April 8, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rabbinical College of America Honors Dignitaries

More than 600 people joined Chabad’s NJ headquarters, the Rabbinical College of America, at its National Founders’ Dinner on March 16 to honor Dr. David Shulkin, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Israel’s Ambassador Dani Dayan for their dedication and service to the community.

Miles Berger, an RCA Trustee, hosted the event at his newly renovated Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey.

The evening began with Rabbi Moshe Herson, dean of the Rabbinical College, describing the RCA’s successful growth over the past year, both in its educational programs and in New Jersey’s network of 58 Chabad centers, for which the RCA serves as headquarters. In the latter vein, Rabbi Herson acknowledged the more than 100 shluchim families throughout the state who work tirelessly providing for the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of the community.

The impact of RCA reaches well beyond the state of New Jersey. RCA graduates and alumni can be found as Chabad emissaries throughout the world, changing the lives of their communities.

Rabbi Benny Zippel, RCA graduate and shliach (emissary) to the state of Utah, flew in for the event so that he could share the story of his work in Utah. He closed his remarks by calling upon a New Jersey mother who shared her children’s struggles during the course of their youth. Eventually sent to Utah for rehabilitation and support, they encountered “Rabbi Benny,” who helped lift their spirits and restore their faith. Both children are now fully productive adults and looking forward to their respective graduations from Harvard University and the University of Florida. The mother concluded by thanking Rabbi Zippel for saving her children’s lives and the RCA for “educating the ‘Rabbi Bennys’ of the world.”

Zygi Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings and executive board member at Yad Vashem, introduced Ambassador Dayan, consul general of Israel. As a trustee of the board at the RCA, Mr. Wilf conferred an honorary degree to the ambassador.

Dayan delivered a keynote address about the impact of Chabad in Israel and around the world.

Dr. Sol Barer, chairman of the board of Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel, conferred an honorary degree to Dr. Shulkin. He highlighted how the meaningful work of RCA, and the dedication of its global representation, are similar to the selflessness of Dr. Shulkin and his shift from the private sector to public service. Michael Cohen, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, offered remarks and congratulations to Dr. Shulkin. He pointed to the many qualities that Dr. Shulkin contributes to the people he serves.

During the dinner, the college offered a memorial tribute for two of its pioneers and long-time supporters, business giants David T. Chase and Joseph Wilf. A tribute was also held for the Mashpia Roshi (senior professor of Jewish Philosophy/Kabbalah) for more than 50 years, Rabbi Meilach Zwiebel. Reb Meilech was responsible for the education of thousands of students who have attended the Rabbinical College over the years.

The RCA serves students from 26 to 28 states and 14 countries. Many of these graduates devote their lives to bettering communities in all corners of the globe, as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

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