Elya Svei

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Elya Svei
Full name Eliyahu Svei
Born March 19, 1924
Died March 26, 2009(2009-03-26) (aged 85)

Rabbi Elya Svei (March 19, 1924 (Taanis Esther 5684) – March 26, 2009 (Rosh Chodesh Nisan 5769)) was the Rosh Yeshiva of the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia together with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, and was internationally known for his incisive, brilliant and clear shiurim (lectures), and his ability to offer sage advice to thousands of Jews worldwide. He was a primary student of Rabbi Aharon Kotler.[1] Until his illness in the period before his death, he was regarded as one of the leaders of Charedi Jewry, and was a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah and chairman of the Rabbinic Administrative Board of Torah Umesorah, until he resigned from both in June 2002, reportedly due to an ideological dispute with his colleagues.[2]

Rabbi Svei's father was a member of the Kovno Kollel in Slabodka and spent his early years there.

Rabbi Svei was a son-in-law of Rabbi Avraham Kalmanovitz,[3] the founder of the Brooklyn branch of the Mir Yeshiva, and was the brother-in-law of Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum.

His advice was sought after by the leading Roshei Yeshiva in America - including the deans of his own alma mater - Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. He was the leading force behind the establishment of Sinai Academy in Brooklyn,[4] a middle school and high school catering to the children of primarily non-observant Russian Jewish immigrants.


  1. ^ "Rabbi Elya Svei Passes Away". IsraelNationalNews.com. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Cattan, Nacha (06-07-2002). "Orthodox Sage Surprises Top Council by Resigning: Move Caps Rabbi Elya Svei's Controversial Career at Agudath Israel". Forward. Retrieved 2009-11-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ "NAFLAH ATERES ROSHEINU: Maran Hagaon Harav Elya Svei zt"l". Matzav.com. March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  4. ^ "Sinai Academy to Present the First Annual Rav Elya Svei zt"l Memorial Award". matzav.com. June 18, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2009.