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The Denver Community Kollel celebrated its 19th Anniversary on Tuesday evening, February 28th. The theme of the evening was Forward, as the Kollel celebrated the opening of a new Southeast Kollel Torah Center and its new, temporary location in West Denver.
At the same time, the Kollel announced it is moving forward with its capital campaign and its plans to build a state-of-the-art, three-story building in West Denver to serve as Kollel headquarters. Kollel Dean Rabbi Aron Yehuda announced that the groundbreaking for the building would take place in September of 2017, with a projected completion date of July 2018.
The Kollel presented the Betzalel Award to Kollel alumni Rabbi Daniel and Adina Krausz. In the Torah, Betzalel was the architect of the Tabernacle, and he was the man who envisioned and developed the potential greatness into reality.
After leaving the Kollel, Rabbi Krausz became an architect, and he has created the plans for the Kollel’s future home and headquarters. “[Reb Daniel] has designed many batei medrash (study halls) and batei knesses (synagogues) across the country,” said Rabbi Schwab. “When it came time to design this building, we knew that the architect we were going to use was our own Reb Daniel Krausz. He is one who understands the heart of this building.”
“[The Krauszes] epitomize forward-thinking individuals… who have the foresight to see future greatness in their families, in their communities, in the people around them,” said Kollel Dean Rabbi Shachne Sommers. “Rabbi Daniel Krausz is able to envision Torah communities, which he then helps develop with his brilliant architecture. Mrs. Adina Krausz, who sees the great potential in the people around her… through her profession as a social worker.”
The Celebration featured a milestone in the progress of the capital campaign, as the Kollel presented the floor plans and renderings of its future home. The evening also featured guest speaker Mr. Jeff Weiskopf, a member of the Board of Governors of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, NJ, brother-in-law of Rabbi Schwab and one of the first people to significantly participate in the Kollel’s capital campaign.
Mr. Weiskopf shared how inspired he was with what he had seen and the people he had met in Denver. He discussed the importance and impact of Torah study on the Jewish People. “Other things in Judaism are nice,” said Mr. Weiskopf. “Symbols, they’re important. Knowing your history is important. But learning Torah has proven – generation after generation after generation – to be the key to the continuity of your children and grandchildren.”
Mr. Weiskopf quoted the words of the saintly Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin (1838-1933), known as the Chofetz Chaim, who stated that far greater than receiving a blessing from a great Torah scholar is the blessing received through supporting the study of Torah. Supporting and participating in the Kollel and its much-needed building, he continued, would bring great blessing, and would ensure the continuity and permanence of the Denver Jewish community.
“I recently visited other Kollels in the United States,” he said, “where I’ve seen the effect that [a Kollel] has on the general community. I cannot overstate the importance of how this will affect each and every one of you – to build this building and to build this Kollel for generations to come. Whether you can give a lot of money, whether you can give a little money; whatever you have to do… but this Torah is a unique force that brings us together and is the key to Jewish continuity in every city in the United States and the world.”