[VIDEO & PHOTOS BY SHIMON GIFTER IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
It was definitely something new for charedi media, an innovative and fresh approach to dialogue and connection. Billed as a celebration of those who make the stories, by those who tell the stories, the senior staff and editors of the international Mishpacha Magazine hosted an upscale event for leading askanim and activists.
The exclusive guest list, which included some of the most engaged and passionate communal doers, enjoyed the relaxed setting, informal atmosphere and candid dialogue. Held at Bridge26 in the Dumbo neighbourhood, the event opened with cocktails before Mishpacha CEO Avi Lazar welcomed the attendees and the Mishpacha leadership delegation from Israel, Rav Moshe Grylak, publisher Eli Paley and editors Mrs. Shana Friedman, Binyamin Rose and Mrs. Bassi Gruen.
Along with vigorous give and take between Binyamin Rose and elected officials and political activists like David Greenfield, Phil Goldfeder, Chaim Deutsch, Aaron Weider, Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Simcha Felder, Jeff Ballabon and Phillip Rosen, there were two keynote addresses. Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein spoke with intensity and feeling about the need to work together, sharing lessons from his personal journey, and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky offered a spirited challenge to a room full of ‘shluchim’, each in their own way, to commit themselves to each and every Jew.
What made the event unique, reflected a veteran askan, wasn’t the food, venue or even topics discussed. “I don’t remember the last time I sat around tables with senior leadership of virtually every major frum organization, chassidus and yeshiva- Satmar, Chabad, Agudah, OU, NCYI, NSCY, Lakewood, plus a host of elected officials and public servants-and just engage in conversation without another purpose. These were people there that I normally don’t see in shul, at simchos – people I couldn’t reach through regular channels.”
The Mishpacha Summit proved- like the magazine itself- that differences in attitude or approach are smaller than shared values, commitment and achrayus for Klal Yisroel.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)