About Agudath Israel
Since its founding on a global scale in 1913 in Kotowicz, Poland, Agudath Israel has united a diverse cross section of leading Orthodox rabbis, activists, philanthropists and everyday community members. The organization has earned unrivaled respect on the streets of Jewish communities, and in the halls of governments and embassies, around the world – serving as an invaluable force in rescuing Jewish lives during the Holocaust and leading our community’s historic renaissance thereafter.
Agudath Israel of America was founded in 1922 to serve as Orthodox Jewry’s umbrella organization on our continent – where the majority of Jews in the Diaspora are proud to call home – acting as a voice, guiding light and helping hand for our community’s material and spirit.
Over the past decades, Agudath Israel of America has proudly carried this torch with the guidance and intimate involvement of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America, a council of leading Torah sages. Agudath Israel of America is keenly attuned to the American Jewish community’s challenges and triumphs, and has helped our communities grow, thrive and advance through changing times.
Since day one, Agudath Israel of America has stayed true to its key goals, including:
- Strengthening Jewish communities
- Strengthening religious education and Torah learning for adults
- Government and legal advocacy
- Comprehensive community based social services
- Inspiring Jewish youth
The imprint left by the late Reb Yisroel Lefkowitz z”l, a veteran Agudath Israel of America activist, upon our organization is broad and indelible. Chief among them was his realization that the key to our successful continuity is the involvement and motivation of the younger generations. “Where are the young people?”, was his legendary clarion call at meetings.
Founded in Reb Yisroel’s memory in 2012, the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative (LLI) has injected a distinct level of youth and vibrancy into Agudath Israel of America – helping all of American Jewry look forward to an even brighter tomorrow.
Our communities’ young adults and their offspring are now more engaged than ever in the breadth of Agudath Israel of America’s activities, as well as the overall needs of their local communities and world Jewry. They have been integrated into all major Agudath Israel of America activities and have a “seat at the table” in the planning of major events and missions. Perhaps most importantly, LLI activists have helped Agudath Israel of America innovate – and better communicate and tailor its activities – in accordance with the unique needs and lifestyle of younger community members.
During the short years since its inception, LLI has heavily influenced the face of the spectrum of Agudath Israel of America programs. Some of the new Agudath Israel of America programs that have come as a direct result of LLI include shalom bayis and parenting workshops, programs to encourage children to contribute to their communities, and various government advocacy endeavors.