Mrs. Henie Meisels, a”h, daughter of the legendary askan, Reb Elimelech (Mike) Tress, z”l, and wife of, ybl”c, Harav Yehudah Michoel Meisels, was niftar on Sunday night, 10 Nisan. She was 74 years old.
The nifteres stood at her husband’s side for over four decades in leading the Sara Schenirer Seminary of Boro Park as well as its branch in Eretz Yisrael. She was remembered for her tremendous generosity, palpable simchas hachaim, and deep sense of emunah and bitachon.
Mrs. Meisels was born in 1941 in Williamsburg. The unique chinuch of the Tress home was one that left an indelible mark on young Henie. Although too young to recall her father’s wartime Hatzalah efforts, his complete dedication to the klal was something that remained rooted deep within Mrs. Meisels until her last day. Her mother, Mrs. Hinda Tress, a”h, who stood always ready to serve the needs of those who entered the home, be they Gedolei Yisrael or those in need, would be a model of selflessness that would define her daughter’s life.
In 1960, she married Yehudah Michoel Meisels, who had already distinguished himself as one of the elite talmidim at Yeshivas Telshe in Cleveland.
In 1970 Rav Meisels accepted the position as principal of what was then the Sara Schenirer High School in Boro Park. Mrs. Meisels initially taught typing and an array of other subjects to the girls, but became increasingly involved in running the technical aspects of the school, becoming an unofficial administrator. The Meisels would work side by side in making Sara Schenirer into a forerunner of many other institutions in chinuch habanos.
Sensing the need to provide an opportunity for girls to obtain college-level degrees in a Torah environment, Mrs. Meisels arranged for Sara Schenirer to obtain official accreditation and issue diplomas.
The nifteres’ innate sense of kindness and caring for others was not something that was limited to her role at Sara Schenirer or her family. It was something that knew no bounds. Her home and telephone line were constantly open to all those whom she could help with a warm meal, a few dollars, or a few kind words. Harkening back to the example of her youth, she often remarked that for her, giving tzedakah was not something that took effort. “It’s in my genes,” she would say.
She is survived by her husband, ybl”c, Harav Yehudah Michoel, as well as by her siblings, children, and many grand-children and great-grandchildren.
Yehi zichra baruch
Updated Monday, April 18, 2016 at 6:17 pm