More than 20 Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis from Tel Aviv gathered at the office of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Tel Aviv’s chief rabbi and former chief rabbi of Israel, to help him celebrate his 80th birthday and to express their appreciation for his longstanding friendship and support for Chabad emissaries in the city and around the world.
Lau warmly praised Chabad’s work in the city, emphasizing the efforts of his close friend, Rabbi Yosef Gerlitzky, the head Chabad emissary in Tel Aviv.
After introducing the city’s newest Chabad rabbis, Gerlitzky described the special affection and guidance that Lau received from the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—particularly prior to Lau’s 10-year term as Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel between 1993 and 2003. In 2005, Lau was reinstalled as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, returning to the post he served from 1985 until 1993.
The two shared memories of their work to encourage and spread traditional Judaism in the city, with Gerlitsky presenting Lau with an album of photos from more than 100 Chabad programs and events in the past 36 years.