The Honorable David M. Friedman, the United States Ambassador to Israel, visited Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway, New York on Sunday. He was on hand for the siddur play of his grandson, a Pre-1A talmid at the Yeshiva, and ‘shepped nachas’ along with all the other assembled parents and grandparents as the boys received their very first, personalized siddurim.
The ambassador was publicly recognized by Rav Yaakov Bender, the Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, who called upon him to bless the talmidim who were gathered onstage. The ambassador, who is a kohein, blessed the talmidim with Birkas Kohanim.
After the event, Ambassador Friedman was led on a brief tour of the Yeshiva campus, including an extensive visit to the trailblazing Weiss Vocational Center, where a select group of Mesivta (high school) talmidim spend part of each afternoon learning marketable skills such as carpentry, electrical construction, plumbing, home wiring, and photography. Graduates of the Center, which was founded in 1995, have gone on to see remarkable success in all areas of their lives, often using the skills and knowledge gained there to build successful and lucrative careers.
“I’m just blown away by the Weiss Vocational Center,” said the ambassador at the conclusion of his visit. “It’s a brilliant idea…an incredible program for kids. If I were back in high school I’d be rushing to this program. It’s really a tremendous Kiddush Hashem.”
The Ambassador also visited the main, cavernous bais hamedrash of Mesivta Chaim Shlomo, where hundreds of bachurim and kollel fellows learn each day, from morning until late at night.
Ambassador David Melech Friedman, a native of North Woodmere, NY, was the first bilateral ambassador to be confirmed in the early days of the Trump Administration.