By COLlive reporter
Photos by Baruch Schwartz Photography
When attorney Naphtali Perlberger was asked to be the Guest of Honor at the annual Melave Malka benefit of the Chaya Mushka G’Milus Chesed Fund of Lubavitch of Philadelphia, he didn’t have trouble deciding.
In a phone conversation with Rabbi Zalman Lipsker, the Chabad Shliach who runs the organization, Perlberger said the timing of the event supporting interest-free loans to the Jewish community was a clear message.
Perlberger remembered that he met Rabbi Lipsker exactly 18 years ago and is currently marking his 18th anniversary with his wife, Hanna Perlberger both of whom run Perlberger Law Associates in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
Then, he pointed out that this event was the 41st Melave Malka. It was at the age of 41 that he began reconnecting with his Jewish roots. And finally, the event was being held on Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Teruma, which speaks about charitable donations.
Perlberger, cited as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” and President of Kosloff Torah Academy High School for Girls in the Main Line, said he was impressed that through the free loans given by the G’mach “not only were people helped, but they also found their way to Yiddishkeit.”
It’s an accomplishment Rabbi Lipsker is most proud of and perhaps an explanation how 150 people showed up for the event at the Lubavitcher Center in Philadelphia despite a heavy blizzard.
“When people see how Jewish people lend money to each other without interest, it is very impressive,” says Rabbi Lipsker, who is also the Director of Vaada Ledovrei Ivrit Chabad, active with local Hebrew speakers.
The emcee was attorney Gerald Pomerantz and the main speaker was Rabbi Menachem Shmidt, Shliach in Center City Philadelphia, both of them friends of Mr. and Mrs. Perlberger.
The event opened with the reading of the Rebbe’s letter to the organization by Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, Philadelphia’s Head Shliach and a founding member of the Gmach.
Mrs. Feiga Lipsker and Mrs. Leah Bar were thanked for organizing the event and their year-round dedication to the Gemach which is named after Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson OBM. It typically provides individual loans of up to $1,500.