Rebbetzin Leah Kagan a”h


[Levayah updates below.] It is with great sadness that we report the passing last night of Rebbetzin Leah Kagan a”h, wife of Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim of Denver, Colorado.

Rebbetzin Kagan was a daughter of the Mattersdorfer Rov, Rav Shmuel Ehrenfeld zt”l, who established Yeshivas Chasan Sofer in New York and also founded the neighborhood of Kiryat Mattersdorf in Yerushalayim.

The Rebbetzin was a great-great-great-grandaughter of the Chasam Sofer through the Chasam Sofer‘s daughter Hindel, who married Rav Dovid Tzvi Ehrenfeld.

The Rebbetzin’s mother, Rebbetzin Rochel Ehrenfeld, was a daughter of Rav Dovid Tzvi Ehrenfeld.

The Rebbetzin was one of seven children; she had two brothers, Rav Simcha Bunim and Rav Akiva, and four sisters. The Rebbetzin’s sisters married illustrious gedolei Torah, including Rav Shmuel Binyomin Fisher, Rav Binyomin Paler, and Rav Eliyahu Simcha Schustal.

Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan shlit"a
Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan shlit”a

The Rebbetzin was a pillar of support to her husband, Rav Yisroel Meir, a prominent talmid of Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, who went on to found Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Denver with Rav Yitzchok Wasserman and has been marbitz Torah for half a century.

The Rebbetzin and her husband raised a family of noted marbitzei Torah. Their children are Rav Chaim Ozer Kagan, Rav Dovid Kagan, Rav Aharon Boruch Kagan; Mrs. Miriam Kamenetsky, wife of Rav Shalom Kamenetsky, R”M at Yeshiva of Philadelphia; Mrs. Gitty Lipschutz, wife of Rav Avrohom Lipschutz, mashgiach of Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago; and Mrs. Chavie Furman, wife of Rav Yaakov Furman, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Vyelipol in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

The levaya is being held this morning at Yeshiva Toras Chaim, located at 1555 Stuart Street in Denver. A second levayah will be held at 7:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the aron will then be flown to Eretz Yisroel for kevurah there.

Yehi zichrah boruch.

Update: The levayah at at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York has been changed to 9 p.m.

Updated: A levayah will be held at 8 p.m. at Yeshiva Chasan Sofer, located at 1876 50th Street in Boro Park, Brooklyn.

{Gavriel Newscenter / Photos: Flash 87 Images}


    • Esther
      regardless of your opinion of the MAtzav’s publishing etiquette. Please rest assured that the rebetzin did not want her picture posted online….

  1. I was privledge enough to have her as my kindergarten teacher as well, she made every side one of us feel like the only one in room. She knew us each by name if we had been in her kindergarten forever. I recently visited her at her sister’s shiva. She stood up for little ol’ me! And introduced me to everyone as her student who she is proud of. She put her frail arm on my back, to say you are welcome in this home. (A home I hardly knew Boro Park) what incredible modesty, mrs. Kagan (as I referee to her) had. She always looked beatific and put togethor, but blended in with the crowd, no one would have guessed who she really was. Finally, my favorite memory of mrs. Kagan was how she even at an elderly age, (I went to kindergarten only 23 years ago) she made Yiddishe it fun and exciting. She would throw us up in the air for “mah tovu”, we would for a “camp” and march with the shevatims flags around the entire school, with Mrs. Kagan leading the way. I was privledge to know a great soul, I could feel it when I was in her presence and know Hashem has taken that diamond for Himself. I almost understand why. She was never of this earth, merely visiting and teaching us what we can be.