The Jewish community of Detroit deeply mourned the petirah of its beloved Rosh Kollel, Harav Moshe Schwab, zt”l, who was niftar Sunday afternoon. As the kollel’s founder, he was among the first in the country to introduce the idea of a community kollel and movement that had untold influence not only on the kehillah of Detroit, but on Jewish life around the country. He was 73 years old.
Rav Schwab was born in London in 1943. His parents, Mr. Herman (Chaim Tzvi), z”l, and Mrs. Betty (Baila) Schwab, a”h, both originally from Germany, were highly respected members of the community. As a young bachur, Rav Schwab first studied in the Yeshivah of Gateshead, where he distinguished himself for his great hasmadah.
Upon the advice of his renowned uncles, Harav Shimon, zt”l, and Harav Mordechai Schwab, zt”l, in 1963, Rav Schwab traveled to America to study in Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. Rav Schwab would go on to forge a strong bond with Harav Shneur Kotler, zt”l, who had just recently taken over leadership of the yeshivah.
In the mid-1970’s, Rav Shneur was approached by a group of lay leaders from Detroit who asked for the Rosh Yeshivah’s help in bringing a kollel to their community. Recognizing the unique talents that Rav Schwab possessed, he recommended him for the project. In the nearly 41 years that he would lead the kollel alongside, ybl”c, Harav Shmuel Irons, the beis medrash became a makom Torah par excellence that developed generations of talmidei chachamim. Additionally, it would play a key role in transforming the community at large into a kehillah built on strong foundations of Torah and mesorah. In the kollel and beyond, Rav Schwab did his utmost to ensure that the standards set were the very highest that could be attained.
A levayah was scheduled to be held Sunday night in the Detroit kollel and then to continue to Monsey for kevurah beside his uncle, Harav Mordechai Schwab.
He is survived by a many children and grandchildren who carry on his commitment to Torah and yiras Shamayim.
A full tribute will follow, b’ezras Hashem, in a future edition.