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50 years on and still going strong

Community pays glowing tribute to the dynamic Tanzer couple’s long association with Yeshiva College at a glitzy tribute dinner writes SHIRA DRUION
by SHIRA DRUION | Oct 16, 2013

Pictured at left, Rabbi Tanzer shares a story with Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein – PHOTO: ILAN OSSENDRYWER

Celebratory Shabbas with songs and Shiurim 

Yeshiva College campus was a circuit of energy on Monday night as more than 1 300 guests, celebrated Rabbi Avraham and Rebbetzen Marcia Tanzer’s 50 years association with Yeshiva College, at a glitzy tribute dinner in gratitude for the immeasurable impact they have made and continue to have on South African Jewry, with their establishing of a school and Shul all that time ago.

The celebratory Shabbat boasted a jam-packed schedule of songs and Shiurim.

“The odds of a boy from Williamsburg being able to succeed in the building of a community in South Africa during a very precarious period of history, were certainly against me, but all of you sitting here tonight are our reason for being successful,” said an emotional Rabbi Tanzer.

“You embraced us, you loved us, you welcomed us and you supported us and everything we have achieved, we owe it to all of you.”

The dinner was also host to Yeshiva University’s President Richard Joel, who congratulated the Tanzers on the enormity of the impact they have made in the striving to evoke change in the course of Jewish history.

“We live in a day and age where our children need to be afforded the chance to know their story. There are two lasting gifts we need to bequeath to our children: roots and wings. And Rabbi Tanzer and Marcia, you have certainly put down roots to allow thousands of children to spread their wings and fly.

“Our experiences and memories of Judaism become our children’s story, and if we do not reflect positive experiences and essentially create a narrative worthy of emulating, our children will not embrace our sacred heritage.”

Managing Director of Yeshiva College Schools, Rabbi Laurence Perez said: “This is a historic gathering in the collective history of the Jewish community. Rabbi Tanzer has transformed the face of Johannesburg Jewry and beyond. Today our campus is home to seven Shabbat minyanim and is also the school of choice for over1 000 learners across the board.”

Israel Bender, chairman of the Yeshiva College board of governors, told the packed audience of his own experience attending Yeshiva College as a young boy of 13, from Port Elizabeth: “Instantaneously, I felt Rabbi Tanzer’s warmth and was aware that he was a masterful educator and a magnanimous mensch.

“Yeshiva College Schools embody the verse in the Torah that states, ‘The ways of the Torah are pleasant’, a philosophy which was trail-blazed by the Tanzers in all that they set out to do.”

Rabbi Tanzer also paid tribute to Rabbi Joseph and Rebbetzen Leila Bronner and Gerald Leissner, among others, for their selfless dedication to the institution.

Guests left inspired by the beautiful melodies of Yonatan Razel who also performed a spectacular duet with Chazzan Hershtik, who he welcomed on stage.


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