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Torah Sage, Educator Ruderman of Baltimore Dead at 87

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Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok HaLevi Ruderman, head of the Ner Israel Yeshiva in Baltimore and a senior member of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel, died here Saturday at the age of 87. He was buried Sunday. More than 6,000 mourners attended the funeral. Ruderman’s death was widely seen as the end of an era. He was the last survivor of the venerated “Roshei Yeshiva” who came to the U.S. from Lithuania early in the century.

Born in Dohlinov, near Vilna, Ruderman studied at the Slabodka Yeshiva and at the age of 19 authorized the “Avodas Levi,” an in-depth analysis of some of the most complex issues of the Talmud.

He settled in Baltimore in 1933 and founded the Ner Israel Rabbinical College that year to train a new generation of Jewish religious leaders and educators.

As president and dean over the past 50 years, he ordained more than 1,000 rabbis. His advice and counsel was sought by Jewish leaders on a myriad of issues.

In addition to his position on the Council of Torah Sages, Ruderman served as chairman of the Rabbinic Advisory Board of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools in the U.S. and Canada.

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