Sunday, Dec. 7th, 2014 at Marriott Marquis, Manhattan
Rabbi Allen "Eliezer" Schwartz
Guest of Honor
Rabbi of Ohab Zedek, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Rabbi Allen Schwartz has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Ohab Zedek since 1988. He is an alumnus of Yeshiva College and earned his Master of Arts Degree in Bible, Rabbinics and Halacha from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School.
Rabbi Schwartz was granted Smicha from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and currently holds the Raymond J. Greenwald Chair in Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University, where he has taught since 1983.
Rabbi Schwartz and his wife Alisa moved to the Upper West Side in 1985, where he served as rabbi at Congregation Ohav Shalom before moving to the pulpit at Ohab Zedek. Rabbi Schwartz’s major focus at OZ is to foster connections within and among the many different age groups and constituencies of Jews living on the Upper West Side. Rabbi Schwartz delivers weekly classes on a variety of subjects at OZ and also taught at Manhattan Day School. He has lectured extensively for the Board of Jewish Education of New York at elementary and high schools in the New York area. Rabbi Schwartz has published curricula on Biblical themes for Jewish day schools and high schools. Rabbi Schwartz recently completed a scholarly edition of the Commentary of the Rokeach to the Book of Proverbs. Rabbi Schwartz was the camp rabbi and educational director of Camp Morasha from 1996 to 2000 and then served as the educational director of Camp Mesora from 2002 to 2005 and dedicates time during the summer months to serve its educational staff.
Rabbi Schwartz is very active on behalf of Israel. He serves on the board of Mishmeret Yesha which initiates security projects and acquisition of land throughout Judea and Samaria.
In July 2014, the Schwartz’s and members of their family visited the Bet El Institutions. Rabbi Schwartz delivered a full-length shiur in Hebrew to the entire student body on the topic of the Three Weeks.
Rabbi Schwartz noted, “The Bet El Yeshiva Center is a Torah center for the religious-Zionist movement providing top-level educators and students who bring the spirit of Torah to many varied fields and professions. We stand with Bet El as it builds new housing and a towering, new Bet Midrash.”
Rabbi and Alisa Schwartz are blessed with six children and eleven grandchildren. The American Friends of the Bet El Yeshiva Center is honored that Rabbi Allen Schwartz has agreed to be our Guest of Honor.
Shomer Yisrael Awardees
Kew Gardens Hills
Akiva was born in Rockaway and was raised in Williamsburg while Chanita was born in Israel and was raised in Chicago. The two met in NY, married and moved to Kew Gardens Hills where they raised their beautiful family. Four of their children reside in Kew Gardens Hills, and a son and his family live in Yerushalayim.
Akiva has been in real estate sales since he started renting apartments in the Bronx. He has been selling homes in Kew Gardens Hills and surrounding areas since 1973 and Chanita joined Astor Brokerage after their youngest son started school.
Akiva has been instrumental in bringing many of the shuls, schools and organizations to Kew Gardens Hills and has helped them buy properties in the neighborhood. His greatest joy was building a shul for his father, zt’l.
Akiva has been involved with Tomchei Shabbos and other community functions and Chanita devoted much of her time to their children’s schools as well as to Bikur Cholim. In more recent years, their Bikur Cholim centered at home where Akiva and Chanita, with the help of their children and siblings cared for Chanita’s grandmother and mother, may they rest in peace, as well as Akiva’s mother, yib”l,. Chanita writes a weekly column for the Five Towns Jewish Times about the Kew Garden Hills community and has included her personal experiences and her love for all of Israel including Yehuda and Shomron.
Their love and dedication to Israel is boundless. They have spent many memorable summers there. During the Gush Katif expulsion, Chanita organized a fund with their shul which was used to purchase clothing, toys and books for the children of Kfar Darom. Akiva and Chanita then brought two suitcases of these much needed items to Israel that year and met with former residents of Kfar Darom in their temporary homes in Ashkelon.
It is with great pleasure and honor that American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center bestows the Shomer Yisrael award to Chanita and Akiva Teitz.
Keter Torah Awardees
Barry (Yisrael Dov) Weiss is a native of Brooklyn and attended the Yeshiva and Mesivta Chasan Sofer and the Yeshiva of Rabbi Feivel Cohen author of the Badei Hashulchan. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Economics from Brooklyn College and earned a certificate in Health Administration from New York University. In addition, he is completing his studies at Touro Graduate School for a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies. Barry also teaches Torah classes at the Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush and at Woodlake in the Catskill Mountains.
Suri (Susana) Weiss was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil where she graduated Bais Yaakov and later earned a degree in Practical Nursing. Together, Suri and Barry established Community Home Care Referral Service which is a home care agency serving the Greater New York area.
Suri and Barry visit Israel several times a year. This past Sukkot, they toured the Bet El Institutions and met with the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zalman Melamed. Barry expressed their pride in their association with the community of Bet El and its Yeshiva Institutions saying “We were very invigorated to see the construction of the new Bet Midrash building and the apartment complexes. We salute your hard work and wonderful accomplishments in building Eretz Yisrael, Klal Yisrael, and Torat Yisroel.”
The Weiss’ have been involved with Bet El for the past 25 years. They have sponsored the Keren Yehuda Tzvi Free Loan Fund for young couples who are engaged in Torah study at the Yeshiva.
The Weiss’ are also dedicated to working with other Yeshivot and causes including Rofei Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) in Jerusalem and New York, Yeshivat Shavei Hevron, Yeshiva Merkaz HaTorah, Yeshiva Toras Emes, Yeshiva Torah Temima. Suri is also active with many Bikur Cholim organizations.
Barry and Suri are proud of their three married children who live in Lakeweood, Cedarhurst, and Lawrence. Their youngest son is presently learning in Yeshiva Merkaz HaTorah in Israel.
In recognition for their tireless efforts on behalf of Klal Yisrael, American Friends of Bet El is honored to present the Keter Torah Award to Suri and Barry Weiss.
The Weiss’ would like to dedicate the award to their two mothers who passed away recently. Liba (Lilly) Bas Yisroel Dov Weiss A”H and Rivka Leah (Regina) Bas Yakov Yehuda Citron A”H.
Sunday, Dec. 7th, 2014, 5pm at the Manhattan Marriott Marquis
The American Friends of the Bet El Yeshiva Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization which works to secure the safety and security of Israel's citizens by raising awareness of Israel issues, promoting Israel activism and encouraging Aliyah through the activities of Bet El Institutions in Israel. Perhaps more than any other network, Bet El impacts the Jewish nation reaching literally millions of people via its broad educational network and IDF Prep Academy, its online Israel news site Arutz Sheva (IsraelNationalNews.com), its Hebrew hardcopy weekly newspaper BeSheva (circulation 120,000), and its online Gateway to Jewish Learning (link to http://www.yeshiva.org.il/Eindex.aspx) The US-based Young Leadership Division of Bet El hosts events in support of this vital work.