NCSY TO HONOR RIVKAH AND RABBI ZEV LEFF, OF MOSHAV MATITYAHU IN ISRAEL, WITH EZRA BEN-ZION LIGHTMAN MEMORIAL AWARD AT BEN ZAKKAI HONOR SOCIETY RECEPTION IN NY, JANUARY 30
NCSY | Jewish Youth Leadership, the international youth movement of the Orthodox Union, will honor Rivkah and Rabbi Zev Leff, of Moshav Matityahu in Israel, with the Ezra Ben-Zion Lightman Memorial Award at its Ben Zakkai Honor Society (BZHS) Annual Scholarship Reception, Sunday, January 30 in New York.
At the reception, the OU will also pay tribute to the remarkable legacy of Dr. Bernard Lander z”l, the founder and for 40 years, president of Touro College. Dr. Lander died on February 8, 2010 at the age of 94.
BZHS is an alumni “Hall of Fame” whose new members are nominated by, and voted on, by its current members based on the nominees’ service to NCSY and the Jewish community. The Society’s main function is to raise funds for scholarships for high school NCSYers for summer programs in North America and Israel and for teens to continue their Jewish education after high school. The Society has helped pay tribute for more than forty years to esteemed NCSY alumni and community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to Torah and their service to the Jewish people – now including the Leffs.
NCSY Founding Events were held in May of 1961 in both the Catskills and Miami. Four teenagers who attended have met, married, and stayed involved with NCSY for fifty consecutive years: Rabbi Zev and Rivkah Leff, along with Dr. David and Vivian Luchins (who will also be honored with the Sarah Rivkah and Dr. Bernard Lander Memorial Award).
Rivkah Minkoff, daughter of Josephine and Murray Minkoff of Ellenville, New York served with distinction as an NCSY Chapter, Regional and National Vice President. She was the first NCSYer to leave public school to attend a Bais Yaakov High School in New York City for her senior year of high school.
Rabbi Zev Leff was a founding member of Miami chapter and chapter President in 1964-65. A budding Talmud Chacham, he was the first NCSYer to ever make a siyyum (celebration of finishing a study of a Jewish text) at an NCSY National Convention while still in high school. Zev continued after high school at the famed Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland.
With his Rosh Yeshiva’s blessings, he attended NCSY events as an advisor. It was at one such event where a childhood friend suggested Rivkah, an outstanding female advisor, as an appropriate shidduch.
After being at Telshe for eight years the Leffs moved to Florida, where Rabbi Leff served as Rav at the Young Israel of North Miami Beach before making aliyah. In 1984, he became Rav of Moshav Matitayhu and founding Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Matityahu. Rabbi Leff, a sought-after speaker throughout the Jewish world, and Rivkah, have been regulars at NCSY events since their marriage, and at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem since their aliyah.
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