Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
|Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin|
Brooklyn, New York|
|Rosh Yeshiva||Rabbis Aharon Schechter and Yonasan Dovid David (current). Past: Yitzchok Hutner|
|Mashgiach Ruchani||Rabbi Mordechai Zelig Schechter (current). Past: Rabbis Avigdor Miller, Shlomo Freifeld, Shlomo Carlebach, Shimon Groner|
Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin or Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, (Hebrew: יְשִׁיבַת רַבֵּינוּ חַיִּים בֶּרלִין) is a Haredi Lithuanian-type yeshiva located in Brooklyn, New York. Established in 1904 as Yeshiva Tiferes Bachurim, it is the oldest yeshiva in Kings County. At the suggestion of Rabbi Meir Berlin (Bar-Ilan), it was renamed for his brother, Rabbi Chaim Berlin, the chief rabbi of Moscow who had moved to Jerusalem and was one of its leading rabbis at the time of his death.
It is an American, Lithuanian-style Haredi boys' and men's yeshiva. Current enrollment is close to two thousand students including preschool, elementary school, yeshiva ketana, a high school mesivta, a college-level bais medrash, and Kollel Gur Aryeh, its post-graduate kollel division.
Establishment in Brooklyn, New York
Jacob Rutstein (1878-1946) was a real estate developer, businessman, and philanthropist who was critical in establishing Chaim Berlin Yeshiva in the United States. An article in the Brooklyn Eagle, on March 16, 1942, describes one of the many donations he acquired for the institution, stating that “$2,000 was raised in outside gifts by Jacob Rutstein who recently returned from Florida.” On December 11, 1944, another article appears in the Brooklyn Eagle which it states that, “Yesivah Rabbi Chaim Berlin, one of the largest Orthodox Jewish institutions of learning in the country, is dedicating its new seven-story building at Stone and Pitkin Ave. at ceremonies which will take place throughout the week. The opening ceremonies were attended by more than 3000 persons. Jacob Rutstein, chairman of the dedication committee, announced that $25,000 had been donated by those present towards the new $1,000,000 building.”
On December 29, 1944, another article appeared stating the following about Jacob Rutstein.
“Our congratulations to Jacob Rutstein for his constant activity on organizing activities for the advancement of orthodox Jewish secular and religious education. Outstanding in his philanthropic activities is his recent purchase of the seven-story $1,000,000 building at 350 Stone Ave. for the Mesivtah and Yeshivah Rabbi Chaim Berlin in the hearts of Brownsville. Already the institution has been recognized by the State Board of Regents through the granting of a charter and 800 students are now enrolled. Of this number 150 are studying for the rabbinate. Also 200 of its students have come from all parts of this country and 62 are refugees driven from their homelands by Hitler. This has been a truly humanitarian endeavor on the part of Mr. Rutstein.”
The original founding Rosh Hayeshiva, from 1936 until his passing in 1963 was Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Shurkin zt"l, who lectured to the first 3 years post high school division 5 days per week. He was well known as the best "Magid Shiur" in the "Torah world." Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner zt"l (1906–1980) joined the faculty sometime during 1936-1937 and began giving monthly lectures as Rosh Yeshiva from 1943 to 1980. Under R' Hutner's leadership, the yeshiva achieved international prominence in the orthodox Jewish community. In the late 1970s a branch was opened in Jerusalem called Yeshiva Pachad Yitzchok ("Fear of Isaac"). The name is both a Biblical reference to Genesis 31:42 and named for Hutner's books on Jewish thought.
After Rabbi Hutner's death the New York yeshiva was headed by his disciple, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, and the Jerusalem branch was headed by his son-in-law, Rabbi Yonason David.
Although there has been some discussion with regard to who is destined to replace Rabbi Schechter, most agree that Rabbi Shlomo Halioua, Rabbi Schechter's son in law, will be the one chosen for the position. This position has become solidified after Rabbi Halioua delivered a maamar, a religious discourse, after Rabbi Schechter on Shavuos 2015. This has historically been reserved for only Roshei Hayeshiva.
The position of Mashgiach Ruchani has been held by (among others) Rabbi Avigdor Miller, Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and Rabbi Shimon Groner. The current Mashgiach Ruchani is Rabbi Mordechai Zelig Schechter, older son of the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Aharon Schechter.
Notable senior faculty include Rabbis Pinchas Kahn, R'Chaim Kitevits, R'Reuven Neirenberg, Shlomo Chai David Yitzchak Halioua, Avigdor Kitevits, Meir Simcha Kahn, Chaim Eliezer Kahn, Shmaryahu Yitzchok Efraim Kirzner, Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler, Binyamin Cohen, Gershon Harrar, Yossi Halioua, Tzvi Fink, Menachem Kahn, Yitzchok Meir Sendrovitz, Eliyahu Yormark, Binyomin Fruchthandler, Yosef Yormark, Yehoshua Rapps and Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Green.
The yeshiva is lovingly maintained in its pristine original condition by Rabbi Ziskind Saschitzky, assisted by Mr. Earl Desalegn.
Rabbi Abraham C. Fruchthandler is the current president of the yeshiva; other members of the executive board include Tuvia Obermeister, Mendel Schechter, Yisroel Meir Lasker, Efraim Feuer, and Mayer L. Yanofsky. At the yeshiva's summer location, commonly known as Camp Morris, named after a former president of the yeshiva, Morris Meltzer; Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler, Simcha Obermeister, Yehoshua Leib Fruchthandler, Yirmiyahu Lasker and Zyskind Sashitzky amongst a few others serve as board members. HaRav Meir Simcha Kahn serves as Menahel of the post high school division. Harav Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler is Mashgiach. Rabbi Shimon Feldman is the menahel of the high school division. Rabbi Tzvi Silver is the executive director.
Alumni in senior rabbinic and Jewish communal positions
The yeshiva has alumni serving in Rabbinic capacities throughout the world including:
- Rabbi Moshe Bamberger, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Beis Medrash L’Talmud in Kew Gardens Hills
- Rabbi Daniel Belsky, Rosh Kollel of Ohalei Yaakov (Yerushalaim)
- Rabbi Meir Belsky, Nasi of Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel and Kollel Ohalei Yaakov (Yerushalaim), Author of Citadel and Tower
- Rabbi Shalom Z. Berger, Senior Content Editor of the Koren Talmud Bavli
- Rabbi Shmuel Brazil, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Zeev Hatorah
- Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, former mashgiach ruchani
- Rabbi Yonasan Dovid David, co-rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
- Rabbi Yaakov Drillman, Rosh Yeshiva Bais Yosef
- Rabbi Dr. David Ebner, Rosh Yeshiva and Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshivat Eretz HaTzvi
- Rabbi Yaakov Feitman, Rabbi of Kehillas Bais Yehudah Tzvi, Cedarhurst, New York
- Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel Rabbinical College
- Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, founding Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Shor Yoshuv
- Rabbi Mordechai Yehuda Groner, Rosh Yeshiva and founder of Yeshivas Ateres Shimon in Far Rockaway, N.Y.
- Rabbi David Weiss Halivni
- Rabbi David Hartman (born 1931), American and Israeli rabbi and philosopher of contemporary Judaism, founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
- Rabbi Simcha Krauss, retired Rabbi of the Young Israel of Hillcrest, Queens, and former leader of the Religious Zionists of America
- Rabbi Yaakov Leiner, Radziner Rebbe of Borough Park
- Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, Alon Shevut, and Rosh Kollel of Yeshiva University's Gruss Kollel, Jerusalem
- Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe of Borough Park
- Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
- Rabbi Aharon Schechter
- Rabbi Dr. Michael D. Shmidman, Rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in Manhattan and former dean of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University
- Rabbi Aharon Dovid Singer, Rosh Kollel of the North Miami Beach Community Kollel and Rabbi of Kahal Hachasidim of North Miami Beach, Florida.
- Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, appointed by Rabbi Hutner to give the highest daily lecture in Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin; also taught at Yeshiva University, Hebrew Theological College and Brisk Rabbinical College
- Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, former Executive Vice-President of the Orthodox Union and founder of NCSY
- Rabbi Nota Schiller, long-time Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Somayach
- Rabbi Noah Weinberg, co-founder of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach and founder of Yeshivas Aish HaTorah
- Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel Rabbinical College
- General David Lefkowitz, United States marine
- Rabbi Rafael Weingot, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Shalom Rav, Tsfat
- Rabbi Yisroel Eliyahu Weintraub
- "Kabbalas Hatorah at Three Landmark Flatbush Yeshivos". Flatbush Jewish Journal. May 13, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "The Roshei Kollel". North Miami Beach Kollel. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- Hagadah of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
- Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin at Greatschools.org
- Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin