web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Leader For Difficult Times


The night of December 8, 2008, was exceptionally cold, but those who attended a special reception for Sam Domb at Abigael’s on Broadway in Manhattan felt only the warmth of this indefatigable man’s love for the Jewish people.

Sam Domb, a survivor of the Shoah, has established for himself a unique reputation in many areas. Starting out as a dishwasher when he arrived in the United States from Israel, he eventually became the owner of a hotel chain in New York. In the process, he befriended many local and national political leaders and became a confidante to numerous Israeli prime ministers who sought his advice and support.

But Sam Domb was never blinded by wealth or success. He felt the responsibility to help those less fortunate, distributing millions of dollars to the poor and needy in America, Israel and Jewish communities throughout the world.

In fact, his charity is not limited to Jews – he was one of the first to sponsor a fundraiser for the victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka. He has gained acclaim for refurbishing synagogues, including the West Side Institutional Synagogue, the Carlebach Shul, Congregation Ohav Shalom and Congregation Ramath Orah, and has helped other houses of worship throughout the city, fixing their boilers, repairing their roofs and providing other necessary repairs.

But Sam Domb’s real passion is Jewish education. He believes he was fortunate enough to be connected to rabbis and teachers who influenced him and his late wife, Sara, to send their children to day schools, and that has made all the difference. In gratitude to the synagogue that gave his family its start, Sam Domb and his family dedicated the main sanctuary and the youth building at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates. As a result of his own family’s experience, the gift of Jewish education has become the gift he wishes to share with all Jews to make certain that no Jewish child will ever be turned away.

Those who were fortunate enough to attend the reception at Abigael’s on that icy cold night witnessed one of the great moments of charitable giving. A longtime resident of the Upper West Side, Sam Domb feels a special obligation to the neighborhood’s Jewish schools. In an extraordinary act of philanthropy, he distributed checks of $100,000 each to the Manhattan Day School, Yeshiva Ketana of Manhattan and Manhattan Hebrew High School for Girls.

Also included in his generosity were the National Jewish Outreach Program and Yeshiva Ohel Moshe of Brooklyn, which thanks to Sam Domb has been able to accommodate dozens of children who previously attended public schools.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, saluted Sam Domb, saying: “Virtually everyone has been hurt by the economic downturn. There are those who legitimately cannot give and others who find this a convenient cover for not giving. Mr. Domb, by increasing his commitments, has set an admirable standard for others to emulate. I hope others will follow and I hope that institutions and organizations that provide vital services will continue to be able to function and meet the increasing demands placed on them. His generous response to the challenge of the moment is exemplary.”

Elliot Gibber, chairman of Manhattan Day School, praised Sam Domb as “a rodeph tzedakah v’chesed, a man who pursues righteousness and lovingkindness, always searching for ways to help others.”

The Manhattan Day School, he announced, will be dedicating its new aron kodesh in honor of Sam Domb.

“Sam acts with full faith in Hashem in continuing to support Jewish education, knowing that tzedakah is the engine that will enable our businesses to prosper and flourish,” said Harry Skydell, president of Yeshiva Ketana of Manhattan.

In my own remarks, I noted that “For Mr. Sam Domb, the secret source of the vitality of the Jewish people has always been the bet midrash, Jewish education. There is no one I know who has gone as far as Mr. Domb to ensure a vibrant Jewish future through education.”

Sam Domb offered a moving response to the tributes in his honor, urging all present to speak up for Israel and the Jewish people as he personally spoke up when he met President Mubarak of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan. He asked those present not to thank him but to rather do acts of kindness to help others. He emphasized that, especially in these hard economic times, it was very important for him to continue his philanthropic giving, and urged all those in a similar position to give as well.

Shea Schwebel, chairman of the board of Yeshiva Ketana of Manhattan, spoke for all who know Sam Domb when he praised what he called “Sam’s consistent and overwhelming generosity to Jewish education, and by the impact he has on his friends’ giving.”

“Sam,” he concluded, “is truly a leader for our times.”

About the Author: Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald is director of the National Jewish Outreach Program.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Leader For Difficult Times”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers seen praying in the compound of Joseph's Tomb in the Samaria city of Nablus early in November 2009.  Believed to be the final resting place of the Biblical patriach, Joseph's Tomb has seen fierce Israeli-Palestinian. (FILE)
Arab Terrorists Attempt to Torch Joseph’s Tomb
Latest Indepth Stories
Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

More Articles from Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald
Rabbi Efraim Buchwald

Set limits! Limits must be established and must be enforced – one may not follow the desires of one’s heart and one’s eyes.

Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald

With all the well-earned accolades and fanfare that surrounded last week’s monumental Siyum HaShas, one would expect to find numerous direct references in the Torah mandating the study of Torah. It therefore comes as a great surprise that there is not one direct statement in the Torah commanding its study.

The night of December 8, 2008, was exceptionally cold, but those who attended a special reception for Sam Domb at Abigael’s on Broadway in Manhattan felt only the warmth of this indefatigable man’s love for the Jewish people.

It seems everyone is in a mighty tizzy about young Jews who fail to identify with Israel and don’t much care to visit there. How do we inspire these young folks to develop some feelings for the Holy Land, and attract them to visit Israel?

The whole world seemed to be celebrating the composer Steve Reich’s 70th birthday in October (October 3, to be precise). The New York Times ranked him “among the greatest composers of the century.” The New Yorke rsaid he was”the most original musical thinker of our time.” The Village Voice declared him “America’s greatest living composer.” The Guardian (London) summed it all up by stating, “There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history, and Steve Reich is one of them.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-leader-for-difficult-times/2009/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: