Reb Yechiel Michel Karfunkel, z”l, the renowned baal tzedakah and confidant of the Rabbanim of Mattersdorf, was niftar over Chol Hamoed Pesach. He was 73 years old.
He was born in Budapest in 1943 to Reb Yisrael Yehudah and Mrs. Esther Karfunkel. The family managed to evade deportation and survive the War.
In 1955, the Karfunkels moved to America. Young Michel attended Yeshivas Chasam Sofer, where his sharp mind and refined manner quickly distinguished the young bachur. Reb Yisrael Yehudah, a noted talmid chacham, formed a close bond with Harav Shmuel Ehrenfeld, zt”l, the previous Mattersdorfer Rav; this relationship was continued by the niftar, who also maintained an especially warm connection with the present Rav as well as with Yeshivas Chasam Sofer.
“He was the amud of the yeshivah,” said Rabbi Meir Weinberger, administrator of Yeshivas Chasan Sofer.
In 1973, he married Leah Karfunkel. The couple established their home in Boro Park. Despite the obligations of an extremely successful career, the niftar was meticulous in maintaining regular learning sedarim and usually greeted visitors to his home with the latest chiddush he had found in a sefer.
The extent of Mr. Karfunkel’s giving will perhaps never be known. Besides his strong support of Chasan Sofer, Belz, Satmar, and many other mosdos, he discreetly gave countless sums to individuals in need, all with his typical modesty and sensitivity.
He is survived by his sons, Reb Baruch and Reb Shmuel Dov; his daughter, Mrs. Esther Zyskind; and many grandchildren.
Yehi zichro baruch.