Thursday, January 28, 2016

R' S. Y. Rechnitz, apoligizes, removes himself from Lakewood schooling issue will continue to support financialy

Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz  Issued a clarification letter regarding the speech he gave to Lakewood it was posted on Matzav.

Dear Readers, As there is a lot of confusion regarding my speech, I would like to clarify some of my points and my intentions. I apologize for any typos etc….but I am writing at a very inconvenient time from a very inconvenient place (Maimonides Hospital). I nevertheless feel it’s important to write now, to avoid anymore potential Lashon Harah.

I apologize and ask Mechila for not for seeing the possibility of people using my comments out of context. The point of my speech was to deliver one message, and one message only, and that is to make sure that there is a place in school for all our children in Lakewood. It was not meant in any way to “bash” Lakewood or its leaders. Anyone using my comments to support their own ulterior agendas are twisting my words. I am not Anti-Lakewood or Anti-Kollel, and if that happens to be your position, I would reccomend you take a tour of the city and its Mikomos Hakdoshim and I assure you, that you will be impressed. Anyone who is somewhat familiar with the substantial financial resources that I’ve invested and will continue to invest in Lakewood, would quickly come to the conclusion that I adore Lakewood, realize how important it is for Torah, Kavod Hatorah, Harbatzos Hatorah and for Kiyum Ha’olam, and how much I need to be a part of it. I consider its inhabitants as my Family, and am proud and thankful that I can be a part of this extraordinary Makom Torah. Besides supporting the Mosdos, I think I’ve proven that I try to do everything in my power to help any Yungerman or their children in a time of need, and IY’H hope to continue to do so, in addition to the rest of Klal Yisroel.

I never Chas V’shalom meant to be Mevazeh any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim. To the contrary, I spoke of the Roshei Yeshiva’s attempts and involvement in helping children get into Mosdos, only to be turned down. I have heard directly from many Roshei Yeshiva, both from Lakewood and other cities, that they consistently have problems getting children into Lakewood schools. If any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim were offended, I hereby ask them publicly for Mechila. If any Rov or Rosh Hayeshiva would like me to come to them personally, I’m prepared to do so. I have, and always had tremendous Kavod for the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva. Im sure if asked, they will all tell you that I fulfill any and all requests they ask of me without asking any questions. As an Askan, I have never acted without the directive of the Gedolim. In all my Tzedakos, I believe that I’m known to never ever give with strings attached. I don’t discriminate against any person or Mosad even if they’ve done me wrong.
If I had to do it again, I would’ve spent the first hour telling people about the greatness of Lakewood. Lakewood has grown by leaps and bounds in population and Ruchniyus. Under the tutelage of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Hagaon Hatzadik, Reb Malkiel Kotler Shlit’a, Lakewood has been more successful than anyone’s wildest imaginations. It’s Talmidei Chachamim have sprouted all over the world, spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit. The city off route 9 that we call Lakewood is merely the “corporate office” for the world over. I mentioned that Lakewood is everything right, that there is nothing more beautiful than Lakewood, but they are deficient in just one area. Due to the fact that I wanted to get a point across in the time allotted to me, I clearly did not spend enough time describing my genuine Ahava for Lakewood.
Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough when I specifically said that I don’t place the blame on the Roshei Mosdos, as they’re doing what we’d all do, to protect their Mosdos and not compromise the Chinuch they provide for following years. I also did not want to place blame on them, as every single one of them have bent over backwards to try and help alleviate the problem. I’ve been in communication with most of them, and they’re always trying to place “just one more child”.
Let me be clear. I put most of the blame on the Elitists. An Elitist is someone who calls a Mosad, and holds them hostage forcing their will and desires, while clearly harming other children. They are generally of the belief that they are superior or frummer than everyone else. They put themselves on a pedestal and insist on their way or the highway. Instead of viewing other kids as the Aibeshters children, they view every child as a potential threat to their child’s reputation. This happens every year at nearly every Mosad. I can understand a parent wanting a school where all the children come from homes without Internet, televisions or other negative influences, but if you don’t want your child in a class that has children who’s fathers work to provide Parnasah for their family, then you are an elitist! The working father can be ehrlich, Kovea Ittim, have all the right Hashkofos, but that’s not good enough for you, because you consider yourself on a much higher Madreigah.
The one point where I should’ve been clearer is that the vast majority of Lakewood are not elitists. They are humble B’nei Torah who’s Zechusim we rely on to exist. But as in every religion and every culture, the extremists and the most vocal carry the show. While the elitists are the Mi’uta D’miuta, they’ll cause 90% of the problem. In my opinion, it’s incumbent on all of us, as the silent majority to speak up and not tolerate these attitudes that are the impetus and perpetuation of the problem.
I should have taken out the time to thank all the Askanim who work day and night, trying to get children placed. They Aibeshter should bench them with Shefa and Bracha. Unfortunately, they don’t have the power alone to fix the system.
As I have clearly gotten too emotionally involved, I don’t think I’m the person to deal with the schooling issue. I have therefore decided to remove myself from this Parsha. In terms of financial support, I will continue to support this beautiful Makom Torah, and hopefully with Hashem’s help, and your Tefillos, I’ll be able to increase my support.
As the Seforim Hakdoshim write: We’ll never know who is supporting who.

Ha’Aron Nosei Es Noisov. (Yalkut Shimoni)

B’Chavod Rav,

Shlomo Yehuda


  1. Reb Shlomeh Yehuhuda! We need you to be involved! not only financially but your full involvement is what made the difference.

  2. This is not an apology that he owes to the thousands of people in Lakewood that he was Motzi Shem Rah about. We did not misinterpret his words. He said them very clearly. Also, he is still repeating the same bitter lies that he said in the speech. The Chilul Hashem remains.

  3. apology accepted

  4. Let the annual shefichas damim (AKA the acceptance process in Lakewood Girls High Schools) continue undisturbed!

    1. Most people find your comments amazing . You obviously have an interest in the high school process . You obviously also know that there are not enough schools . You obviously also know that Rechnitz said he will help fund schools . So if you dont get up and call Rechnitz and then start working hard and make another non elite school for this coming year ,the retzicha is on you .I heard there are close to 1,000 girls going into high school next year . Where are you ? Blogging and calling people names is not going to save one girl from agmas nefesh .Only doing something to make more schools will .

  5. I hope he reconsiders and stays involved. What he should do is speak to more people then the ones he is currently surrounded by they mislead him, let him hear from the hamon am, not fundraisers, and yes men.

  6. Which Mosad will be next to honor Rechnitz, and will Hershel Herskowitz be allowed to take over where Rechnitz is leaving off?

  7. If he is true to his word he should have the scoop pull the youtube video of the speech just as they removed the letter from perlstein.

  8. The one to really should apologize should be the rosh mosad for starting the elitism in the first place when the existing girls school was not good enough for their children. As he himself said in the speech he had a hard time getting parents to come sign up to the new school.

  9. Pulling the video accomplishes nothing. We have copies of it. This is the internet. Welcome.

  10. If you guys read, it was a clarification. He didnt take anything he said back. He's apologizing that people thought he was bashing the roshei yeshiva etc

  11. This elitism is a little perplexing . Supposedly people who are working can not get into the so called elite schools . Somebody asked the administrators of several of the older more sought after high schools and it seems like more than 60 per cent of the parents are working and not in yeshivah . And most of the working parents are hard working not at all wealthy people . So how were they accepted to supposed elitist schools if they are not elite ?

  12. Hershel HerskowitzJanuary 28, 2016 at 5:45 PM

    I really did not want to get involved in all this insanity,but I have to speak up to clear up a few small mistakes.

    We all know,(we being rational,caring people) that for the last 20 years there has been major problems in the school acceptance issue. I think that Mr. Rechnitz spoke gallantly. Although I was upset that he praised Shlomo Chaim Kanarek who is not only a major part of the problem, but actually helped create it 30 years ago. This praise for a most undeserving person that has used children to ensure that he gets whatever he wants from our town was but a small price to pay to hear that speech. Although some were upset,and felt that Mr. Rechnitz put Lakewood in a bad light, I do not believe he was accusing everyone,and if it doesn't apply to you, there was no reason to be insulted.
    But now with this new apology. There is one part where Mr. Rechnitz needs to be educated with some harsh reality.

    It is not only "elitist" parents that cause problems. There is another common practice.It is simply called "blackmail" .There are Roishei Moisdos that will hold children for ransom simply because they expect money from a rich zaidy or friend of the parent. Other times they will destroy a child for political reasons. Sometimes they themselves just dont like the parents.

    In my case ,after I unsuccessfully ran against Bob Singer, I was ignored by girls High schools. Told by all the machers that they will let us in ,but kanarek has a plan first. I was raised not to be anybodys Meshuris and my daughters were delighted when we asked them if they would like to attend two excellent Bais Yaakovs outside of Lakewood. They were accepted without any issues. We kept it our secret.
    Two days before school was to begin in Lakewood I was brought a letter that I was told to sign. It demanded that I
    1.No longer be involved in any politics(I wasnt at the time)
    2.Never write articles on blogs or anywhere about anything(I wasnt at that time)
    3.Never to oppose any building projects of Rabbi Kanarek ( I never opposed anyones building projects , I guess Kanarek just wanted some insurance)
    4.Never to do anything for the klal without permission from the Roshei Hayeshiva (that was both insulting and a compliment all in one)
    Since my daughters were already happy in their new Bais Yaakovs,I saw no reason to sign such a paper.I made a quick copy, ripped it up,handed it back to the Askan that brought it to me and told him to give that to Kanarek.
    Fast forward a year later. My wife gets a frantic call from the wife of a well known talmid chochom in our town saying that her husband is very upset and wants to get my kids into school. She answered that they have been in school over a year, why are you calling now?
    It seems that during a meeting with Harav Hagaon Malkiel Kotler there was a small argument. This Talmid Chochom got quite upset and told Rabbi Kotler that he doesnt run the towm.Rabbi Kotler answered him back that when he told all the schools not to accept my daughters until he says to, they all listened to him. This was said in front of three other prominent Roshei Hayeshiva who were shocked. So it seems that we have a problem,and it is not only the parents.
    Now Rabbi Kanrek is insisting that his name was put on this letter without his knowledge, almost 5 years later. He doesnt even have the ability to admit his wrongdoing.
    So you see,Rabbi Rechnitz did not really need to apologize. If those he is apologizing to are upset,perhaps it is because they too are guilty of what he was blaming parents of doing.
    A big Yasher Koach to Rabbi Rechnitz for bringing this issue out into the open.Sorry for having to fine tune your message,but no apologies were really necessary.
    I hope that this can now lead to some real changes in Lakewood so we will never have to see a girl or boy told that they are less than,or not wanted because they are just a pawn in some sick game.

    1. Sorry Hershel for what you went through. Thank you for all you do for the community.

  13. Why is it not ok for r' rechnitz to "bash" Lakewood but it's just fine for Lakewood to bash r' rechnitz?

  14. I just confirmed a story I heard a few years back. Girls that wanted to get into Kanareks school were told, why should we take you? You will just become a zonah in a few years. I assume that Rabbi Kanarek can tell what a Zonah looks like. And this guy was honored. This guy pretended to be the savior of Lakewood Chinuch.not acceptable. And then we wonder why children are by the lake Shabbos, smoking, acting like the low life's you told them they were going to be. Their blood is on your hands and all the rest of those like you,we all know who you are,you know who you are. None of you are blameless.

  15. Oh well at least the pesoles had a spokesperson for 2 days. MAybe Moshiach will help them, though of course you and your ilk will reject his suggestions too...