Andrew Friedman, president of Congregation Bais Naftoli, recently greeted Rav Chaim Halpern, rosh yeshiva of Ohr Yosef Novardik in France. The rosh yeshiva, a guest speaker at the shul, delivered an inspiring dvar Torah, emphasizing the importance of human rights as a basic tenet of Judaism. He explained that even a slave must be given respect – as enumerated in parshas Mishpatim.
Reb Chaim, as he is affectionately called, spent five years of anguish in 14 concentration camps, including the infamous Majdanek and Bergen-Belsen camps. Today, 65 years later, he has a giant network of chinuch, which includes over 40 primary and high schools, as well as colleges for higher education for both boys and girls – numbering over 6,000 students.