At a heart-rending levaya that drew roshei yeshivos,
the Admor of Novominsk, rabbonim, public figures and family
acquaintances, Mrs. Gittel Leah Friedenson a"h, the
wife of Rav Friedenson ylct"a, general secretary of
Agudas Yisroel of America and editor of Dos Yiddishe
Vort, who passed away at the age of 83 in New York, was
brought to Jerusalem for burial.
The deceased was born in Szczydlovtziya, Poland to HaRav Tzvi
Zeev Zilberman Hy"d. Inside the ghetto at the height
of the Holocaust she married her distinguished husband, R'
Yosef Friedenson. They were separated when she was
transported to Auschwitz and her husband to Buchenwald. When
they were miraculously reunited after the war they relocated
to Munich, where he began to work for Agudas Yisroel.
In 5711 (1951) they moved to the US, building a home with
three daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-
grandchildren, all following in the path of their forefathers
and carrying on the family's fabulous legacy.
Since their arrival in New York the deceased stood at her
husband's side in his important work for Agudas Yisroel of
America as general secretary and editor of Dos Yiddishe
Vort—for decades the leading conveyor of Torah-true
Judaism in the US—and as the right-hand man of Aguda
President R' Moshe Sherer. Over the years she devoted
boundless efforts to her and her husband's lifelong work of
perpetuating and raising awareness of the memories of the
Holocaust martyrs in the consciousness of the younger
Several weeks ago she was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in
New York, where she underwent heart surgery. She never
regained consciousness and on 17 Teves returned her soul to
The levaya was held that evening in Boro Park, drawing
numerous participants from every segment of Brooklyn's
chareidi community. At the Shomrei Hadas Funeral Home,
hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Eliyohu Fisher, rosh
kollel of Kollel Gur in New York, R' Yechezkel Besser, a
member of the presidential board of Agudas Yisroel of
America, and HaRav Dovid Olevsky, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta
Beis Yisroel-Gur in Boro Park. Moving words of parting were
given by her husband and sons-in-law, R' Moshe Cohen and R'
Yosef Chaim Golding. From there the procession continued on
its way to Kennedy Airport.
Resuming at the Shamgar Funeral Home in Jerusalem the
levaya was joined by gedolei Torah, rabbonim
and public activists, as well as a prominent group of Agudas
Yisroel members led by the Admor of Novominsk. The Agudah
group was staying in Israel to participate in the
organization's annual Yarchei Kallah.
The levaya began with the recitation of Tehillim
by R' Shlomo Greenbaum, who also spoke of his great
respect for the deceased. Eulogies were given by Rabbi
Menachem Porush, who spoke of her as an emblem of the
eishes chayil of the bygone dor dei'oh. Rabbi
Avrohom Yosef Lazerson, one of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai,
expressed the deep pain felt by the family's friends and
Speaking in a choked voice the deceased's son-in-law, R'
Yosef Chaim Golding, director of The Jewish Observer
and a high-ranking employee at Agudas Yisroel's New York
bureau, conveyed the family's grief, speaking at length on
the deceased's spiritual strength and inner valor in every
stage of her life. He also spoke of her elevated
middos, her calm demeanor and her gratification from
all of her offspring as they carry on their forefathers'
Before the levaya set out, the Admor of Novominsk
arrived. Speaking in English he noted the deceased's great
contribution to her husband's work for the sake of Klal
Yisroel over the course of more than half-a-century,
pointing out the Friedensons' role in carrying on the holy
lives of Polish Jewry within the context of US materialism
through every possible means of expression.
After the hespeidim the funeral procession continued
on its way to Har Hamenuchos, where Mrs. Gittel Leah
Friedenson a"h was buried in Chelkas Chassidei Gur.