Mir Yeshiva (Brooklyn)
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The Mir Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבת מיר, Yeshivas Mir), commonly known as the Mirrer Yeshiva, is officially registered with the College Board as the Mirrer Yeshiva Central Institute. It is a prominent, Haredi yeshiva located in Brooklyn, New York known for talmudic studies.
Its long-time Rosh Yeshiva was Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, who died on January 6, 2008. Rabbi Berenbaum was a son-in-law of the founder of the Brooklyn branch of the Mir Yeshiva, Rabbi Avraham Kalmanowitz. Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement praising Berenbaum, noting that he built the Jewish academy "into one of the largest centers for Torah study in the world." Steven Bayme, national director of contemporary Jewish life at the American Jewish Congress said the yeshiva helped preserve "a world that was otherwise lost."
- See also Mir Yeshiva (Poland)
The original Mirrer Yeshiva was founded in 1815, in Mir, Belarus, and remained in operation there until 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, the yeshiva moved to Poltava, Ukraine, under the leadership of Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, son of the legendary Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slabodka), and son-in-law of Rabbi Elya Boruch Kamai, his renowned predecessor. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 marking the beginning of the Holocaust. Although many of the foreign-born students left when the Soviet army invaded from the east, the yeshiva continued to operate, albeit on a reduced scale, until the approaching Nazi armies caused the leaders of the yeshiva to move the entire yeshiva community to Keidan, Lithuania. As the Nazi armies continued to push to the east, the yeshiva as a whole eventually fled across Siberia by train to the Far East, and finally reopened in Kobe, Japan, in 1941. Several smaller yeshivos managed to escape alongside the Mir, and, despite the difficulties involved, the overseers of the Mirrer yeshiva undertook full responsibility for their support, distributing funds and securing quarters and food for all the students. A short time later, the yeshiva relocated again, to (Japanese-controlled) Shanghai, China, where they remained until the end of World War II. The heroism of the Japanese consul-general in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, who issued several thousand transit visas to Jews, permitting them to travel in order to flee to Japan, has been the subject of several books.
Following the end of the war, the majority of the Jewish refugees from Shanghai ghetto left for Mandate Palestine and the United States. Among them were the survivors from the Mir Yeshiva, who re-established the yeshiva, this time with two campuses, one in Jerusalem, Israel and this one in Brooklyn, New York.
- Toldot Yeshivat Mir, Zinowitz, M., Tel Aviv, 1981.