Rabbi Elias Schwartz zt”l


It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rabbi Elias (Eliezer) Schwartz zt”l, outstanding mechanech who served for over 60 years as the menahel of Yeshivah Toras Emes Kaminetz in Brooklyn, NY.

Rabbi Schwartz was also the rov of Young Israel of Bensonhurst.

Rabbi Schwartz studied in his youth at Yeshiva Toras Vodaas, where he formed an unbreakable bond with the legendary menahel, Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l, who gave Rabbi Schwartz the tools he used in his decades of educating and inspiring Yiddishe kinder.

Rabbi Schwartz was a Shuvu board member as well, and is remembered for his dedication to harbotzas haTorah in America and Eretz Yisroel. His accomplishments were legendary, and he had the nachas of counting among his talmidim the most illustrious names in the Torah world.

Rabbi Schwartz was a regular at the Bais Medrash Govoah yarchei kallah in Lakewood during the summer along with his son, Dr. Yehudah Schwartz, for many years.

One of Rabbi Schwartz’s talmidim at Toras Emes was Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, the present Slabodka rosh yeshiva, who returned to his roots several years ago. Some seventy years prior, in 1944, when Brooklyn was still in its fledgling stages as a frum community, young Moshe Hillel Hirsch attended Yeshiva Toras Emes Elementary School. Rav Hirsch returned to that very school a few years ago, and then requested to be taken to the home of the centenarian menahel, Rabbi Schwartz, who was the principal of Toras Emes when Rav Moshe Hillel was a young talmid of the yeshiva. Rav Hirsch thanked Rabbi Schwartz for the values he instilled in him.

“I have no words to thank you for all that you did for me and my classmates,” Rav Hirsch told Rabbi Schwartz. “You always told us that no matter what we do in our lifetime, we must first become talmidei chachomim! Your words still inspire me to this very day.”

Indeed, Rabbi Schwartz inspired so many people, young and old, and he will forever be remembered as a pioneering mechanech on the American Torah scene.

Among his other talmidim are Rav Meir Stern, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic, and Rav Yeruchem Olshin, rosh yeshiva of Bais Medrash Govoha.

His levayah will take place tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.at Yeshiva Toras Emes Kamenitz, located at the corner of Avenue N and East 19th Street in Flatbush.

Rabbi Schwartz is survived by his children, R’ Yehuda Schwartz and Mrs. Fay Hoschander.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. BDE. Rabbi Schwartz would always tell us talmidim, “upon your little shoulders rests the future of klal yisroel!” How true! He will be sorely missed.

  2. I remember him from the old building(s) at 1315-43rd street and later the new one at 1650-56 street, in Borough Park.

    He would often mention his Rebbes from Torah Vodaas, Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, and Rav Shlomo Heiman zt”l.

    He used to say, when addressing bar mitzvah bochurim, ‘the tefillin should go into your heart, your mind, and your bloodstream’, you should grow up to be a source of nachas for your parents, for your family, for the entire klal Yisroel (IIRC),

    He would give a ‘mussar shmuez’ on Friday mornings for the older talmidim.

    There were also special groups, segula and chavivin, for talmidim, to aspire to, to motivate them to behave nicely, daven with a minyan, etc. They had special pins and other things.

    יהי זכרו ברוך

    • He would also tell the Bar Mitzvah boys when they first put on tefillin, “remember the excitement you had when you put them on the first time. 20, 60, 80 years from now, you should have the same excitement.”

      He also used to tell us constantly, “it’s not enough that you’re a four hour Torah learning Jew. You have to be a 24 hour Torah LIVING Jew.”

      Yehi zichro baruch. He was a tower of a man in a time when Klal Yisroel was rebuilding from the chirban.

  3. Bd”E. He was a true tzaddik. I grew up davening in his young Israel in Bensonhurst and he had a genuine love for others and cared for their growth In yiddishkeit.

  4. May the straps and the mitzvah of tefillin enter your heart, your mind, and your bloodstream. He said that to every one of us when we put on tefillin for the first time. I have many other memories of him. He was a wonderful man.

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