YU Torah Mitzion Kollel’s 11th Annual Banquet: Growing Beyond Imagination


On Sunday evening, over 450 people from across Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods gathered at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare to celebrate the second decade of the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel’s Torah leadership and growth in the Chicago community.  The evening opened with a shiur given by Kollel alumnus and current Associate Rabbi of Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst, Rabbi Ya’akov Trump, who was introduced by fellow alumnus and Hillel Torah Rebbe, Rabbi Yoni Gold. The dinner focused on the growth of the Kollel, expanding beyond imagination over the past decade, Baruch Hashem, and the contributions of outstanding Kollel lay leaders, Jeremy and Rebecca Amster, whose award was presented by Rabbi Eli Samber, Arie Crown Principal, and Larry and Jaime Leonard, whose award was presented by Lennie and Jessica Weiss, past Kollel and NILI presidents. Recognized as leaders in multiple community organizations including Arie Crown and The ARK, their involvement in the Kollel is a testament to the central role the Kollel plays in our community, which was a theme of Rabbi Samber’s words.  The evening also recognized Kollel alumni Rabbi Mordecai and Atara Turoff for their ongoing contributions to our community. As one of thirteen families who have settled in Chicago following their term in the Kollel, they have continued to contribute in many ways. Rabbi Turoff delivers shiurim regularly in the community and Atara serves as a kallah teacher staffing NILI’s Taharat Hamishpacha hotline. Fellow Kollel alumnus Rabbi Aaron Leibtag, Rabbi of KJBS, presented the Turoffs with their award. Rabbi Reuven Brand, the Rosh Kollel, delivered the keynote message focusing on the ability of the Kollel to enable members of the community to want more and do more in bringing Hashem into their lives. The event was led by Kollel executive director Rabbi Yaakov Frankiel and a remarkable team of lay leaders who created a magnificent ambiance and delicious meal.  Dinner was followed by a dessert buffet, which included a “Torah in Action” museum display, enabling participants to experience some of the Kollel’s experiential Torah programs including checking for Shatnez with a microscope and an “Escape the Room” Mesorah mystery, in addition to written take-home Divrei Torah on Massechet Temurah and Hilchot Mikvaot, which the Kollel is learning this year. With this remarkable success, the Kollel looks forward to continued growth together with the Chicago Jewish Community.



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