May 21, 2013
Top Democrat Speaks at Seminary
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz visited Chabad in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and addressed the students and faculty of the Chaya Aydel Seminary.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz visited Chabad of South Broward Headquarters in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and addressed the students and faculty of the Chaya Aydel Seminary, on Monday, May 20th. The Congresswoman was visibly inspired by the young ladies, and responded to questions students and faculty asked.
The visit was a celebration of Jewish Heritage Month, celebrated annually in the month of May in the USA. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the late Arlen Specter were the driving forces in creating Jewish Heritage Month.
Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, dean of the Seminary and executive-vice-president of Chabad of South Broward introduced the Congresswoman, and recalled the numerous times they shared the podium in rallies supporting Israel.
Before the Congresswoman spoke, Seminary student Rivkah Deray from Pittsburgh eloquently relayed a story about the Rebbe, which focused on the quality and significance of Jewish leadership. Rabbi Tennenhaus publicly thanked the Congresswoman for her efforts in pursuing justice for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, and for this the Congresswoman was applauded by all the students and faculty.He also shared the "breakthrough" the Rebbe had when the Rebbe appointed the Shluchos as co-directors of Chabad Houses, thus empowering Jewish women to be full fledged leaders, long before the Womens' Rights Movement sought equality for women in the workplace.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke about her early years in politics, her current career in which she juggles being both a Congresswoman representing a very significant part of South Florida, the Chair of the National Democratic Party, and last but not least being a wife and mother of three children.
Rochie Schneiderman, a student whose parents are Shluchim in the college town of Newark, Delaware, asked if the Congresswoman ever faced discrimination in being a woman. Rochie followed up with some additional "tough" questions and the Congresswoman answered each question with poise, patience and admiration.
Rabbi Levi Tennenhaus, program director of Chabad of South Broward, asked whether the Congresswoman would one day like to run for the presidency. The Congresswoman responded, "my ambition is to become the Speaker, but one of my children would like me to be president".
Faculty present included Rabbi Yossi Lebovics, Seminary Principal, Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Seminary and Chabad of South Broward Administrator, Rabbi Mordy Feiner, Kollel Director of South Broward and one of the Seminary anchor teachers, Mrs Goldie Tennenhaus, Co-Director of Chabad of South Broward, Rabbi Mendy Tennenhaus, Chabad's Director of Development and Mrs Chanie Lebovics, Seminary Director of Curriculum.The father of Mrs Lebovics, Rabbi Aron Lieberman, Shliach in Ft Lauderdale, was the first Shliach to know and have influence on the Congresswoman. Mrs Debbie Wasserman Schultz is never shy to say that she was "Rabbi Lieberman's driver" in Tallahassee, when she worked for Peter Deutsch, who then (in the late 1980's) was a government leader in the State of Florida before becoming a US Congressman. Rabbi Lieberman studied Torah with Peter Deutsch, and often delivered invocations in the State Capitol.
After posing for a group picture, the Congresswoman was given a tour by Rabbi and Mrs Tennenhaus, and Rabbi Schwartz, of the state of the art Mikvahs in Hallandale Beach. These are the only Mikvahs in the Southeastern United States built for the physically challenged.The tour left a deep impression on the Congresswoman, who expressed an interest in making a visit to the Chaya Aydel Seminary an annual event.
For more information on the Chaya Aydel seminary, please visit Chayaaydelsem.com.