A large crowd attended the levaya of HaRav Alexander
Dominitz zt"l, one of the great paragons of
chessed in our day, one of the great achievers in
kiruv rechokim around the world and especially in
Yokneam in the north of Eretz Yisroel. He passed away in his
79th year after a short illness.
HaRav Alexander Dominitz was born in Cologne, Germany. His
father Rav Yaakov was murdered in the Holocaust. Together
with thousands of other teenage children, he was sent to the
death camps, but miraculously he managed to escape.
Somehow, alone in an area inhabited by German nationals, he
managed to survive the war years. He did not tell anyone that
he was a Jew. During that period he vowed that if he survived
that valley of death he would dedicate his life to helping
Klal Yisroel by helping in chessed and Torah
The only one of his family to survive the Nazi death machine,
he arrived in Liverpool, England after the war and joined the
yeshiva of HaRav Y. Plitnick zt"l. As other survivors
of the Holocaust arrived in England, he worked to help them,
healing their broken hearts and supporting their efforts to
rehabilitate themselves, in keeping with his vow during the
war years. He organized the community in Liverpool to help
with the refugees.
After marriage he settled in London, working with youth whom
he was mekarev. Filled with a sense of mission, he
went out to save Jewish youth and, with his pleasant manner
and a heart radiating ahavas Yisroel, he was
successful in reaching many individuals and families and
teaching them about true Jewish traditions.
For the children of the families he was mekarev, the
Yesodei HaTorah school opened special classes geared to their
needs. Many of those children have since grown up to become
true bnei Torah, and many of them now serve as roshei
yeshivos, dayanim and rabbonim. HaRav Dominitz often saw to
their needs for many years, even to making their weddings and
HaRav Alexander's home in London was a vibrant center of
chessed. He helped wherever it was needed, in both
ruchniyus and gashmiyus. Hundreds of families
in London owe him an extremely deep debt of gratitude, as he
cared for each according to their needs in all spheres of
His middos were unusual as, with all his
accomplishments, he conducted himself with the utmost
tsnius. He was able to communicate and relate to
everyone, at any level. His bright and friendly demeanor by
itself lifted many spirits.
Twenty years ago he came to Eretz Yisroel and stayed with his
son who lives in Zichron Yaakov, not far from Haifa. While
there he heard of the Torah activities that were going on in
the nearby town of Yokneam. When he was told that it only
required additional funds to greatly expand the network of
shiurim and other Torah activities, he undertook to be
responsible for the funds necessary to support those
activities which, through the years, expanded also to include
Moshav Eliakim and Ein HaEmek.
Little by little the number of baalei teshuvoh began
to increase, mostly through seminars organized by Arachim.
HaRav Dominitz often sponsored families at these Arachim
seminars. "It is not right that a Jew wants to learn Torah
and become closer to Jewish tradition and he should not be
able to because of a lack of funds," he said.
Dozens of families eventually returned to their Jewish roots,
as kindergartens and day care centers were opened to serve
them -- all funded by HaRav Alexander Dominitz, who was able
to arouse the support of the Jewish community in London and
other places in England for the revolution in Yokneam.
Eventually kollelim also opened, and the spiritual
momentum was so strong that very soon a yeshiva
ketanoh is due to open in a spacious building that HaRav
Dominitz began putting up.
The blessed work of HaRav Dominitz and his partners,
especially HaRav Oded Sirri, spread to Moshav Eliakim, as
mentioned earlier. Most of its residents are now baalei
teshuvoh, and the young children learn in yeshivas. About
a decade ago a half-day kollel was opened, and dozens
of local residents attend.
All told, his activities in Yokneam were mekarev more
than two-hundred-and-fifty families! Rav Dominitz truly
founded a Torah community yesh mei'ayin.
In a larger sense, his efforts extended all over the north of
Israel. Torah activists who approached him for help say that
they never heard him say, "I can't do it." Every request was
answered and he always used to say, "Im tzarich, as
HaKadosh Boruch Hu ya'azor. -- If it must be, then
HaKadosh Boruch Hu will help." Even at his advanced
age he used to hurry here and there to do as much as he
In recent years he moved to Brachfeld-Modiin Illit, but he
continued to work for the Torah institutions in the north and
families in need all over Israel. Recently he became ill and
last Wednesday, 19 Shvat (February 11), he returned his pure
soul to his Maker.
The levaya left Shamgar in Jerusalem. Speaking were:
HaRav A. Shechter, HaRav N. Schreibman his talmid and
HaRav Y. Ehrentreu. Hespedim at Brachfeld were said by
the moro de'asra HaRav Y. Zicherman, HaRav A. Barzel,
HaRav A. Dunner, and his son HaRav Aryeh Leib.
At Zichron Yaakov, hespedim were said by HaRav S.
Yungerman, HaRav Y. M. Zonnenfeld, HaRav C. B. Nebenzahl,
HaRav Yomtov Kraus of London, his son HaRav Aryeh Leib and
his grandson HaRav Dovid Shlomoh.
At the cemetery after the burial, a hesped was said by
the rov of Yokneam, HaRav M. Vaknin.
He left behind four sons and five daughters, all following
his path, in addition to hundreds of families who were like
children to him, as well as many friends -- all of whom mourn