Bais Yaakov of Boro Park — Remembered

Your article about the history of Bais Yaakov of Boro Park which appeared in the Features section was very welcome. It was a heartwarming feeling to know how far-reaching BYP has come. However as I am a former student of the first grade that was established in BYP, I hate to see the beginning fade into oblivion.

Allow me to correct the chronology of the birth of BYP. The first class stared in 1941. My father Yehudah Goldberger (his picture hangs on the wall on top of one of the classrooms) went from door to door enlisting girls. Some of the names of the people whom I recall who accompanied him were Ullman, Maruice Pappenheim, Anshel Fink, Mr. Bodenheimer, Katzenstein, Jacob Landau and later Morris Rokowsky and David Turkel. We were a Talmud Torah class which started at 3:30 after public school ended. To illustrate the truth of what I’m claiming, let me mention that we were in class when we heard that Pearl Harbor was bombed, and we all hid under our desks. This was on December 7, 1941.

Our first principals were Rabbi Epstein, Rabbi Leitner, Rabbi Munk. We were first located in Rabbi Simpson’s shul on 46th Street, then on top of a Chinese laundry on 50th Street and 12th Avenue, on top of a store on 13th Avenue and 47th Street, and THEN the building pictured in your article. I recall the meetings in our house, all the planning sessions. They were very exciting. (Many years later I started my teaching career in that building.)

I truly enjoyed your article. I just felt I had to mention the accuracy of the pioneering days. They say that history is his-story. It was a different Boro Park in those days. I just feel very strongly that the mesirus nefesh that was expended not be forgotten. No history of this great institution would be accurate with out adding the “birth-pains” of this wonderful school.

Tovah Danziger (nee Goldberger)