The energy was palpable and the enthusiasm tangible.
What greeted a delegation of Agudas Yisroel representatives who traveled to the Windy City to strategize and discuss preparations for the upcoming 13th Global Siyum HaShas of Daf Yomi, which will take place on January 1, 2020 at MetLife Stadium, was nothing short of invigorating.
“Wherever I go, the one thing on everybody’s mind is The Siyum,” Shlomo Werdiger, Chairman of Agudath Israel of America’s Board of Trustees, told attendees at The Chicago Siyum Event, held on Tuesday, June 25, at the home of Dudi Berkowitz.
The exclusive gathering served as an opportunity for the Agudah to present plans for upcoming global and local Siyum events.
The visit was, at the time, the latest stop for the delegation of Agudas Yisroel representatives, who had previously visited Mexico, Panama, France, and Belgium to invite the members of those communities to The Siyum. The visit to the Midwest has since been followed up by a trip to Argentina for the same purpose: to build momentum and grow Siyum-related Torah initiatives ahead of the big day.
Joining the Agudah chairman in Chicago were Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America; Rabbi Naftali Miller, Agudath Israel’s National Director of Development, and Rabbi Shai Markowitz, director of the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative at Agudath Israel of America and director of the Chavrei HaSiyum initiative.
Opening remarks were delivered by Chicago askan R’ Moshe Davis, who introduced Mr. Werdiger.
Mr. Werdiger extolled the activism of the locals, stating that he always returns to New York amazed by what an outstanding community Chicago is. He reminisced about his involvement in the previous Siyum and mentioned Agudas Yisroel’s recent visits to Mexico, Panama, France and Belgium to invite members of those communities to The Siyum and inform them of Torah study initiatives launched by the Agudah.
Rabbi Markowitz then addressed the topic of the actual Siyum, discussing plans to take this monumental gathering and make it a week-long limud haTorah event. Plans include various pre-Siyum yarchei kallahs, with guest rabbonim from across the world participating and giving shiurim.
Chicago Siyum Event attendees were enthused to hear about the extensive Siyum preparations and plans, expressing interest in learning more.
R’ Moshe Davis opened the floor to comments from the attendees, discussing, among other things, plans for Chicagoans to make the trip to the East Coast to participate in The Siyum at MetLife Stadium.
The Siyum Event was utilized to highlight the three major learning initiatives that have been undertaken by Agudas Yisroel to increase limud haTorah before and after the Siyum HaShas: The Daf Yomi Chaburah program, Chavrei HaSiyum, and Masmidei HaSiyum.
“After all is said and done, that is what The Siyum is all about – increasing the learning of Torah,” remarked Rabbi Naftali Miller. “It is for this reason that the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah have encouraged us to expand Torah learning in this fashion. As we meet leaders and members of frum communities across the country and beyond, that is the message we are bringing to them as The Siyum draws near.”