NEW YORK - Rebbetzin Tzirel Kamenetsky, a”h, the wife of ybl”c, Harav Binyomin Kamenetsky, was niftar over Shabbos. She and her husband were among the pioneers who built Torah in the Five Towns community of Long Island.
She was born in 1926, in the Polish town of Ostrow-Kalishin to Harav Pinchos Eliyahu, zt”l, and Rebbetzin Basha Spiegel, a”h. Her grandfather, Harav Naphtoli Aryeh, zt”l, was a revered Rebbe and a descendant of the Chozeh of Lublin.
In 1929, the family moved to America and settled in the Bronx, where Harav Naphtoli Aryeh established a beis medrash. Despite the winds of assimilation that prevailed in most of New York’s Jewish community at the time, the Spiegels raised their children with the highest standard of dedication to Yiddishkeit. Due to the total lack of options for Torahdig chinuch habanos at the time, young Tzirel attended public school. However, supported by the spirit of kedushah that filled her home, she remained steadfast in her dedication to the holy mesorah that she had inherited.
In 1947, she married Harav Binyomin Kamenetsky, the eldest son of the preeminent Gadol, Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky, zt”l. The couple first settled in East New York, where her husband served as a rebbi in Yeshivas Toras Chaim.
Upon Rav Yaakov’s instructions, the young family moved to Woodmere, Long Island, in 1956 in an effort to plant the seeds of Yiddishkeit in the community. There, Rav Binyomin established traditional mosdos chinuch. It would be decades until the Five Towns would finally blossom into the center of frum life that it is today. During these years, the Rebbetzin stood by her husband’s efforts and raised her family with great mesirus nefesh.
She is survived by, ybl”c, her husband, Harav Binyomin Kamenetsky; brothers, Harav Dovid Spiegel, the Ostrov-Kalushiner Rebbe of Cedarhurst, and Harav Yaakov Yitzchok Spiegel; sister, Mrs. Toby Lichtshein; sons, Harav Mordechai and Harav Tzvi; daughters, Rebbetzin Sarah Knobel, Rebbetzin Esther Wilhelm, and Rebbetzin Shoshana Lefkowitz, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Yehi zichrah baruch.