Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Most Powerful Man in Lakewood

Lakewood's Bais Medrash Govoha Celebrates 75 years

VIN News - Lakewood, NJ - In a two part series highlighting Beth Medrash Govoha’s role in the explosion of Jewish growth that has transformed Lakewood in recent years, the Asbury Park Press profiles yeshiva president Rabbi Aaron Kotler and his multi-pronged efforts on behalf of the school and the Jewish community, both in and out of the township.

Bearing the name of his grandfather who founded Beth Medrash Govoha, Rabbi Kotler joined the school’s administration in 1996, reluctantly stepping in to help breathe life into the 53 year old yeshiva which was struggling financially.

After putting the yeshiva back in the black, Rabbi Kotler used those same reservoirs of business sense, charisma and sheer determination to grow Beth Medrash Govoha, a move that brought massive change to the township’s infrastructure in order to accommodate Lakewood’s ever-increasing population.

Dubbed “Lakewood’s other mayor” by the Asbury Park Press, Rabbi Kotler’s fingerprints can be seen throughout the town, focusing his efforts on the needs of the yeshiva community including Pell grants, transportation funding and educational policy.  In addition to lobbying legislators in Trenton on behalf of the township’s Jewish community, Rabbi Kotler also travels to Washington D.C. to advocate for residents’ needs, a move has yielded benefits to Orthodox Jews beyond Lakewood.

Praising the Asbury Park Press for its coverage, Rabbi Kotler stressed the value of giving the general population an opportunity to better understand “the immense and profound beauty of our traditional way of life, flaws and all.”

“Reporters have a difficult job in trying to get a story right, especially with tight timelines and fast news cycles,” Rabbi Kotler told VIN News. “The APP often shines a tough spotlight on local challenges; I am appreciative that they work equally hard on giving our community the ability to speak up.”

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