Jul 25, 2013
Sami Rohr's Unfulfilled Dream
Philanthropist George Rohr founded a new initiative that will act upon an unfulfilled plan of his late father, Sami Rohr OBM.
By COLlive reporter
Philanthropist Mr. Sami Rohr OBM, one of the largest supporters of the Chabad movement in recent history, has planned before his passing to give a second keynote address to the gala banquet of the International Kinus Hashluchim.
Rohr, a renaissance man who catalyzed Jewish revival worldwide, was hoping to surpass his previous speech in 2008 to the esteemed gathering of Chabad Shluchim and their supporters.
And while the target date was the 2016 convention, Rohr began to jot down ideas and talking points. One of them were the known words to a niggun in Yiddish, demonstrating both his knowledge and love to Chassidism.
"Esen est zich, trinken trinkt zich, uber vos zol men ton az es lernt zich nisht," he wrote down the words of a chossid bemoaning his failure at not having felt sufficient emotion and inspiration in prayer and study of Torah.
But the closing section of the song ends in the hope to be able to approach the divine radiance of Hashem and his Torah - and so is what happening with Rohr's unfulfilled plan.
During the recent JLI's annual conference, his son George Rohr announced the launch of Machon Shmuel: The Sami Rohr Research Institute honoring his beloved father, whose first yahrtzeit is on the 17th of Av.
Under the auspices of JLI, the Institute has already begun serving dozens of shluchim worldwide with the experienced Torah scholarship of a dedicated team, providing thorough background research and comprehensive sources covering practically every topic in Torah literature.
"My father believed, not only in investing in Torah learning, but in those who learn in order to teach, and he cared deeply about shluchim learning," said George Rohr.
Directing it is Rabbi Avrohom Bergstein, himself a shliach to Fair Lawn, NJ. He is joined by Rabbi Yehudah Altein as a research fellow.
"Between fundraising for a new building, delivering a weekly shiur, or finding sponsors for the Shabbos kidush, shluchim are constantly pressed for time," he explained.
"Machon Shmuel aims to relieve some of the pressure from the shliach's workload by assisting him in preparing quality material for a shiur, sermon, or answers to a pressing question that comes his way," Bergstein added.
A number of contributing scholars have been enlisted to support the expanding needs of Machon Shmuel including Rabbi Moshe Miller, Rabbi Yossi Yaffe and Rabbi Moshe Lieberman.
Earlier this year, a select group of shluchim were chosen to pilot the program before its release.
One of them was Rabbi Moshe Bryski, director of Chabad of the Conejo and the highly successful Conejo Jewish Academy, who refers to Machon Shmuel as "a dream come true for those who devote much time to adult education."
"It gives you access to the brilliance of a team of scholars who are there to help you research material and answer your questions in a most professional and detailed manner," Rabbi Bryski said.
The hope is that Sami Rohr will be back with the coming of Moshiach well before his planned 2016 Kinus Hashluchim, his message and gift is already being put into play, allowing Shluchim to use tremendous Torah resources to pass on to others.
Fore more, visit machonshmuel.com