To the Kehillah Hakedosha Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham:
The recent months have been very challenging for our Kehilla, it was very difficult to watch our beloved Rav Shlita suffer while at the same time push himself beyond human limits to be there for us. If the Rav’s dedication was always legendary, these unfortunate circumstances brought it to new heights. The mesiras nefesh that the Rav and Rebbetzin have for our Kehilla has no bounds.
While we waited week by week, davening for a yeshua and a refuah that would return the Rav to us fully, with Elul now upon us and Tishrei right around the corner, the Rav and members of the board have been meeting to discuss how to approach the Yamim Nora’im. However, after suffering additional setbacks, the Rav reached the difficult decision that stepping back was necessary for both him and for the long term benefit of the Kehilla, to be able to focus his kochos on healing, and to bezras Hashem be back with us speedily with renewed health and kochos.
The Rav and the board approached Rabbi Binyamin Jacobson to step in as the “interim Rav”. Rav Jacobson is a very talented talmid chacham, with many kishronos that he has already made available to our Kehilla. He gives many shiurim in BTYA already, he is an editor for Ohr Olam publishers and worked with Artscroll in the past. He brings to us a particular background in chinuch having just translated the sefer “Spare the Child” by his Rebbe, R’ Yechiel Yaakovson. He has a very close relationship with the Rav Shlita. Rav Jacobson, on very short notice, was asked to lead us through the Yomim Noraim and until the Rav is able to return to full function.
I want to thank Rav Jacobson for accepting this task. We should all appreciate that it is not easy to jump into the responsibility of leading a Kehilla in the middle of Elul, but Rav Jacobson recognized our needs and graciously accepted the role. Please note that Rav Jacobson will not be answering halachik Shailos. The Rav Shlita will still be available through email and phone for Shailos as in the past.
At this point I want to request that the members of the Kehilla step up and have more personal involvement in the shul. Please daven with us as often as possible, participate in our programs, and look for opportunities to volunteer and become involved. The morale of the tzibbur is certainly raised when more people give themselves to the tzibbur and we need a morale booster. The shul has many needs we have Rav Jacobson stepping in, a new secretary and as such more people need to take an active role in helping. The nshai would be the address for the women of the kehilla to get involved.
I am recommitting myself to the shul and agree to stay another year (bli neder) as president. I want to thank my partners in this transition Aryeh Sonnenberg and David Blass. Their efforts have been outstanding.
The absence of the Rav and Rebbetzin especially during the Yomim Noraim and Simchas Torah will be painful for our kehilla. It is a glaring hole that can’t be filled by any temporary measures. May the Rav Shlita have a refuah shlaimah bekarov.
May we all have a Ksiva vVchasima Tova and may Hashem answer all of our tfillos l’tovah.
Dr. David Kallus, DMD
President of BTYA