This volume presents an all-encompassing account of how Torah was transplanted to these shores, with particular emphasis on the era before and during World War II. A premise of this book is that the vast majority of those individuals responsible for the development of Torah in America were those who survived the Holocaust. This is a book of courage, self-sacrifice, determination and hope. It is the story of the architects, pioneers and vanguards of Torah who built lives, communities and institutions. Great care has been taken not to rewrite history but to ratify history, by remaining true to the facts.
The volume is divided into several sections:
- The spiritual landscape of America in the first half of the 20th century, and the structuring of Orthodoxy detailing the vital contributions of the three major Orthodox Jewish organizations--the Orthodox Union, Young Israel and Zeirei Agudah.
- The development of Torah education in America--yeshivos, girls' schools, Torah Umesorah and the nascent Day School movement.
- In-depth cahpter on the Vaad Hatzala and its notable accomplishments.
- Biographical vignettes of those rabbinic and lay leaders--many of them Holocaust survivors--who were the foremost advocates in transmitting the legacy and building Torah in America.
- Three first-person accounts of Torah pioneers in America in the 1940's, who, each in his own way, was instrumental in developing Jewish communities and Torah education in America. These trailblazers include a pulpit rabbi, a Torah Umesorah pioneer and one of the first flagship Day School principals.
- The vanguards of Torah in America were the primary lay leaders and champions for Orthodoxy and Torah education of their generation. These men demonstrated by thought and deed that no sacrifice was too great if it was on behalf of their people. Their knowledge, self-sacrifice and unfailing dedication enabled Torah life and Torah institutions to be built in America.
- This book is replete with extensive pictures, many of which have never been published before.
This volume will forever impact on the hearts and minds of its readers. It will offer them new insights into the challenges confronting our people in the first half of the 20th century and help them develop a deeper appreciation of the Holocaust survivors.