He was a great role model. He was cool (he was in the band!) and funny and also frum. He embodied what I began to aspire for myself. One thing that really spoke to me was his sincerity; his motivation was clearly lishma. Elly soon became a member of the region’s administration, organizing and running shabbatons, recruiting advisors, etc. As a member of regional board, I began to “work” with him planning events, and this provided another context for him to inspire me.
More memorable now, though, was our weekly chavrusa-by-phone learning Taanis. As a public school student, I treasured my relationship with him; being able to visit him in the YU dorms made an indelible impression. In fact, I ended up walking in his footsteps after high school, going to Yeshivat HaKotel, HASC, and YU. Elly was like an older brother to me, an inspirational role model of strong conviction and character with whom I had a very strong relationship.