Shlomo Fuchs was headed back for a second year at a yeshiva in Israel when fate intervened. Rabbi Levi Goldstein asked him to drive his family up to the Catskills one Friday afternoon. Rabbi Goldstein suggested he could stay for Shabbos at the Shaloh Center – Hadar Hatorah’s summer center of learning – and learn a little bit.
“The Shaloh Center was beautiful and relaxing and I remember that Rabbi [Yaakov] Goldberg spoke during that Shabbos and explained Torah topics so clearly, with simplicity, understanding and tremendous depth. I wasn’t familiar with Chassidus, but I was completely drawn to it.”
Shlomo is 23 and grew up in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, in a warm, close-knit family environment … very respectful of Yiddishkeit but “not-so-Torahdik”. He went to Indiana University where he graduated from the school of business in 2012. “In my pursuits I stumbled across a rabbi. He had a nice family, a nice house and was a nice, happy person. He taught me Torah” said Fuchs, “And I found the Torah interesting. It gave me clarity in my life and it gave me the strength to do things I needed to do but could not on my own.”
Shlomo knew during college that after he received his diploma he would go to yeshiva. This is when he went to Israel. A year later, after Shlomo’s introduction to Hadar Hatorah in the Catskills, he changed directions and enrolled at Hadar Hatorah. He was also encouraged by fellow Roslyn-ite Rabbi Shaul Calmensen who is a Hadar Hatorah alumnus.
“I have been here for the last year and it has been a great experience and a great education. The rabbis are so accessible and I am learning the tools to be a successful person and a successful Jew.” he said. “Chabad was always around my journey, but I did not make the connection until I came to Hadar Hatorah and started learning Tanya and different works of Chassidus. I decided I wanted to continue to learn here.”
Besides learning, Shlomo goes on Release Time on Wednesdays, does outreach Friday afternoons and still manages to go home to Roselyn Heights when he can, and inspire Jews there. “Lag B’Omer was great! Being involved with the parade in Roslyn was completely awesome.”
What is next? “Learning for now,” said Shlomo, as Hadar Hatorah prepares to move up to the Catskills this summer. “The camp is a beautiful place to learn for the summer, and I am looking forward to it.”
For more information about Hadar Hatorah’s upcoming summer program at the Shaloh Center, please call 718-735-0250 or go to www.hadarhatorah.org.