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7 Nissan 5760 - April 12, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Beis Medrash Dedication: A Johannesburg Community Transplanted

by Yated Ne'eman Correspondent

The dedication of the Kollel Yad Shaul Beis Medrash in Gardens, Johannesburg took place on Sunday, 4 Nisan. This was the culmination of the move of the community from the Yeoville area where it was located for some 25 years. The deteriorating social environment of that area resulted in a growing exodus of Jews to other areas and overseas. The leadership of the Kollel took the courageous step some three years ago of buying a new property in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and built a new home for their community. Many members followed the lead and they have established a vibrant Torah community in the new location.

At the head of "The Kollel," as it is known, is HaRav Boruch Dov Grossnass, who took over when the late HaRav Mordechai Shakovitzky zt"l moved to Israel, and has been at its helm for over 20 years. In the early years, Rav Shakovitzky brought avreichim to a city which had very little Torah. They planted seeds which grew to be the revival of Yiddishkeit in South Africa. Today the Kollel is both a mokom Torah and a growing community. It has a lending library and a bookshop and continues to bring Torah to the wider community.

At the ceremony, the new building was dedicated in the name of Rudi Frankel z'l, a successful businessman who in his later years developed a strong commitment to Yiddishkeit. At the same time a new sefer Torah was dedicated by the Horwitz family who have been instrumental in providing five sifrei Torah to Johannesburg mosdos over the years.

A crowd of hundreds accompanied the Torah through the adjacent park and to its place in the beautiful new beis medrash. Ma'ariv with the recital a Tehillim followed. The Chief Rabbi of South Africa addressed the gathering and warmly praised "The Kollel" for the special davening, the talmud Torah and the middos of its members. After a plaque was unveiled by members of the Frankel family, Rabbi Grossnass spoke. He told of the great difficulties of relocating a community. His main concern was that the excellence in Torah learning achieved in Yeoville would be transplanted, and he believes that they are well on the way to attaining this.

At the buffet dinner, he thanked all who helped in the past and those who are still working with him now. He expressed special appreciation to the Brozin family who had given the impetus to this project by making the first major contribution. There was also an anonymous donor and then David Frankel who made the project possible by his contribution in the name of his grandfather.

Chazonus and music accompanied a wonderful meal to celebrate the event.

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