Years passed since the incident, but it remains a milestone. The year was 2010 1 decade ago. A very prominent Rabbi walked in to the small modest office of the RCE, looked around at the activities going on and burst out crying.
The office staff ran to see who it was and immediately identified him as The Holy and Righteous Gershon Mendel Garelik. Rabbi of Milano, Italy, an RCE founder and a member of the Rabbinical council.
” I am crying out of happiness” Rabbi Garelik said, calming down the worried staff. “All that I see here now was just a dream a few years back, and behold the dream came true! When we established the RCE, the goal was to build a body that will assist European Rabbis with all their needs. 10 years have passed and look at all the widespread activity going on. When the RCE will celebrate 20 years, I’m convinced that the activities will be much more.”
At the present, as the RCE’s 20th anniversary is coming up, we asked his son Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Garelik, spiritual leader of the European Union Synagogue in Brussels and a Mikvah Posek, to share some of his previous RCE experiences. (During the conference Rabbi Garelik will lecture on the topic of Mikvaot)
“The reality goes beyond imagination.” Said Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Garelik.
Before the existence of the RCE, there could be the situation of a young Rabbi in a remote European city who wanted to build a Mikvah. He had to search for a tycoon that would give him the money, find a recognized Rabbi to get an acknowledgement and after all that hunt for someone to build the Mikvah according to halacha. The process was full of stumbling blocks and almost impossible to accomplish.
Another situation would be a young Rabbi who needed an answer for a Halachic question and had to spend a lot of time an energy trying to track down an experienced Rabbi that he knew who could answer him.
And what about the community that looked For a Rabbi? Who could they go to? Or a Rabbi that needed to hire a Mashgiach for a butchery? Who could he talk to that would meet the proper standards?
Father, Hashem should send him an immediate and full recovery, would receive dozens of phone calls a day with questions and inquiries for assistance. The young Rabbis would inquire how to deal with the local Government. There was a desperate need for a central body to gather and coordinate all the Rabbis’ needs under one umbrella, protect and assist them.
Thus, the decision to institute the RCE was established. Since then the RCE is recognized as the address to any Rabbi in need of any assistance concerning his European community.
If any Community Rabbi in Europe is in need of a Menorah, A Cantor for the High Holidays, 4 species for Sukkot, erecting or renovating a Mikvah, or many other issues, the Rabbi can appeal to the RCE and the specific request is directed to the proper department and taken care of.
In addition, there are seminars on a variety of subjects presented by senior Rabbis and professionals who and experts in their field, in which the rabbis are enriched and encouraged.
Why was it decided that the headquarters would be located in Brussels?
In those days, the European Union was established. The intention was for the Rabbinical body to be close to the European Union and thus be able to assist immediately with everything needed. In fact, there was tremendous Siyata Deshmya. The Center is now a recognized body and the heads of all European countries know the RCE and its people, creating a big advantage on many issues.
“When I enter the office today and see that there are members who deal with mikvahs, kosher food, children’s activities in European countries, halachic responsa and a huge variety of activities, I am thrilled and excited.”
“There were thousands of Jewish students in Europe who have never entered a synagogue. The RCE initiated activities with the students, and as a result, thousands of them are currently participating in various Jewish topics.”
“Now as the RCE is celebrating two decades of vigorous activity in all of Europe, I believe that every one of the rabbis from the RCE has a great deal of appreciation for them every step of the way, and will give them thanks and appreciation by their participation in the monumental Conference in Adar in France. I’m sure activity will grow. We have a lot more work to do. And the people of the RCE will do and succeed.”
For registration : https://rce.eu.com/en/product/conf20years-en