Mayor Adams Notes Abundance of Jewish Organizations, which Rabbi Kalish says Shows, “We Care”

Mayor Adams Notes Abundance of Jewish Organizations, which Rabbi Kalish says Shows, “We Care”

By Yehudit Garmaise

Chevra Hatzalah CEO Yechiel Kalish was recently riding in a car with Mayor Adams as they talked about the activism of the Jewish community.

“As the mayor was getting out of the car, he looked at me, and he said, ‘You know, you guys have a lot of organizations,” Kalish told Nachi Gordon and Momo Bauman, the hosts of the popular Meaningful People Podcast. 

“And then he stopped, he paused, and said: ‘Your organizations have organizations.’”

“What that means is that K’lal Yisroel cares about each other,” said Kalish, who also sings as chazzan at his Chicago shul. 

“How many gemachs do we find in Lakewood [and elsewhere]? 

“We care. The fact that we have so many organizations, is a positive thing.” 

Mayor Adams’ insight into K’lal Yisroel came about as Rabbi Kalish explained how Jews’ advocacy for themselves in government “did not exist in the history of American Jewry” until 1941, when Rabbi Moshe Sherer took the helm of Agudah Israel, and made it into a force with which to be reckoned.

“Rabbi Sherer created the image that K’lal Yisroel is one heart that is beating, and there is an Agudah, and we are all together, and he developed this program that brought thousands of people together,” said Rabbi Kalish, who serves on the Agudah’s board of trustees.

When Rabbi Sherer passed away in 1998, a huge void was left in K’lal Yisroel, but “now we see all these other advocacy organizations starting to pop up,” Rabbi Kalish pointed out.

“The OU has a great role that they play, and a bunch of the Chassidishe groups have decided to professionalize themselves and really take it to the next level in terms of their own advocacy, which I think is a very positive thing because that is a voice that previously wasn’t heard.”

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