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Moshe Klein, 26
JEWISH COMMUNITY36 Under 36 2020

Moshe Klein, 26

Empowering the Chasidic Community

What you do:

I work as a curriculum adviser for general studies at several chassidish boys’ schools in the tri-state area. As a 2019 UJA-Federation Shapiro Fellow, a year for 14 young leaders to study about Israel and do a summer trip to Israel, I spent time with people who are totally different than me. I learned about the life and challenges of non-chasidic American Jews. I am a young leadership member at the American Israel Friendship League and B’nai Zion. Within the chasidic community, I serve as the spokesperson to Jewish and international press for large gatherings and communal events.

Unexpected fun fact:

I have traveled to several Arab countries, leading High Holy Days services. I have been to Tunisia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

How you got here:

I grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and attended Satmar boys’ school. At age 18, I went to study in Israel and later on worked with Jews of all walks of life. Eventually, I was introduced to many of Israel’s decision-makers and political leaders. When I returned to America, I didn’t plan on going into education but there was a need so I took the initiative. Thank God, a lot has been accomplished.

First, I have been able to share the beauty and values of authentic chasidic life with Modern Orthodox educational establishments, Sunday Schools, colleges and to provide a forum of discussion wherever necessary.

Secondly, by advocating for the young leadership in the chasidic community to have a voice and presence at larger Jewish organizations like UJA-Federation, AJC, World Jewish Congress, etc. on decisions affecting the ultra-Orthodox world, as well as church-state issues in Israel. The chasidic community has grown exponentially, and is today the fastest-growing Jewish sector in the United States and Israel. Therefore, we work to strengthen foreign governmental relations with the chasidic community.

And finally, by improving the existing arrangement of how general studies education is imparted and maximizing the time spent to the utmost capacity for the most gainful results. 

Best advice you received:

The best advice, from Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was to “always focus on my mission.”

What Jewish source, person, book, etc., has inspired your work?

Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, of blessed memory, the Satmar rabbi who, against all odds, re-established chasidus in America from scratch after the Holocaust.

Eli Beer of United Hatzolah inspired me in how he built an empire of true chesed (kindness) despite tremendous opposition from powerful forces in Israel.

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