How does one become a leader in his community? For Mr. Saadia Zakarin, the answer lies in one word: achrayus. It’s a value that he imbued both in his home growing up and during his years in yeshiva.
Originally from Wesley Hills, N.Y., Mr. Saadia Zakarin attended Yeshivas Toras Moshe for four years as a bochur, from 2007 – 2011. There he had the zechus to learn in the shiurim of Rav Klein, Rav Shurkin and the Rosh HaYeshiva. Upon returning to the U.S., he joined BMG, learning in the Tomo chaburah of Rav Yehuda Eisenstein.
After his marriage in 2014 to Adeena Mendlowitz, they lived in Eretz Yisrael for two years, where Saadia learned in the Toras Moshe kollel – two years which he calls among the most impactful of his life. Learning in the shiurim of the Rosh HaYeshiva and Rav Twersky, being in Rav Naftali Meiselman’s and Rav Weiner’s chaburahs and learning b’chavrusa with Rav Raymond spurred his growth and shaped his mehalech in learning, leaving an impact which continues to influence his learning today.
The Zakarins returned to the U.S. in 2016, settling in the Monsey community of Pomona East. Saadia took a position in his family’s paper goods and partyware manufacturing business, King Zak Industries Inc, where today he is Vice President overseeing all aspects of the operation. Mrs. Adeena Zakarin is a mental health counselor at Achieve Behavioral Health, where she works in the Intensive Outpatient Unit.
Together with their three children, the Zakarins are integral members of their community. Saadia founded the Khal Zichron Chanina Getzel (KZCG) shul along with several friends, named in memory of Rabbi Chanina Herzberg z”l, the legendary menahel of South Shore, whose son is one of the shul’s founders. Saadia is proud of their efforts to establish the shul as a serious makom Torah, which includes a strong early morning pre-Shacharis seder. In addition, Saadia is a member of an evening iyun kollel, and over the years has influenced several other community members to join him, seeing it as an achrayus to not just learn himself but to create an environment where others will want to learn as well.
He credits his sense of communal responsibility to the values he received from his rebbeim in Toras Moshe, as well as from his own parents. Growing up, he saw the importance his father placed on making time for learning, and, equally, on ensuring that Torah values were something that applied throughout the day, whether in shul or at work. In yeshiva, he received the strong chinuch that one must strive to achieve clarity both in learning and in life, and that being a baal achrayus means not just continuously growing yourself in learning and avodas Hashem, but encouraging those around you – your family, your friends, your community – to grow as well.
Today, these lessons from his years in yeshiva continue to guide the Zakarins’ life.