Jul 26, 2013
Machon Alte Honors Deitsch, Rohr
Machon Alte in Tzfas honored this week two of its namesake from Deitsch and Rohr families on their double yartzeits.
Machon Alte honored the builders of the venerated Tsfas women's yeshiva at a festive fabrengen this past week which by divine providence was the 36th yahrtzeit of the school's namesake and the 1st yahrtzeit of one who would literally "move a mountain" to help the yeshiva grow.
The event was planned around the anniversary memorial observance of Alte Shula Schwartz, nee Deitsch, a Chabad emissary and vivacious soul, for whom the school was named, and the 1st yahrzeit of Mr. Sami Rohr OBM, who passed away last August at 86. He and his son, Mr. George Rohr, as a partnership, saw to it that the yeshiva would expand upon its original foundations – made possible by the generosity of the Deitsch family -- to accommodate demand for growth.
It was not a coincidence that both yahrtzeits are Yud Zayin, the 17thof Av, the gematria of "tov," the Hebrew word for good or goodness, organizers said.
The Wednesday evening affair was punctuated by niggunim led by R' Tomar Montford, the husband of one of the alums, and eloquent words of Torah from the mouths of summer program Rabbi-in-residence, Eli Nosson Silberberg and Rabbi Chaim Rosenfeld, before an appreciative crowd gathered in the school's latest addition, the Dayan Simcha Hall.
With the encouragement, bracha and haskamah from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Rosenfeld explained to the crowd of students, alums and other supporters in an atmosphere of joy and gratitude, that the yeshiva was founded more than three decades ago by he and his wife, Rochel Leah, in Alte Shula's name, with the help of her brothers, Reb Yosef Yitzchok Deitsch, a'h, (and his wife, Chanie, tbl' ch) and Zalman Deitsch, a'h, who purchased the original building and property.
It was not a surprise, he said.
The Deitsch's were known to be charitable and hospitable people, going back for decades to their grandparents, Reb Mendel and Hinda Deitch, a'h, "who served pots of soup to families during the hunger years in Russia," Rabbi Rosenfeld added.
When years later the demand for growth necessitated a yeshiva building expansion, Mr. George Rohr and his father, Reb Shmuel, stepped up to make sure it happened with a gift of substantial proportion, motivated by their "special love and feeling for education and the teaching of young college students about our heritage, " he said.
"The building expansion was very complicated as they had to remove part of a mountain that was supporting the original antique building to build a new 7-story wing," he said.
"The new structure has housed and educated hundreds of young Jewish women for the last 30 years, giving them a proper Jewish education and a solid foundation to run proper Jewish homes and in some cases to act as emissaries all over the world. All of this in the merit of the great charity and chesed of the Rohrs and the Deitsch brothers."
Reb Shmuel A'h Rohr and his son Mr. George Rohr tbl' ch through the Rohr Family Foundation, would go on to spearhead a renaissance of Jewish life and literacy in Jewish communities and on university campuses around the world to the point where the Rohr family name is now synonymous with Jewish education and outreach.
"We owe them a great debt of gratitude, along with all of the cherished students who have benefited from their gifts," Rabbi Rosenfeld said. "You cannot know the effect of what you have done for us."