May 9, 2005 — Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) will celebrate Torah excellence by paying tribute to four of its distinguished roshei yeshiva (faculty) –– Rabbi Melech Schachter, Rabbi Moses D. Tendler, Rabbi Joseph Weiss, and Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz –– at a dinner on Sunday evening, May 22, 2005.
The Eitz Chaim (Tree of Life) Award, the highest honor RIETS bestows, will be presented to Canadian and world Jewish leader and philanthropist Kurt Rothschild of Toronto. Rabbi Nathan Eli Zemel of New Jersey, a real estate investor who has taught Halakhah (Jewish law) for 35 years, will receive the Harbatzat Torah (dissemination of Torah learning) Award, and Rabbi Dale Polakoff, spiritual leader of Great Neck Synagogue and a RIETS musmakh (alumnus), will receive the Distinguished Rabbinic Leadership Award.
The event, at The Grand Hyatt in New York City, will begin at 4 pm with Torah presentations by the roshei yeshiva, followed by a reception at 5 pm and dinner at 6 pm.
Rabbi Schachter is the Rabbi Dr. and Mrs. Leon Katz Professor of Rabbinics at RIETS. Rabbi Tendler holds the Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Chair in Jewish Medical Ethics at RIETS. Rabbi Weiss is the Perez F. and Frieda Friedberg Professor of Talmud and Rabbi Yankelewitz is professor of Talmud at RIETS.
Kurt Rothschild will become the 10th recipient of the Eitz Chaim Award and inductee into the Tree of Life Society. He is Toronto president of Canadian Friends of Yeshiva University, chairman of World Mizrachi, president of Canadian Mizrachi, president of Canadian Zionist Federation, vice president Eitz Chaim Schools, and a member of the boards of Shaare Zedek Hospital, Bar-Ilan University, Jerusalem College of Technology, Yeshivat Hakotel, and Mount Sinai Hospital of Toronto. In 1997, he received an honorary doctoral degree from YU, in recognition of his passion to assure the survival of the Jewish people and belief that education – especially Torah education – holds the key to attaining this goal.
General chairman of the dinner is Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of RIETS, and journal chairman is Rabbi Solomon Trau, treasurer of the RIETS Board.
For reservations and information about the dinner or tribute journal being compiled, please call (212) 960-0852.