Shabbos Chof-Tes Teves marked the first Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehoshua Binyomin Gordon OBM. Hundreds turned out in person and thousands more tuned in online live via Chabad.org to participate in a special commemoration event that rounded off an inspirational weekend, which included the participation of Rabbi Gordon’s family, siblings from across the world, Shluchim of the Valley and beyond, and the Los Angeles community at large.
The weekend of events was culminated with the launch of a historic International Sefer Torah Campaign in support of the Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon Living Legacy Fund, which was established to perpetuate and grow his remarkable legacy.
The evening, organized by Rabbi Gordon’s son-in-law Jonathan Herzog, together with Chabad of the Valley’s Rabbi Yochonon Baitelman and Rabbi Mayer Greene, was not only a most befitting tribute but also a call to action to continue advancing the lifelong work of this legendary Shliach. After opening remarks from West Coast Director of Chabad Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin and Tehillim recited by Chabad of Encino’s Rabbi Ari Herzog, Chabad of the Valley’s Associate Director Rabbi Mordechai Einbinder, who chaired the proceedings, spoke about the importance of the Sefer Torah Campaign and its significance to his longtime colleague Rabbi Gordon.
Rabbi Einbinder then made a historic announcement that Chabad of the Valley would be opening its 27th Chabad House in the Lake Balboa district of the Valley. New Shluchim, Rabbi Eli and Mushkie Gurary were welcomed on stage to a standing ovation in the filled banquet hall. The excitement was clearly evident as Rabbi Einbinder conveyed that “the Shliach Oiseh Shliach” theme was being implemented by Rabbi Gordon z”l from the heavens above.
A highlight of the evening was a truly remarkable video biography, taking the audience on a journey through Rabbi Gordon’s extraordinary life and accomplishments.
Chabad of the Conejo’s Rabbi Moshe Bryski delivered a captivating keynote address, reflecting on Rabbi Gordon’s unique character and remarkable spirit and the incredible guidance and support he and his fellow colleagues received over the years from Rabbi Gordon in their Shlichus.
Rabbi Gordon’s youngest son, Eli Gordon completed the evening by announcing the official launch of the International Sefer Torah Campaign, he played a video clip of his father’s Chumash lesson of that day, where by divine providence Rabbi Gordon had actually described in detail how supporters of Torah are eternally connected to the Torah. He then went on to detail the significance of the two Torahs being written in memory of his father and thanked Gary and Rochelle Finder, senior partners in his father’s Shlichus and dedicators of the Living Legacy Torah, which will be housed in perpetuity with Rabbi Gordon’s community at Chabad of Encino. Next, he thanked Daniel and Vardit Aharonoff, dedicators of the Wellsprings of Knowledge Torah explaining that this Torah scroll would travel throughout the year between Chabad Houses in the Valley, returning back to Chabad of Encino for the High Holidays.
Rabbi Moshe Klein, the official Sofer of the project and a dear friend of the Gordon family then commenced the writing of letters in the new Torah scrolls.
By participating in the writing of a new Torah in his honor, congregants, students and friends of this legendary Shliach will have the opportunity to celebrate his life, honor his achievements, and partner in his legacy in the most fitting, enduring, and meaningful way.
For further details of the Rabbi Joshua B. Gordon – International Sefer Torah Campaign, please visit www.rabbigordon.com