In this second installment, we’ll examine another few personalities who were associated with the growth of Torah in the United States through their involvement with RIETS/YU.
An unparalleled genius, Rav Chaim Heller (1879-1960) served in several capacities, among which he gave classes at RIETS in his later years. He devoted the better part of his scholarly investment towards a refutation of Bible criticism, and wrote extensively on the topic. Perhaps no other name is more synonymous with RIETS than Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, or simply “the Rav” (1903-1993). Succeeding his father’s position in 1941, commenced a decades long endeavor of teaching thousands of students and generations of Rabbis. His influence resonates within the institution and beyond till this very day.
An earlier builder of of RIETS was the almost forgotten Rabbi Dr. Hillel Hakohen Klein (1849-1926). An architect of Jewish life in New York, he spearheaded many initiatives, projects and institutions, leaving his stamp on almost every area of American traditional life. Among his positions was the presidency of RIETS around the turn of the century.
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