Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
|Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin|
1605 Coney Island Avenue|
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 an American Haredi Lithuanian-type boys' and men's 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.
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 in which it states, “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 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 yeshiva, from 1936 until his passing in 1963, was Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Shurkin, 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.[according to whom?] Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner (1906–1980) joined the faculty sometime during 1936-1937 and began giving monthly lectures as Rosh Yeshiva from 1943 to 1980. Under 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.
Although there has been some discussion with regard to who is destined to replace Schechter, most agree that Rabbi Shlomo Halioua, Schechter's son-in-law, will be the one chosen for the position. This position has become solidified after Halioua delivered a maamar, a religious discourse, along with Schechter on Shavuos 2015. This has historically been reserved for only roshei hayeshiva. Additionally, Halioua sometimes attends Agudath Israel's Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah conferences to represent Schechter.
The position of mashgiach ruchani has been held by (among others) Rabbis Avigdor Miller, Shlomo Freifeld, Shlomo Carlebach, and Shimon Groner. The current mashgiach ruchani is Rabbi Mordechai Zelig Schechter, older son of the rosh yeshiva.
Notable senior faculty include Rabbis Pinchas Kahn, Chaim Kitevits, Reuven Neirenberg, Shlomo Chai David Yitzchak Halioua, Avigdor Kitevits, Meir Simcha Kahn, Chaim Eliezer Kahn, Shmaryahu Yitzchok Efraim Kirzner, Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler (son of Moshe Fruchthandler), Binyamin Cohen, Yossi Halioua, Tzvi Fink, Menachem Kahn, Yitzchok Meir Sendrovitz, Eliyahu Yormark, Binyomin Fruchthandler, Yosef Yormark, Yehoshua Rapps and Avrohom Chaim Green.
The yeshiva is lovingly maintained in its pristine original condition by Ziskind Saschitzky, assisted by Earl Desalegn and a large staff of maintenance officers.
Mr. 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, Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler (son of Shlomo Fruchtahandler), Simcha Obermeister, Yehoshua Leib Fruchthandler, Yirmiyahu Lasker, Zyskind Sashitzky and Mayer L. Yanofsky.
The yeshiva maintains a summer location, Camp Morris, named after a former president of the yeshiva, Morris Meltzer. Rabbi Meir Simcha Kahn serves there as menahel (dean) of the post high school division. Rabbi Bentzion Eliyahu Fruchthandler is mashgiach. Rabbi Shimon Feldman is the menahel of the high school division. Rabbi Tzvi Silver is the executive director.
The mesivta (high school) is led by Rabbis Shlomo Braunstein and Michel Guzik. Rabbi Guzik is also a 10th grade rebbe in the mesivta. Other Rabbeim are Rabbis Shlomo Fruchthandler, Doav Fink, Chaim M. Schwartz, Gershon Harar, Yissochor Landa, Yitzchok Meir Oksenberg, Asher Zigfried, B. Eli Fruchthandler, Pinny Braunstien, Yehonasan Max, and Refael Garfinkel. The Shoel Umeishiv is Rabbi Moshe Chaim Hunger. Rabbi Max is the dorm counselor for the entire mesivta and beis medrash.
Shlomo Carlebach served as Mashgiach of the Yeshiva under Hutner. When Hutner appointed Schechter and David to lead the Yeshiva after him, they ultimately fired Carlebach from his position, as they viewed him as a challenge to their authority.[according to whom?] Carlebach summoned them to a Jewish court, headed by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. The summons was ignored, and the yeshiva was given a status of lo tzeis dinah. Many leading rabbis urged Hutner and Schechter to heed the summons of Feinstein, but they were ignored.[better source needed]
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, New York
- Rabbi Daniel Belsky, rosh kollel of Ohalei Yaakov, Jerusalem
- Rabbi Meir Belsky, Nasi of Yeshivas Tiferes Yisroel and Kollel Ohalei Yaakov, Jerusalem
- 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 of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
- Rabbi Yonasan Dovid David, co-rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
- Rabbi Yaakov Drillman, rosh yeshiva of 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 Nathan Kapner, Rabbi Hillel Hebrew Academy & Synagogue, Massapequa, New York
- Rabbi Avraham Kleinkaufman, long-time rebbi in Yeshiva of Far Rockaway
- 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, Brooklyn
- 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 Aaron Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
- 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 Yitzchok 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, Jerusalem
- Rabbi Noah Weinberg, co-founder of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem, and founder of Yeshivas Aish HaTorah
- Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, rosh yeshiva of Ner Israel Rabbinical College
- Chaplain David Lefkowitz, United States Marines
- Rabbi Rafael Weingot, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Shalom Rav, Safed
- Rabbi Yisroel Eliyahu Weintraub
- Yeshiva Torah Vodaas – another prominent yeshiva in Brooklyn
- "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