The NCFJE has announced that at its 70th Anniversary Dinner, which will take place November 21, 2010, and will also commemorate the 20th year since the passing of Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, they have chosen to present the coveted Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht Memorial Award to Rabbi Binyomin Klein and to his wife Rebbetzin Leah Klein.
Rabbi Klein worked very closely with Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht during his lifetime and very often was the intermediary through whom the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, would communicate with Rabbi Hecht or would send his directives for many educational and communal programs to Rabbi Hecht.
Rabbi Klein served for close to 30 years as a member of the Secretariat of the Lubavitcher Rebbe under the leadership of the famed Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Aizik Hodakov, who served as the Rebbe’s chief of staff for more than half a century. In his role as secretary to the Rebbe, Rabbi Klein’s life was devoted day and night, hour after hour, to serve directly the needs of the Rebbe, and in a sense, to serve the world Jewish community. Because the Rebbe’s schedule of meetings and appointments often went through the night and because his Farbrengens often lasted until the wee hours of the morning in his role as secretary, Rabbi Klein devoted literally day and night to his duties and truly sacrificed much to fulfill his responsibilities to the Rebbe and to the Jewish community.
Because of his friendly manner and thoughtful sense of humor, Rabbi Klein befriended and was seen as a friend by tens of thousands of Chassidim who turned to the Rebbe for advice and guidance. Very often Rabbi Klein was the one who brought the Rebbe’s directives and responses to people who had sought his blessing or advice and it was with his understanding and gentle insights that he helped many people to properly relate to the directives which the Rebbe had given them.
After the passing of the Rebbe, people turned to Rabbi Klein and asked him who he could say most frequently received special responses from the Rebbe. Rabbi Klein replied, “That was Rabbi Yaakov Yehuda Hecht. He received answers to his letters and requests, daily and sometimes even more than one time a day.”
Rabbi Klein suggested that his opinion the Rebbe answered Rabbi Hecht “Because he was the only person who immediately put the Rebbe’s answers into action and so, he was the one who always got answers from the Rebbe.”
Rebbetzin Leah Klein worked closely with Rabbi Hecht and Rebbetzin Hecht for many years on such projects as the Machon Chana Women’s Seminary and she has served as a spiritual guide and Mashpia to many women around the globe. It is with profound sense of recognition that this prestigious honor is being bestowed on Rabbi Binyomin and Rebbetzin Klein on the 21st of November, 2010.
At the Dinner there will also be a Siyum Sefer Torah, the completion of the writing of the memorial Sefer Torah for Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, of blessed memory.