Zeldin’s Promise to Protect Yeshivos Echoes Heroic Activism of his Namesake

Zeldin’s Promise to Protect Yeshivos Echoes Heroic Activism of his Namesake

By: Yitzy Fried

Unbeknownst to many, New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin’s Jewish name is Moshe—named for his elter zeide, R’ Moshe Ephraim Zeldin who passed away in 1976, four years prior to his birth.

Like so many immigrants who fled the poverty, the hunger, and the persecution that was their lot in Russia, Morris (Moshe Ephraim) settled in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Unlike most immigrants, he launched right into the work of assisting his brethren in America and in what was them known as the British Mandate of Palestine.

His name appears in many places in relation to his Jewish activism, but perhaps most important is his association with the Rebbe, the Rayatz of Lubavitch, whom he came to visit upon his first visit in America in 1929, and to whom the Rebbe writes from Riga, Latvia, one decade later, thanking him for his generosity and advocacy for the cause of yeshiva education in America at a time when it was in its infancy.

Five generations of Zeldin’s have now made the United States their home, and yeshiva education in New York is once again in need of advocacy and assistance. If the words of Moshe Aaron Zeldin’s great-grandson are to be believed, he will continue in the tradition of his illustrious namesake, standing strong beside the yeshivos of New York nearly one century later.

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