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What is an "Askan?" I have heard this phrase in relation to well-know Yeshivot and rabbis, but have no idea who an "Askan" is.

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People who help out in the community,many times finically –  sam Apr 27 at 23:02

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An עסקן is a community activist i.e. someone who is "osek b'tzarchei tzibbur" עוסק בצרכי צבור (cf Mi Shebaurach after Yekum Purkan prayer before Shabbos musaf where this expression is found)

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