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Crisis Control

Yisroel Besser

He’s intimately acquainted with every need, institution, and denomination in the Torah world. But if there’s one cause with the power to shatter his giant heart, it’s the pleas of an alarming number of girls who despair of ever getting married. Faced with too many piteous stories and too little progress, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz makes a rare public appeal to parents and bochurim: Save our girls before it’s too late.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Alley-oop is a basketball term: an offensive play where one player throws the ball in the vicinity of the hoop and his teammate jumps in to catch the ball midair, slamming it home for the two points. It’s a tricky play that requires teamwork, timing, and precision. As a teenager, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, usually the tallest player on the court, perfected the play; he would stand off to the side unobtrusively, then step in at the perfect moment, making the basket before returning to the other side. As an adult, he’s still alley-ooping. From his home base in distant California, the young businessman and philanthropist has been known to step in at precisely the right moment to score — and then he steps back out of sight. No buildings carry his name. Many of the individuals who crowd his waiting room, and fill his answering machine and e-mail inbox with pleas for help, don’t know him — even after their requests are answered. He’s content to make a difference and then step back. He has made relatively few high-profile appearances, and, other than a television interview he agreed to for business reasons, he has never before consented to an interview or article — not for this publication or any other. (Close confidant and mega-shadchan Yisrael “Freddy”Friedman tells a story about the famously witty businessman: An Israeli publication printed an unauthorized feature on him, replete with information about his net worth, which they reported at over $1 billion dollars. After it went to print, they received an e-mail. This isShlomoYehudaRechnitz; I read the article and I’d like to know how to access that account, the one with the billion dollars. Can you direct me to which bank it’s in?) So why now? Why this topic? Why the uncharacteristic foray into print media?
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