Chief Rabbi of Israel to visit Houston

Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, will be visiting Houston for the first time, in March of 2003. Rabbi Lau will be guest of honor at the Chabad Lubavitch of Texas thirtieth anniversary founders' dinner.

Chabad Lubavitch of Texas was founded in 1972 by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, with the appointment of his emissary, Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, as the Texas regional director for Chabad Lubavitch. It has since opened eleven branches, serving the Jewish communities of cities and towns throughout Texas with outreach, education and social services.

"In these periods of turmoil in the Holy Land", says Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, the regional director for Chabad Lubavitch of Texas, "Rabbi Lau's voice represents the interests of the Jewish people above politics and world interests".

Rabbi Israel Meir Lau was born in 1937 in Pyotrekov, Poland. A survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, he lost both of his parents in the Holocaust.

Rabbi Lau spent the horror years of the holocaust, in the ghetto of Piotrokov, the labor camp of Chenestochov and concentration camp Buchenwald where at the age of eight with G‑d's mercy he was liberated on April 11, 1945 together with his older brother Naftali.

Through efforts of Aliyat Hanoar Movement, Rabbi Lau reached the Holy Land on Tishav B'av, July 19, 1945 with a ship transport of refugee orphaned children.

In 1960, Rabbi Lau was ordained to the Rabbinate by Chief Rabbi A. Unterman Tz"l,  Rabbi Y. Toledano Tz"l, Rabbi Y. Aharonberg Tz"l, Rabbi M. Gross Tz"l, and Rabbi Y.Y. Frankel Tz"l.

Rabbi Lau then Married Rebbetzin Chaya Ita daughter of the previous Chief Rabbi of Tel- Aviv Rabbi Y.Y. Frankel Tz"l. Together they raised eight children.

In 1971 he was elected to the position of District Rabbi of Northern Tel- Aviv and in 1978 he published his famous work entitled "Yehadut Halacha L'maase" (translated:  Practical Judaism).  Currently there are about 70,000 copies in print and the work has been translated to different languages.  Rabbi Lau also published his two volume work "Yachel Yisroel" in which the second volume is dedicated to Jewish Law and Medicine.

In 1979, Rabbi Lau was elected to the position of Chief Rabbi of Netanya.  There he established the Institute "Ohel Moshe" in the memory of his late father.  He set up a chapter of "Mechon Yerusalayim" and spread networks of Torah study clubs for the youth and elderly. In 1982, despite for his relatively young age, Rabbi Lau was appointed as a member of the Council of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel, and served on the committee for medical ethics. On August 1988 Rabbi Lau had the honor of being elected as Chief Rabbi of Tel-Aviv- Jaffa. 

Finally, in 1993, he unanimously won the candidacy to serve at his present high position as Chief Rabbi of Israel.

In addition to the chief Rabbi being a great Torah scholar and spiritual leader, he has been gifted with a wonderful power of speech.  He is actively involved influencing the lives of Israeli citizens so the Chief Rabbinate of Israel serves as the center for all to turn.

This monumental event is planned for Sunday, March 9, 2003 at the Doubletree Hotel.  For more information please call the Chabad Lubavitch of Texas regional headquarters at 713-777-2000 or log on to www.chabadtexas.org.