Rabbi Shlomo Eisenberger

Rabbi Shlomo Eisenberger, who will retire in June as rosh yeshiva of Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe, will be honored at the rabbinical college’s 72nd annual dinner May 20 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

A reception begins at 6:30 p.m., with the dinner to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Aharon Dovid Goldberg, who has shared the title of rosh yeshiva with Eisenberger the past two years, will speak about his goals for the college. Goldberg will assume sole leadership with the retirement of Eisenberger, who will also speak.

The program, titled “The Vision Takes Root,” also pays tribute to the Telshe Yeshiva class of 1963.

Eisenberger, who came to Telshe Yeshiva as a teacher in 1969, has been its rosh yeshiva for about 10 years. He was one of the first American-born rabbis to teach at the yeshiva, said Rabbi Zvi Belsky, the college’s executive vice president.

“He had tremendous youthfulness and a sense of commitment to the students, and the students quickly gravitated toward him,” Belsky said. “He’s just a very friendly type of person, very warm and very caring, and he connected with the students very much. Many of his students still keep up with him, which is a tribute to him.”

Belsky said the yeshiva is expecting about 800 people at the event, originally scheduled to be at Young Israel of Greater Cleveland in Beachwood. But there is not enough seating there to accommodate such a large crowd, so it was moved downtown, Belsky said.

“We’ve been getting calls from alumni in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Lakewood, N.J., Monsey (N.Y.), Toronto and Miami Beach, Fla.,” he said. “People want to come because they feel very close to Rabbi Eisenberger.

“His students have invited him to their own weddings and their children’s weddings. They have a lifelong connection with him. People rely on him for advice and counsel and feel he is very deserving of appreciation, and they want to be part of it.”

Belsky praised Robert “Mendy” Klein for his work as campaign chairman for the event.

“He is a well-known philanthropist in the Cleveland area, as well as for Jewish causes around the world,” he said. “We are honored and fortunate to have someone of Mendy’s caliber leading the charge to support Telshe.”

Although Telshe Yeshiva is a renowned Orthodox institution for Talmud and Torah study, it’s not “a prep school for rabbis,” Belsky said.

“The yeshiva believes the Jewish people are a nation of scholars,” he said. “We believe all Jewish people in our community (regardless of profession) should create a foundation in their lives for a high level of learning, which they can continue as an important part of their life as long as they live. Telshe Yeshiva wants to make itself available to the broader Jewish community through different programs.”

ewittenberg@cjn.org

WHAT: An appreciation of Rabbi Shlomo Eisenberger, who is retiring as rosh yeshiva at Telshe Yeshiva, at the college’s 72nd annual dinner

WHEN: May 20 at 7:30 p.m. Reception at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, 24 Public Square, Cleveland

COST: $180 per couple

INFO: Reservations are required. RSVP by May 16 to dinner@telsheyeshiva.org or call 440-943-5300.

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