A video shown at the Siyum Hashas noted the work of Daf Yomi promoter R' Chaskel Besser OBM, with a small omission. UPDATE: The producer CJ Kramer responds.
By COLlive reporter
The massive 12th Siyum Hashas celebration in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was an immense success for its organizers - Agudath Israel of America.
Although a thunderstorm forecast, over 90,000 Jews filled the arena in a rare and historic event to honor the learners of the Daf Yomi daily cycle of studying a page of Gemara.
There was an effort to show unity and have on the dais a representation of Orthodox haredi Jewry. While Satmar, Viznitz Monsey and other chassidic groups did not attend - each for their reason - Chabad had some representation there.
COLlive.com has learned that Philanthropist R' Sholom Yehuda Rechnitz, a donor and emcee of the celebration, personally invited Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the Rebbe's Mazkir and Chairman of Merkos L'inyonei Chincuh, to join.
Rabbi Krinsky, as Crown Heights Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky, were seated on the second row on the dais which featured some 500 rabbonim and roshei yeshiva.
Other Chabad dignitaries that were identified by one attendee on stage were 770 Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zalman Labkowsky, Dayan Rabbi Shlomo Segal, Chevra Shas shul Rabbi Mottel Gurary, and Congregation Beis Shmuel Rabbi YY Jacobson.
In the large crowd were spotted Rabbi Chaim Miller, author of Kol Menachem publications; Long Island Shliach Rabbi Anshelle Perl who gives a Gemara shiur at Chabad of Mineola; and R' Shlomo Aron Holtzberg who gives a Daf Yomi shiur at Congregation Anash at 770 Montgomery Street.
But it was one moment that caught the eye of a Lubavitcher that was troubling.
During a video presentation at the event, tribute was paid to the known askan R' Chazkel Besser OBM, founding Chairman of the Daf Yomi Commission and a leader of Agudath Israel for many years.
Interviewed about his was a close friend, philanthropist Ron Lauder. While he speaks, the video shows a photo of the two standing together and facing another person who's only seen by a black hat.
They were "making sure to cut out one half of the picture," our reader pointed out.
VIDEO: The photo is at the 7:55 mark
Bellow you will find the original photo in full as appeared on JTA when Besser passed away.
In the credits to the video its says Chananya Kramer directed it, Rabbi Nosson Scherman of Artscroll Mesorah Publications wrote it, narration was done by Rabbi Paysach Krohn. The editors were Aliza Elman, Faigy Lazewnik and Chananya Kramer.
COLlive.com has called the offices of Agudath Israel and Kolrom Multimedia in Maryland, the producers of the video, but got no answer.
UPDATE - Friday, 12:52 pm EST:
Chananya (CJ) Kramer, President of Kolrom Multimedia, Inc. sent the following statement to COLlive.com:
"This was not meant in any way to be disrespectful, and honestly it was simply a matter of focusing the eyes of the audience on Rabbi Besser z"l, of whom the narration was speaking about at that moment.
"The decision to zoom in on Rabbi Besser was solely mine and I was not under any direction of Agudas Yisroel to do so. I truly apologize for any inadvertent pain this may have caused."