Grunstein Family Dedicates Torah To Yeshiva University

The family of Leonard Grunstein dedicated a Sefer Torah to Yeshiva University Sunday in memory of his father, Morris Grunstein. The gift was celebrated in an all-day ceremony on December 7, featuring a traditional march through the streets with family, university administration, and students of the school. The Torah will be used for services at the university.

“Leonard Grunstein has always been a valued member of the Yeshiva University community, and we are humbled by the generosity he has shown to our school,” said Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University. “Their family’s kindness is truly a model for Yeshiva University’s students.”

The dedication of a new Torah is a rare and deeply festive occasion. After a class presented by Rav Yaakov Neuberger, Rosh Yeshiva of the RIETS School, Yeshiva University students and family had the chance to fill in the final letters of the Torah, a tradition that goes back centuries. The Torah was then carried under a chupa through the streets surrounding Yeshiva University’s Wilf campus in Washington Heights, accompanied by singing and dancing.

Leonard Grunstein and Joel

Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel and Leonard Grunstein

The writing of a Torah is a product of painstaking craftsmanship. Every detail, down to the type of parchment used, must follow strict rules prescribed by Halakhic law. Each letter is written by hand by a sofer, a special scribe trained in the art of writing the Torah scroll, and any error must be fixed manually. As a result, a full Torah scroll will take over a year to write.

Leonard Grunstein and his wife Chanie, as well as their three children, are all alumni of Yeshiva University. A long-time supporter of the school, Grunstein was named a member of the Board of Overseers of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in early 2013. He has been involved with an array of other Jewish causes such as the Hebron Fund and the YIVO Institute.

Leonard Grunstein shares a video of NYC synagogues

Leonard Grunstein has recently released a video slideshow sharing photos of synagogues located in Midtown Manhattan. The video can be found on Grunstein’s YouTube channel and includes photos of such synagogues as, Chabad of Midtown on the east side of Fifth Avenue, near 42nd Street, and The Actor’s Synagogue on the north side of 47th Street, near 8th Avenue.




The answer to New York City’s affordable housing crisis is under its feet

Leonard Grunstein has recently published a new op-ed in Republic 3.0. In the op-ed, Grunstein describes a potential solution to New York City’s lack of affordable housing.

Currently, residents making between 20-40k per year are spending about 40% of their income on rent – a significant increase over the past 15 years. Partially to blame for the increase in costs is the surge in luxury towers over middle-income housing – which has some believing that New York is in the midst of a luxury housing bubble. Another significant reason, as noted by Grunstein, is a lack of land available in the private sector at prices low enough to allow the creation of affordable housing.

Details can be found by clicking the full article, here.

Leonard Grunstein shares videos of must-see locations around NYC

Leonard Grunstein has recently shared several videos that feature photos of some of NYC’s best places to do business. Bryant Park (Manhattan – New York Public Library), Amster Yard (East 49th Street) and Tudor City Greens (42nd Street – United Nations) have their own unique features that make each park the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors within New York City.

Photo slideshows and full descriptions of each park can be found on Grunstein’s Vimeo and YouTube channels.

Leonard Grunstein shares a video from this spring’s YIVO site launch

Leonard Grunstein has recently shared a slideshow including photos of a YIVO event that took place last May. The event was held in celebration of the launch of YIVO’s Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland, a website dedicated to memorabilia from the institute’s collections on Polish Jewry pre-WWII that was made possible in part by the Grunstein family.

The video features photos of the tours, presentation and reception held at the event. Tours were given of YIVO’s archives and rare book collection, followed by a reception and a presentation by YIVO CEO Jonathan Brent that discussed the importance of documenting the heritage of Eastern European Jews. The full video can be found below or on Leonard Grunstein’s YouTube channel.


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