The chinuch of our children has been a major factor in the exponential growth of Torah and Yiddishkeit in North America over the past 80 years. Torah Umesorah’s establishment in 1944, by Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l, was for the very purpose of assuring the continuity of Klal Yisroel on these shores. The results far surpassed his expectations. Starting with barely a handful of yeshivos, Torah Umesorah’s network today includes over 850 schools, 350,000 students and 25,000 teachers, and the quality and scope of chinuch at an all-time high.
Such a pivotal component of Klal Yisroel’s nitzchiyus requires capable leadership. Rav Shraga Feivel chose Dr. Joseph Kamenetsky z”l as the first director of Torah Umesorah, who was followed by Dr. Bernard Goldenberg and Rabbi Yehoshua Fishman z”tl. For the past 16 years, yblch”t, Rabbi Dovid Nojowitz has enabled the great expansion of Torah Umesorah’s programs. The time has now arrived for the next phase of Torah Umesorah’s journey in being me’kayem doros b’yisroel, with the appointment of Rabbi Chaim Shimon Neuberger, who will work under Rabbi Nojowitz, until he steps into the position of Menahel later next year.
What better person than Rabbi Neuberger could Torah Umesorah have hoped to have as their next leader! Chinuch leadership is part of Rabbi Neuberger’s DNA, having learned from the personal examples of his grandfather, Rabbi Naftoli Neuberger z”tl, the legendary Menahel of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, and his father and, as he puts it, his “Rebbi Muvhak,” Rabbi Sheftel Meir Neuberger z”tl, the former Menahel of Ner Yisroel.
Born and bred in Baltimore, Rabbi Neuberger attended Yeshivas Ner Yisroel until 1997, when after second year Beis Medrash, he went on to learn under Rav Kalman Epstein in Shaarei Torah in Queens, and for a short while was one of Rav Tzvi Kaplan’s first talmidim. He continued to shteig on his journey of limud haTorah in Mir Yerushalayim, first as a bochur and for 2 years as a yungerman, where he formed a close kesher with Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, and then in Lakewood for 8 years.
Rabbi Neuberger felt a calling to become a me’chanech. His father inspired him to go into chinuch, to give over to the next dor, to be me’kayem the next dor. He first got his feet wet as a General Studies teacher in the Lakewood Cheder. He most effectively informed his students, “Anything that you do to me, will only make me a better Rebbi.”
His dream was finally realized a little while later when he moved to Monsey and assumed the position of 6th grade Rebbi in Bais Mikroh as a 6th Grade haschlas Gemara Rebbi. For seven years, he reveled in the sipuk of giving talmidim their first heilige, sweet taste of learning Gemara.
While Rabbi Neuberger so much enjoyed his role as a Rebbi, apparently Hashem had other plans for him. Bais Mikroh tapped his abundant abilities and talents to run a groundbreaking ceremony, and what emanated from his well-done job, was an offer to become Executive Director of Bais Mikroh. Rabbi Neuberger was hesitant; why should he leave what his heart yearned to do? He sought the guidance of Rav Yisroel Dovid Schlesinger shlita, who advised him, “If they are looking for someone to be me’sader the gelt, then you are mechuyav to stay in the classroom. If they are looking for someone to shape the future of chinuch, and part of it is being me’sader the gelt, then you are mechuyav to leave the classroom.” Realizing it was the latter, Rabbi Neuberger assumed the position of Executive Director of Bais Mikroh, and very effectively ran the yeshiva. His leadership and administrative skills, complemented by his chavivus and chashivus for chinuch, was the ideal recipe for success.
When Rabbi Neuberger was approached to transitioned in as the next leader of Torah Umesorah, he accepted the position with Rav Schlesinger’s directive resonating in his ears. As Rabbi Neuberger said, “If this position is to help the shape the future of Torah Umesorah, then I’m all in. If it’s just financial, then it’s not for me.”
Shaping the future of chinuch it certainly is! Rabbi Neuberger’s close association with his Rebbeim – Rav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l, Rav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky zt”l, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, and, his father, Rav Sheftel Meir z”tl – have influenced his drive to indeed make a marked difference in the chinuch of Klal Yisroel’s kinderlach.
“I am humbled to stand on the shoulders of the giants who previously led Torah Umesorah,” commented Rabbi Neuberger. “I come as a talmid, to learn and work with Rabbi Nojowitz, who was mei’rim Torah Umesorah to unprecedented levels, and who is a shining example to me.”
Rabbi Nojowitz feels assured about a person of Rabbi Neuberger’s caliber assuming a leadership role, stating, “I am confident that Rabbi Neuberger, with his talents, abilities and love for chinuch, will most capably take Torah Umesorah forward into its next exciting chapter.”
Rabbi Neuberger’s aspirations are shared and enabled by his eishes chayil, Mrs. Chaya Sara Neuberger. They are the proud parents of seven children, the eldest of whom is engaged to Gavriel Bamberger of Passaic. They are members of Khal Birchas Yitzchok in Chestnut Ridge, NY, under the leadership of Rav Eliezer Sherwinter shlita.
The Vaad Roshei Yeshiva guide everything Torah Umesorah carries out on behalf of chinuch. Like his predecessors, Rabbi Neuberger humbly expressed, “It is the ultimate kavod for me to work under the Einei Ha’Eidah of our generation. It instills me with confidence and security knowing that the Vaad Roshei Yeshiva guide and direct everything that we do.”
Rabbi Neuberger is enthusiastic about making a difference for Klal Yisroel’s children, for all of our children. His love and passion for chinuch, and natural leadership and organizational skills, will b’ezras Hashem serve him well as he leads Torah Umesorah into its next exciting chapter in the annals of Klal Yisroel’s history.
A freilichen Pirim
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