The Orthodox Union is saddened to inform our readers of the passing of Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetzky of Woodmere, NY. Rebbetzin Kamenetzky, 89, passed away on Friday; the funeral took place on Sunday.
Shivah will take place at the Kamenetzky residence, 357 Barnard Avenue in Woodmere, until Friday afternoon. Shacharis will be at 8 a.m. and Mincha/Maariv at 4:35 p.m.
Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetzky was the wife of Rabbi Binyamin Kamenetzky, the eldest son of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky zt’l. Rabbi Binyamin Kamenetzky was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere, an-OU-member shul and one of the largest Orthodox congregations in the United States. Rabbi Kamenetzky and his wife were pillars of the community and Rabbi Kamenetzky later founded the Yeshiva of South Shore—Yeshiva Toras Chaim and the Torah Academy for Girls.
Rebbetzin Kamenetzky was the daughter of Rabbi Pinchus Eliyahu Spiegel zt’l, the Ostrove-Kalushiner Rebbe in the Bronx.
“Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetzky was a true Aishet Chayal [woman of valor] for her family and the entire Jewish community,” noted Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union. “Together with her husband Rabbi Binyamin Kamenetzky, she helped build many of the institutions that made Orthodox life on Long Island possible. The thriving Jewish community of the Five Towns is a tribute to her dedication to klal Yisrael.”
She is survived by her children, Mrs. Sarah Knobel, wife of Rabbi Yitzchok Knobel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns; Mrs. Esther Wilhelm, wife of Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm of Monsey; Mrs. Shani Lefkowitz, wife of Rav Simcha Lefkowitz, rabbi of Congregation Anshei Chessed in Woodmere, NY; Rav Mordechai Kamenetzky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim of South Shore; and Rav Tzvi Kamenetzky of Toronto; along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rebbetzin Kamenetzky is also survived by her siblings, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Spiegel of Boro Park, Rav Dovid Spiegel of Cedarhurst and Rebbetzin Esther Lichtshein of Chicago.
“It’s very inspiring to recognize the influence of one couple on the community and how fortunate we are to have been able to be influenced by them,” stated Barbara Lehmann Siegel, lay chair of the OU department of Synagogue and Community services and national vice president of the OU. “Rabbi Kamenetzky and Rebbetzin Kamenetzky recognized that each person has something unique to contribute to the Jewish people. Their lives have always been a beautiful, inspiring amalgam of the joyful chassidut of the rebbetzin’s father, the Ostrove-Kalushiner Rebbe, and Rabbi Kamenetzky’s father, the great Ish Emet B’simcha, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky. They brought up a beautiful family that donates all its strength to klal yisrael with openness, warmth and joy.”
Young Israel of Woodmere celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.