Thousands attended the funeral of the longtime head of the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rabbi Shmuel Berenbaum, who served as rosh yeshiva for more than 50 years, died Sunday at 87 after a long battle with cancer, The Associated Press reported. The funeral was held Monday.
Berenbaum, a native of Poland, studied at the yeshiva in Mir before World War II. As the Nazis’ power grew in Eastern Europe, Berenbaum and his fellow students fled across the Soviet Union and sought refuge in Shanghai.
“The rescue of the institution during the Holocaust by going to Shanghai was an act of incredible daring,” Steven Bayme, national director of contemporary Jewish life at the American Jewish Committee, told AP. “It took enormous courage and perseverance.”
Berenbaum, a Talmudic scholar, eventually moved to the United States. In 1952, after the passing of his father-in-law, he became the rosh yeshiva at Mir with his brother-in-law, the late Rabbi Shraga Moshe Kalmanovitz.
Mir now has 1,200 students. Another branch, in Jerusalem, has about 4,000 students.