Official Opening Event
On February 14, 2021, Yeshiva of Great Neck hosted an event celebrating the opening of the Yeshiva.
There was a feeling of excitement and in the air at the Lovi home this past Sunday night; the feeling of being at the edge of a significant development. Gathered there were the families of the inaugural 9th grade class of Yeshiva of Great Neck, as well as some people close to the project, and some of the Rabbanim. The Yeshiva was hosting a very special event - the celebration of the formation of its first 9th grade, and, by extension, the opening of the Yeshiva.
The event was graced by Rabbi Avraham Kohan, שליט"א, Rav of Torah Ohr, who was there for a brief time, Rabbi Bentzion Chait, שליט"א, and Harav Dovid Harris, שליט"א, the Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Queens, who addressed the audience briefly.
In attendance as well was Rabbi Ben Kaniel, the Rav of Saddle Rock Minyan, who has also been very instrumental in getting the Yeshiva started.
This was a perfect opportunity for the parents of the boys who will בעז"ה be attending Yeshiva of Great Neck to get to know each other better, as well as for everyone to appreciate and mark this tremendous occasion.
Rabbi Strassfeld was the MC, speaking briefly before introducing Harav Harris.
Harav Harris spoke about how special it is to have a Yeshiva in a community. He spoke about how every Yeshiva started with a small group, and he has seen so many of them grow into massive institutions, tremendous Mikomos Hatorah. He spoke of Rabbi Katz and Rabbi Strassfeld's dedication to Chinuch.
Rabbi Katz spoke next, first thanking everyone who had been involved in the project. He spoke of the need to stop and appreciate any significant event in our lives, and how this was an opportunity to stop and think of the magnitude of the moment. How special and how significant it is to be poised to open a Yeshiva. He spoke about how the founders of any institution leave an imprint on it forever, and how the influence of these boys, the ones in the audience, as well as their parents, would forever be reverberating throughout Yeshiva of Great Neck, long after they graduated.
The event was concluded with an official "L'chaim." Emmanuel Kashi, who was the one to first conceive the idea of Yeshiva of Great Neck, and who continues to push for it in many ways, gave a short speech. He was very emotional, describing how the project came to be from its earliest stages. He became very emotional when he related that there was something he saw from the Chazon Ish, and he always told himself he would share it when the Yeshiva opened. He related that when the Chazon Ish was asked what to do to combat the impending gloom of negative influences, he responded: "Light candle after candle... teach student after student..", telling those there that the most important thing to do was to build Yeshivot. He concluded that when Harav Wasner, זצ"ל, heard this, he said "If this is all the Chazon Ish taught us, it would be enough."
The event was one that carried with it a feeling of excitement, and a feeling that the future of Great Neck was forming at this very moment.
All left feeling uplifted and excited.