The Boro Park community mourns the petirah of Mrs. Marilyn (Mishkat Leah) Reisman, a”h, the mother of, ybl”c, Harav Yisroel Reisman, Rosh Yeshivah in Torah Vodaath and Mara d’Asra of Khal Agudas Yisroel of Madison, and the widow of Reb Avrohom Reisman, z”l, co-founder of Reisman’s Bakery. She passed away Sunday night, 20 Adar 1, at age 79.
Mrs. Reisman was born in 1937 in New York and grew up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Her parents, Reb Nosson, z”l, and Mrs. Malka Mirel, a”h, Horowitz, immigrated to the United States in the early years of the 20th century. They were among the brave minority of Jews who clung to Torah and mitzvos and remained steadfast in their desire to pass their proud mesorah on to their children.
Sensing the grave spiritual dangers that prewar America posed to Yiddishkeit, Mrs. Horowitz fasted every Monday and Thursday, hoping that in the merit of this act her young son and daughter would grow up to be loyal Jews.
Due to the lack of chinuch options for girls at the time, young Marilyn attended public school. Despite the challenges this entailed, with the strong values that permeated her parents’ humble home and her own strength of character, she remained committed to her goal of going on to build her own Torah-true family.
In 1956 she married Reb Avrohom Reisman. A native of the Czech town of Shasvar, he had survived the horrors of Auschwitz and managed to immigrate to America. The couple settled in Boro Park, where they would raise their family and become pillars of the community.
In 1962, Reb Avrohom, together with his brother, Reb Dov, z”l, who passed away only weeks ago, opened what has since become the famous Reisman’s Bakery. As the institution grew from a neighborhood fixture to become a trailblazer in packaged kosher baked goods, Mrs. Reisman managed the business’s office work and bookkeeping.
Despite the time and effort the business entailed, Mrs. Reisman was the picture of a dedicated wife and mother, also managing to find time for countless chassadim and efforts for the klal. Friends remember the Reisman home as one with open doors, and the nifteres as a neighbor who could be counted on to do what she could to help anyone in need of a favor. She was heavily involved in a number of local institutions, including Yeshivas Chasan Sofer and various bikur cholim societies.
As a small sign of the ahavas haTorah that the couple shared, they regularly spent their vacations in Lakewood, rather than in more popular vacation spots, where Reb Avrohom would spend his time learning, in the days before official yarchei kallas.
Mrs. Reisman is survived by her children, Harav Yisroel Reisman and Mrs. Chana Fixler, and her brother, Rabbi Herbert Horowitz, and by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Yehi zichrah baruch.