It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rav Zachariah Gelley zt”l, rov of K’hal Adath Jeshurun (KAJ) in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan in New York City. He was 85 years old.
Rav Gelley was a noted talmid chochom and manhig, who guided KAJ, which is comprised of an elementary yeshiva for boys and girls, a Bais Yaakov middle school for girls, a mesivta high school for boys, a bais medrash and kollel, a mikvah, a kashrus supervisory organization, a chevra kadisha, and more.
Rav Gelley hailed from Tapolcany, Slovakia, and survived the horrors of World War II by hiding, enduring imprisonment and other tribulations.
Rav Gelley immigrated to England, where he settled in London.
Rav Gelley later became a marbitz Torah at the Sunderland Yeshiva. He influenced and guided hundreds of talmidim.
Rav Gelley ultimately relocated to the United States, joining KAJ in 1985, working side by side with Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l.
In 1995, with Rav Schwab’s petirah, Rav Gelley became the sole rov of KAJ. KAJ is now led by Rav Yisroel Mantel.
In addition to his Torah knowledge and leadership, Rav Gelley was renowned for his kindness and compassion, helping an untold number of number through his position of mara d’asra of the famed Breuer’s kehillah. Rav Gelley and his rebbetzin opened their home to those who came to seek his counsel, his p’sak, or merely a word of encouragement.
Rav Gelley is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Angeline Gelley, and an illustrious family, including his children, Mrs. Miri Schechter, Dayan Menachem Gelley, Mrs. Esther Hochhauser, Rabbi Meir Gelley, Mrs. Rochel Knopfler, Rabbi Rephoel Gelley, Mrs. Sara Kranz, Mr. Dovid Gelley, Mr. Shlomo Gelley, and Mrs. Tzippy Scheinberg, and many grandchildren.
Rav Gelley resided for the last few years in Lakewood, as he battled illness. A brief levaya will take place at Bais Medrash Govoah, on Seventh Street, at the Yoshon Building, in Lakewood, NJ. at 3 p.m. The levayah will take place tomorrow, Friday, at 10 a.m., at Khal Adath Jeshurun, located at 85 Bennett Ave in Manhattan. Kevurah will follow at King Solomon Cemetery in Clifton, NJ, at about noon.
Yehi zichro boruch.