Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Of Song and Service: Debby Jacobs's Contribution to the Klal

Barbara Bensoussan

Debby Jacobs began working at Agudath Israel of America in 1980, and she currently works as the personal assistant to Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, the executive vice president. But she first came there as a single girl to work as Rabbi Moshe Sherer's secretary, spending almost twenty years as his personal assistant. Those extraordinary years allowed her precious glimpses of greatness, and molded her as a professional and a human being. But the influences on Debby's life began far earlier.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ever since she arrived in Brooklyn in the late 1970s, Mrs. Debby Jacobs, one of Agudath Israel of America's most faithful and experienced staff members, has spent much of her spare time starring in women's musicals and productions. If “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” as Shakespeare so famously put it, then what might a musical comedy version of Debby's life look like?

If it were a secular production, the plot would go like this: spunky, talented little girl from the Midwest comes to the Big City in search of her big break, hoping to meet Mr. Right in the process. With a combination of charm and serendipity, she manages to tap-dance her way right into the big time. As the curtain closes, our heroine has it all: fame, fortune, and Mr. Right.

Debby's a frum Jewish woman, though, so we need to tweak the storyline a bit. The spunky, talented little girl from the Midwest still comes to the city in search of Mr. Right, and in the meantime sings and dances her way into starring roles in the N'shei Tzedakah Players. This doesn't gain her national fame, and it certainly doesn't make her rich, except perhaps in her celestial bank account: those all-women productions bring in tens of thousands of dollars for charity. But our heroine's really big break has nothing to do with the theater. In our next act, Debby accepts a job at Agudath Israel, giving up a plum position in a law firm. She will now work for Rabbi Moshe Sherer, ztz”l, the indomitable and devoted president of Agudath Israel. In her new role, she will have the opportunity not only to work closely with one of the great men of American Jewish history, but to meet gedolim, community askanim, politicians, even US vice presidents and secretaries of state. Oh, and Mr. Right makes his appearance not far into Act II.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you