Monday, August 4, 2008

New Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivas Derech Hamelech

Thanks again to David Levy for the tip, I wanted to pass on the news that Yeshivas Derech Hamelech has a new Rosh Yeshiva. Here's the bio from their website, which has information on the other members of the staff as well:

Rabbi Shlomo Aschkenazy shlit"a

Rosh HaYeshiva

Born in Rome, Italy, in 1948, Rabbi Aschkenazy's family traces its roots to Belz. Saved from the Holocaust by virtue of their location in Italy, the Aschkenazys traveled west to America in 1955, settling in Washington Heights. It was during his formative years in learning that Rabbi Aschkenazy had the exposure to Torah giants Rabbi Gedalia Schorr zt”l, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l, and Rabbi Pam zt”l. Rabbi Aschkenazy also recalls the important influences of Rabbi Zelig Epstein shlit”a of Sha'arei Yosher and Rabbi Wolfson shlit”a.

While a student at Torah Vodaath, Rabbi Aschkenazy was also greatly influenced by “teachers of another kind”--Rabbi Breuer zt”l and Rabbi Schwab zt”l, of the Washington Heights community. Of Torah V'Daas he comments: “It was a makom of a wide-breadth of Torah. The scope of the genius there was beyond comprehension. The fire of yiras shamayim, commitment to values of yiddishkeit became ingrained in my bones there.”

In later years he became a friend and chevrusa to Rabbi Mottel Zilber. While at Lakewood, Rabbi Aschkenazy learned under Rabbi Shneur Kotler shlit”a before heading to the Mir-Jerusalem for almost a decade during which he became extremely close with Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz zt”l.

Rabbi Ashckenazy soon found himself as Maggid Shuir at ITRI while learning at the Kollel Ger, Knesses Yehuda Kollel.

Nearly thirty years ago, Rabbi Aschkenazy was presened with an opportunity to open a kollel under the auspices of the Bostoner Rebbe. “At that time there were no kollelim for English speakers who were baalei teshuva. The Bostoner Rebbe gave birth to the idea and the Ger Rebbe Simcha Bunim zt”l gave me his blessing and encouragment.” Rabbi Aschkenazy reminisced, “He didn't really offer an alternative in our discussion.”

Rabbi Aschkenazy was very motivated to join the efforts in building and advising Yeshivas Derech HaMelech from his blessing over two decades prior from the Ger Rebbe in starting the Bostoner Kollel, and is now the Rosh Yeshiva.

“Yeshivas Derech HaMelech represents a commitement to build b'nei Torah based on the fundamentals of chassidus with warmth, sensitivity, and concern for the person. Attention to p’nimius content, avodas Hashem, and the laws of Shulchan Aruch are meant to attract and inspire the students and create an atmosphere of well-rounded talmidim. Exposure to Torah personalities who have dedicated their lives to the principles and teachings of chassidus and dveikus Hashem is felt here.”

“I relish the chance to see the guys, to share stories and midrashim, to reinforce the connection of their lives to the lives of our forefathers, those from the distant and recent past. The energy and atmosphere is new and exciting and steady. The success here, today, is tangible and continued success, inevitable.”

-Dixie Yid

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