This past Motzai Shabbos 200 members of the Ahavas Olam family came together at our new building to celebrate a monumental turning point in the incredible story of the Ahavas Olam Weingarten Torah Center. The room was buzzing with excitement the entire night and the smiles on everyone’s faces were reminiscent of a family simcha, everyone clearly felt like baalei simcha on this spectacular night. The night’s theme was building together, and the achdus was palatable.
The delicious food was provided by the brand new Jerusalem Catering. From the delicious Waldorf salad served in a carved out apple, to the tasty French Onion Soup served in a bread bowl with cheese fired on the spot, to the scrumptious Salmon Wellington it was a first class affair. R’ Bentzi Osseroff, and R’ Chaim Yehudah Klainberg worked tirelessly to make sure that the event was worthy of this auspicious occasion. The ambiance was especially enhanced by the beautiful design work of Mrs. Traube, and Mrs. Stoll. Everyone left the event in a great mood inspired by the experience.
The night’s program began with an entertaining welcome from Rabbi Leiby Burnham who spoke about the power of FUBU. He related how Ahavas Olam has always been an organization that followed the mantra of For Us By Us. It is our place, where we the young professional bnai torah and our families can find that spiritual anchor, providing stability in the chaotic world we live in. But we have also always taken pride in the fact that it our investment of time, effort, and money; as well as a good share of blood, sweat, and tears that besiyata dishmaya has built this makom torah. From the humble beginning in a basement on Harding, to the current location where it was Ahavas Olam members who crawled through the ceiling to run the electrical wires; Ahavas Olam is powered by FUBU. It is therefore particularly appropriate that this phase of the expansion project be powered largely by us, the ones who depend on Ahavas Olam for our spiritual energy. It will be up to us to decide how we want our makom kodesh to look, what level of commitment we have to this mikdash me’at. He went on to thank all of those who have been integral to the success of phase one of the project, and of course to the Rav, Rebetzin, and President without whom none of this would be possible. He closed by expressing our deep appreciation for the Yad Hashem that has been apparent throughout every step of this process.
Dr. David Weingarten then spoke as a friend of Ahavas Olam, a paradigm for what all of us hope to accomplish achieving success in our professional careers while never forgetting its true place as one facet of our overall Avodas Hashem. Dr. Weingarten emphasized that in the world we are seen as “The Jew” in the singular, everything that we do reflects on all Jews, and ultimately on the Ribbono Shel Olam. He reminded us of this staggering responsibility for Kiddush Hashem that we all take with us into the professional world.
The video titled “geshmack” produced by Rabbi Simcha Tolwin, R’ Aharon Feldman, and R’Aryeh Gibber featured testimonials from members of the Olam of all ages about how Ahavas Olam provides them with the geshmack of a Torah life. The video kept everyone entertained, and everyone especially enjoyed the outtakes afterwards (a link to both videos is at the end of this message). As the lights came back on the Rav rose to deliver his long awaited divrei hisorerus. The Rav spoke about how from the very early days of the Torah Center we were constantly told that it would never be successful, yet Hashem allowed us to succeed because we were committed to the achdus of advancing His agenda (A link to the Rav’s full speech is attached to this e-mail).
Finally R’ Gabi closed the program with a heartfelt appeal to the Olam. He asked everyone to think of the important place Ahavas Olam has in all of our lives, and although every family has its own budget realities we must reach deep to reflect what a primary role Ahavas Olam has for us. While we ask that everyone be as generous as they can, no one should think that their modest contribution won’t make a difference. Everyone was provided with a pledge card (also attached to this e-mail) with different levels of monthly commitments for five years. In this way we are all able to take a significant role in the construction of the Torah Center in a way that is sensitive to the budgets of our growing families ka”h.
The night was a great success, and the pledges that have already come in are humbling in their generosity. If you have not yet sent in your pledge please take the time to review the Rav’s speech, enjoy the video, and print out the attached pledge card. Take a moment to think about how special Ahavas Olam is to you, and then fill out the pledge card making a generous monthly commitment to your family’s spiritual future.
We have also attached the brochure so skillfully designed by Mrs. Rosenblum that tells the story of the Torah Center. And as an added bonus we included the flyer which includes the many sponsorship opportunities still available. Please feel free to share these with anyone else that you think would like to be a partner in this historic project.
In the words of the Paytan Yishai Bar Mordechai: Borei olam bekinyon hashlem zeh habinyan; To whom the world is His acquisition may He bring this project to fruition.