R’ Moshe Yosef Reichenberg z”l to Receive Carnegie Medal for His Heroism

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reichenberg1R’ Moshe Yosef Reichenberg z”l is already a hero to all of us after giving up his life at age 46 to save a neighbor’s child during the terrible storm that ravaged Monsey, NY, during the fall. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, R’ Moshe Yosef was electrocuted as he tried to save 5-year-old Reuven Herbst, who was shocked after coming in contact with a fence that had become electrified by a downed wire near Merrick Drive and Union Road in Spring Valley. Reuven was later niftar.

R’ Moshe Yosef, whose son, Eliyahu, celebrated his bar mitzvah just a few months ago, will be honored posthumously with a Carnegie medal for his heroism in trying to save young Reuven.

Carnegie medalists or their heirs receive financial grants approved by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. More than $34.4 million has been awarded to 9,539 honorees since the fund’s inception in 1904. New recipients are announced four times a year. Steel baron Andrew Carnegie was inspired to start the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, says its mission is to recognize people who perform heroic acts in civilian life and to provide financial help to those disabled, or to the dependents of those killed, by their heroism.

Two weeks ago, on June 17, the second annual Reichenberg Walkathon was held at Rockland Lake as an opportunity to help thirteen-year-old son Eliyahu pay tribute to his father. The walkathon was first organized by R’ Moshe Yosef to raise money for Eliyahu’s school, Mesivta Bircas Mordechai.

R’ Moshe Yosef began studying at Ohr Somayach close to thirty years ago and for 25 years went every morning to learn and daven at Ohr Somayach. R’ Moshe Yosef was an exceptional role model to a generation of Ohr Somayach’s students. His exceptional bitachon, simchas hachayim and infectious love of every Jew were contagious.

R’ Moshe Yosef had a magnetic spiritual energy about him and would go to great lengths helping others. For years, he spent his entire Purim raising money for the Monsey G’mach, Keren Hachesed. He was a true friend to so many people and a quiet tzaddik and baal chessed.

When R’ Moshe Yosef first joined Ohr Somayach, he left behind a rich and satisfying social life. With his talent, intelligence, athletic abilities, and warm and endearing nature, R’ Moshe Yosef’s future held much promise.

What was truly remarkable was that his infectious joy and optimism were not the products of a life blessed with material happiness and success. On the contrary, his life was beset with extreme financial and personal hardships. Whether it was a fire that destroyed all his material possessions or raising a child with autism, R’ Moshe Yosef faced each extreme challenge with an equally extreme level of bitachon and simcha.

May R’ Moshe Yosef’s wife, Mrs. Ruth M. Reichenberg, take strength from her husband’s selflessness and continue to have much nachas from her children.

{Casriel Bauman-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I believe that the great periodical Ami Magazine gave their person of the year award to Reichenberg as well. It was a great Kiddush Hashem what Ami did.


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