Bid to Name 50th Street For Harav Weissmandl Gains Steam

BROOKLYN -
Harav Michoel Ber Weissmandl, zt”l.
Harav Michoel Ber Weissmandl, zt”l.

A proposal to rename a stretch of Boro Park’s 50th Street in honor of Harav Michoel Ber Weissmandl, zt”l, is gaining steam, with a local councilman joining a group of Nitra talmidim in calling for the name change.

Councilman David Greenfield, a Democrat representing the area, added his name to a letter written to Community Board 12 proposing that the portion of 50th Street between 14th and
15th Avenues be renamed in memory of the Holocaust hero who later rebuilt the Nitra Yeshivah in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Harav Weissmandl, the letter written by Alfred Schonberger and Ari Fixler said, “was an incredible individual who dedicated several years of his life to saving Slovakian Jews.”

The letter delineated how Harav Weissmandl set up the Working Group with Mrs. Gisi Fleischman, Hy”d, to convince German and Slovakian authorities to delay the mass deportation of Jews for two years.

Following his arrival in the United States, Harav Weissmandl reestablished the Nitra Yeshiva in 1946, first in New Jersey and then in Mount Kisco. In the time since, Nitra shuls have been established in many other communities, including two in Boro Park, one in Williamsburg and one in Monsey.

“It would be especially appropriate to rename a street in Boro Park in his honor,” they wrote, “given the large population of Holocaust survivors and their descendants who call this area home today.”

This would be the second street renaming that Greenfield arranged. In 2013, he led an initiative to have a portion of 13th Avenue in Boro Park renamed “Raoul Wallenberg Way” in honor of the Swedish diplomat’s efforts during World War II to save as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.

The State legislature last week honored Harav Weissmandl in unanimous Assembly and Senate resolutions.