At a mournful funeral attended by a large assembly, including gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos, roshei kollelim, rabbonim, Chinuch Atzmai heads and directors of Torah, chinuch and chessed organizations, final respects were paid to Rabbi Amos Bunim z"l of Lawrence, New York, a leading figure among US activists working to promote Torah-true Judaism. One of the leading Torah supporters of our age, he returned his soul to his Maker on Shabbos at the age of 82.
The deceased was born in the US to his father Yitzchok Meir (Irving) Bunim, a learned man of sterling repute. He attended Yeshivas Eitz Chaim in Brooklyn and received semichoh at a young age before marrying the daughter of Torah activist Rav Sholom Silver. She passed away over a decade ago.
As the only son of his generous father, who maintained close ties with America's leading roshei yeshivos, including HaRav Aharon Kotler and HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, he also cleaved to gedolei Torah. Working closely with them, he helped bring life to the spiritual wasteland in America at the time, building yeshivas and upholding their rights and fostering Torah education in the country, earning the admiration and esteem of gedolei Yisroel through his dedicated efforts.
Since its founding, Rabbi Bunim was a staunch supporter of Chinuch Atzmai in Eretz Yisroel, and to help raise funds he would travel to faraway cities and states together with Torah luminaries. He was among the heads of Torah Umesorah and also a board member of Lakewood Yeshiva and other important Torah institutions in the US.
Despite his failing health recently, he continued to inquire into and take an interest in the Torah world and Torah education in the US and Eretz Hakodesh. On Shabbos, his condition deteriorated; at the time of his passing he was surrounded by his devoted family, including his two daughters and their husbands, HaRav Kalman Winter, rov of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Rabbi Shimon Glick, a leading Torah supporter in the US.
The large levaya was held on Sunday, starting at Lakewood Yeshiva. In recognition of his dedication to the yeshiva from the start, as well as his devotion to HaRav Aharon Kotler and his son HaRav Shneur Kotler, the mittoh was placed inside the yeshiva, where moving hespeidim were given by the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Malkiel Kotler; the mashgiach, HaRav Mattisyohu Salomon; the deceased's son-in-law, HaRav Kalman Winter; the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yaakov Yosef in Edison, New Jersey, HaRav Yaakov Bossel; the deceased's grandson, HaRav Dovid Brown, a prominent avreich at Lakewood; and the director of the yeshiva, Rabbi Aharon Kotler.
The procession then went to Shaar Yoshuv Yeshiva in Far Rockaway, New York, near where the deceased made his home. The casket was then sent to Kennedy International Airport for a flight to Eretz Yisroel.
In Jerusalem the levaya resumed at Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in the Sanhedria Murchevet neighborhood, where dozens of roshei yeshivos, rabbonim, marbitzei Torah and heads of Torah and chinuch organizations were on hand.
In his eulogy, HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch referred to him as an eved Hashem who fulfilled Chazal's advice to cleave to chachomim.
HaRav Avrohom Yosef Lazerson of Chinuch Atzmai lamented the loss of a key backer of the entire education system.
A brief hesped in English was delivered by HaRav Dovid Chait, an old friend of the deceased's and the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, and words of parting were offered by the grandson of the deceased's sister, HaRav Zalman Feiger.
Following Kaddish, recited by his son-in-law HaRav Glick, the procession went to Har Hazeisim, where he was buried in a family plot.
Rabbi Amos Bunim is survived by his second wife, his daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren carrying on the family legacy.