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Teaneck Alums Reflect on Rav Goldwicht Before YU Dinner

At Yeshiva University’s 93rd Annual Hanukkah Dinner on December 3, Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva at YU, will be presented with the University’s Presidential Medallion in recognition of his transformative impact on generations of students.

Rabbi Goldwicht, who is also head rosh yeshiva at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program and a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies, is renowned for the more than 1,000 shiurim he delivers each year across the metropolitan area, throughout the United States and in Israel. He received semicha from the legendary rabbinic authorities Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem HaRav HaGaon Betzalel Zolty and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, HaRav HaRoshi of Israel, and has been described as “an absolute phenomenon” by Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, dean emeritus at YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, for his colorful style that captivates audiences.

For many local residents, Rabbi Goldwicht’s brilliant and energetic oratory, thoughtful guidance, personal warmth and sense of humor have long made him a central Torah scholar in the community.

“Rabbi Goldwicht is a source of spiritual and intellectual inspiration for thousands across the globe,” said Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of YU, of Teaneck, New Jersey. “His love for Israel, sterling character and unflagging passion for the dissemination of Torah are emblematic of the values upon which Yeshiva University has been founded.”

“He can connect with any person,” said Ari Katz of Bergenfield, New Jersey, who took Rabbi Goldwicht’s Gemara shiur as an undergraduate at Yeshiva College. “The way he presents his shiurim and his divrei Torah with a smile and such fire could make an impact on any person of any age. You just want to hear more from him every minute.”

As owner and director of Camp Mesorah, Katz has continued to enjoy a close personal connection with Rabbi Goldwicht, who oversees a Torah-learning program for post-high school boys at the camp each summer. “He finished learning Sefer Moed with my son before his bar mitzvah, and I get to watch him give powerful shiurim during an outstanding kollel to high school students throughout the summer,” said Katz.

“Anyone with exposure to Rav Goldwicht’s shiurim will immediately refer to the energy and enthusiasm that he exudes when he is teaching,” said Michael Welfeld of Bergenfield, New Jersey, who attended Rabbi Goldwicht’s shiur for three years as a student at Yeshiva College. Rabbi Goldwicht was also the mesader kiddushin at Welfeld’s wedding. “As a student who was part of his daily shiur at YU, this is what Rav Goldwicht is like every hour of every day without exception. His enthusiasm for Torah is truly unparalleled, serving as an inspiration for his students that stays with them for the rest of their lives. In addition to the boundless energy he displays during his shiurim, Rav Goldwicht makes a point to reach out personally to all of his students, providing encouragement, guidance and warmth.”

For Rabbi Goldwicht, the ability to connect to so many students through the prism of Torah has been deeply fulfilling and humbling.

“When Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm invited me to join Yeshiva University as rosh yeshiva, it opened up unbelievable opportunities for me to spread Torah at an advanced level and influence so many students in yeshiva at YU and many other places,” he said. “This medallion does not belong to me; it belongs to my students throughout the years who have worked to keep the Torah alive in every aspect of their life. It is my good fortune to have been in the company of my students and my fellow roshei yeshiva, all of whom are unique individuals and special Torah scholars.”

To make a donation in Rabbi Goldwicht’s honor or to learn more about the Yeshiva University Hanukkah Dinner, please visit www.yu.edu/ravgoldwicht.

 

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