User:Rachack/Zvi Block

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zvi (Hirsch) Block (born: March 12, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York), is an Orthodox rabbi in Los Angeles, California.

His father, Rabbi Morris J. Block had an education from Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin. He founded the Brooklyn School for Special Children.

He studied at the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn and Jerusalem. He was ordained by Rabbi Yechezkel Sarna of the Slabodka Yeshiva in Hebron. He also holds a MA in Education from Loyola Marymount University. Additionally, he attended Telz Yeshiva in Chicago for high school, and considers himself a student of Rabbi Elozor Levy of Telz, Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Goldstein of the Diaspora Yeshiva, and Rabbi Noach Weinberg, who later founded Aish HaTorah.

After learning for many years in Israel, Rabbi Zvi Block returned to the United States where he settled in North Hollywood and served as a faculty member for Emek Hebrew Academy Elementary School and Rambam Torah High School. He later served as principal of B’nai David-Judea Hebrew School, and director of student affairs at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon under the leadership of Rabbi Simcha Wasserman. Rabbi Block was also a "chapter" director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), where he began his career in Jewish outreach to potential baalei teshuva. In most recent years he served as educational director at West Valley Hebrew Academy in Woodland Hills.

In 1976, Rabbi Block founded the Aish Hatorah College of Jewish Studies in North Hollywood; the first outreach center of its kind in the western United States. In organizing the college program, he planned a structured educational program designed for young Jewish adults – primarily of college age – with little or no formal Judaic background. The outreach program has reached close to 6,000 students in almost 15 years. The Israel Academic Fellowship Program has sent over 1,000 students to Israel to continue their studies in yeshivas.

The first building of the Aish Hatorah Institute was caught in an anti-semitic fire in January 1991. The new facility, which was renamed to Beis Midrash Toras Hashem, now houses a synagogue with concurrent services for both Ashkenazic and Sephardic students. Rabbi Block serves as the official rabbi. He also pioneered successful Shabbaton programs where hundreds attended annually. These learning experiences feature guest scholars-in-residence. Through Aish HaTorah, he has sponsored two of the largest baal teshuva conventions in the Southland area, in Malibu in 1981 and Big Bear in 1989.

He is a TV and Radio personality featured on numerous programs and shows, and a public speaker throughout southern California. He has lectured and taught for nearly 50 different Chavurah groups as well as at the Hillel programs of various universities. He has also helped to develop Kiruv ("outreach programs") throughout the San Fernando Valley including Beit Hamidrash of Woodland Hills, Young Israel of Northridge, Yad Avraham in North Hollywood, and Chizuk L’limud Torah.

He has also served on the faculty of Valley Torah High School, the Jewish studies institute of Yeshiva University, and has lectured for the Westwood Kehilla in Westwood. He has also returned to his family's roots by presenting a lecture series for the Chabad centers of Agoura and South Bay. He has also become very active in the Persian community and has been featured as a scholar-in-residence for Nesach Israel, Torat Chayim and the Sharashim-Roots organizations. He was also very active in establishing Natan Eli High School.

Rabbi Block has done extensive marriage and family counseling. He is a founding member of the Beth Din of North Hollywood and is very active in social and political affairs advocating a position of Jewish strength and pride. He is a staunch Zionist, rigorously Halachic, and in the forefront in the battle against Anti-Semitism.

External links[edit]