Joseph Rosenfeld, the Raitports’ door has always been open to them and they have been warmly received.
Today, the Oholei Torah buildings proudly carry the Raitport name with many prominent dedications. The Beis medrash (study hall), opened in 2001, where thousands of talmidim spend precious years learning from some of the most sought after roshei yeshivas in the world, is known at the Raitport Beis HaMedrash. The magnificent aron kodesh that adorns the beis medrash also carries the Raitport family name. A Beis Medrash used for the Mechina Division is known as the Katz Beis Medrash, after the parents of Rebbetzin Raitport, Reb Alter Gershon Chanoch Henoch HaKohen and Baila Tzirel Katz, OBM. The yeshiva library was dedicated in memory of their beloved son, Hatomim Sholom Dovber Raitport OBM, and carries many volumes of Rabbi Raitport’s Seforim, including 16 volumes of B’var Melech on the Rambam, 2 volumes of Toras Yitzchok on the Shulchan Aruch, responses of B’var Melech and many more including weekly kovtzim and a special kovitz on every yom tov (which were written with the encouragement and brocho from the Rebbe). Many other dedications have been made over the years, including an aron kodesh in Oholei Torah’s newly purchased summer camp grounds in Kingston, NY.
Today’s partnership with Oholei Torah’s Charidy campaign brings HaRav and Rebbetzin Raitport much excitement and nachas, as they watch others join in support of such an important and growing institute.
R’ Yoseph Yitzchok and Batsheva Popack
R’ Yoseph Yitzchok and Batsheva Popack have been supporters and friends of Oholei Torah for many years.
In R’ Yoseph Yitzchok younger years, he attended Oholei Torah as a student and at his parents’ home observed the close relationship and friendship his father R’ Shmuel Issac Popack, a”h, had with Reb Michoel Teitelbaum a”h, (the founder of Oholei Torah) and Rabbi Joseph Rosenfeld, (Executive director) as they would frequently knock on his family door for support.
Following the ways of his illustrious father, R’ Yossi, together with his wife Batsheva have thrown themselves in supporting many institutions, both in N.Y. and in Eretz Yisroel. Being raised in a prominent family of the Chabad community, R’ Yoseph Yitzchok sees his life’s mission to continue the goals and aspirations of a Chassid and fulfill the Rebbe’s directives. This is why R’ Yoseph Yitzchok has a special connection with Oholei Torah.
R’ Yoseph Yitzchok says “In Oholei Torah, the learning is geared towards shlichus and the greater good of the Jewish community. Oholei Torah graduates can be found in all corners of the world, making up the greater majority of the Chabad shluchim.” This unique education was instituted by the Rebbe’s directive and has led to tremendous success.
In recent year R’ Yoseph Yitzchok has undertaken major building projects in Oholei Torah, including the building dedication in East Flatbush kindergarten, now known as the Popack Kindergarten. In addition Mr. Popack is sponsoring currently the complete renovations of the Gymnasium for the benefit of the talmidim and greater Crown Heights community. He has also shown appreciation for the teachers and staff of the school with incentives and bonuses.
When approached to become partners with today’s Charidy campaign, not looking at the current undertakings and project, R’ Yoseph Yitzchok said yes right away. He understood the importance of the campaign, and that the success will be a great benefit to Oholei Torah and its 1,850 students for years to come.