Rav Zvi Eliyahu Meir Schmelczer to Join Yeshiva of Montreal

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rav-eli-schmelczerRav Zvi Eliyahu Meir Schmelczer, the dynamic rosh kollel of the North Miami Beach Community Kollel, is leaving his position to join the hanhalah of Yeshiva Gedola Merkaz Hatorah Tiferes Mordechai of Montreal.

Rav Schmelczer has led the North Miami Beach Community Kollel with great success, serving as a guide to the yungeleit and a group of wonderful baalei batim who developed a night kollel and morning kollel program.

Rav Shmelczer’s ties to Miami begin with his father-in-law, Rav Mordechai Shapiro zt”l, who was a noted talmid of Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l and was a rov in Miami Beach for many years. Rav Schmelczer himself has served as the menahel of Mesivta of Miami Beach and previously learned in the kollelim of Mexico City and Montreal. His father, Rav Chaim Schmelczer zt”l, was one of the founding roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Telz in Chicago.

Yeshiva Gedola Merkaz Hatorah Tiferes Mordechai has been led by its roshei yeshiva, Rav Moshe Mendel Glustein, Rav Shimon Zeffren, and Rav Yaakov Bistritz. The yeshiva was founded over 35 years ago by a small group of parents and community members and encompasses a large pre-school elementary and high school, in addition to the bais medrash.

{Yossi Schneider-Matzav.com}


  1. Who’s taking over the Kollel? Rav Schmeltzer is a very warm and caring person. I hope the kollel wont have to close shop. He had been rumored to be going to Montreal before the Kollel opened, and that they got him to stay because of the Kollel

  2. A very special man, from a very special family.

    What a momentous time as
    Telshe Yeshiva Chicago is now celebrating its Yovel Year.

    May he have much Hatzlacha in his newest endeavor!

  3. He will be replaced Harav Yehudah Kaploun who not long ago received Samicha from Rav Benzinger a few years ago. Hatlacha rabba

  4. #2, the yeshiva in Montreal was started many many years ago, and came onto the map about 1972 when talmidim of Telz joined- followed by Rav Mottel Weinberg ZT”L

  5. I was privileged to attend Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah – Tiferes Mordechai from 1975-78. The following is the little bit that I know about its history. (Most of this piece I simply copied and reworded what I wrote about the previous Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Mordechai Weinberg, ZT’L, in a comment at http://matzav.com/todays-yahrtzeits-history-15-tammuz-2)

    For many years in Montreal, there had been a very fine yeshiva called “Merkaz HaTorah,” led by a Rav Leib Baron, ZT’L. In the early 1970’s, some senior Talmidim of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens opened another yeshiva in Montreal called “Yeshiva Gedola.” A while latter, two senior Talmidim of Telz in Cleveland, Rav Moshe Mendel, Glustein, Sh’lita, and Rav Shimon Mattisyahu Zeffren, Sh’lita, became the directors of Yeshiva Gedola. In a short while after that, the two yeshivas realized that they really should be one yeshiva, so they merged together with thus the name: “Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah.”

    About this same time, they requested a Rav Mordechai Weinberg to come to Montreal to be their Rosh Yeshiva.

    Rav Mordechai Weinberg, ZT’L, was one of the very best Talmidim of the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio and was a virtual Talmid Muvhak of the founding Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Eliyahu Meyer Bloch, ZT’L. He was thus a colleague of the senior Talmidim who were to latter become the next generation of Telzer Gedolay Torah: Rav Mordechai Gifter, ZT’L, Rav Rephael Boruch Sorotzkin, ZT’L, and, Yibodelem L’Chaiyim, Rav Avroham Chaim Levin, Sh’lita, and Rav Chaim Dov Keller, Sh’lita. He further spent a year learning under Rav Reuvain Grozovsky, ZT’L, in Beis Medrosh Elyon in Monsey.

    By this time, he had already acheived tremendous Gadlus in Torah, having learned through all of Shas with a vast kinyan in Gemara B’Iyun and Poskim and P’sak Halacha as well.

    When he reached his early twenties, the Gedolay Torah who were his mentors directed him to begin doing Chinuch. His first position was at Yeshiva Rabaynu Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked under Rav Yitzchak Hutner, ZT’L. He then became the Rosh Yeshiva of the excellent emerging school, the Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. Now, he was being requested by the newly formed/merged Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah of Montreal, and he agreed. (The leadership of Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway – Yeshiva Zichron Melech then went to one of the contemporary Gedolay Torah, Rav Chaim Epstein, Sh’lita.)

    When Rav Weinberg made the move, a large chabura of his talmidim at the Yeshiva of Eastern Parkway came with him, giving the Montreal yeshiva a tremendous boost. Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah thus became one of the Chashuva – major prominent “Ivy League” – Torah centers in North America.

    Rav Weinberg — he was commonly known by his Yiddish first name: “Rav Mottel” — gave a very tremendous amount to the Talmidim. Each week, he gave an advanced daily Blatt Shiur, a weekly Shiur K’lali/Pilpul Shiur, which he reviewed with different groups, and a number of Sichos Mussar and Hashkafa.

    In his lectures, he was a phenomenal speaker.  When he would deliver Sichos Mussar on the subject of various human corruptions, he would often vehemently exclaim his condemnation of the wrongdoing with a brilliant force and energy that was literally awesome. With this trait, he exhorted and demanded the Talmidim to achieve a high level of performance. Many of the Talmidim went on to become top Talmidim in the very chashuva yeshivos of Brisk and Mir Yerushalaiyim in Eretz Yisroel and Beis Medrosh Gevoha in Lakewood, and today are prominent Marbetzay Torah.

    Rav Weinberg was Niftar on 15 Tammuz, 5752. Amazingly, the day was the yortzheit of his mother, A’H — his fatel heart attacks began right when he completed saying the Kaddish Yasom! Equally amazing, the 15 Tammuz is the yortzheit of the Raban Shel Yisroel, the Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh, whom Rav Weinberg would often quote in his Sichos at Shalosh Seudos.

    That evening, as the Levaiya began in Camp Horim (where the yeshiva had a summer Bein Hazmanim program), the first speaker to introduce the line of Hespaidim announced that at that moment, L’Zeicher Nishmas the Rosh Yeshiva, ZT’L, they were hereby changing the name of the yeshiva to now include his name: “Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah – Tiferes Mordechai.”

    The leadership of Yeshiva Gedola – Merkaz HaTorah – Tiferes Mordechai first went to one of Rav Weinberg’s son-in-laws, Rav Dovid Altulsky, Sh’lita, and then latter, to Rav Yaakov Bistritz, Sh’lita. (See the yeshiva web site at http://shemayisrael.co.il/orgs/yeshivagedola/yeshivasite/)

  6. The Yeshiva was opened in the mid to late 1960’s as Yeshiva Mercaz HaTorah. It merged with Yeshiva Gedolah a few years later. I believe that the original Yeshiva had ties with Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. After Rav Mottel, ZT”L joined in was known as Telz type of Yeshiva.

  7. B”H Rav Leib Baron is alive and well. He moved to Eretz Yisroel a few years ago and is living in Tel Stone. He is one the few remaining from the Mir in Shanghai and who learned with Rav Elchonon Wasserman.

  8. TO mr. Feldman

    The yesh. Merkaz Hatorah was started at about 1949. The yeshiva developed into a elementary school and high school. at about 1967 the Chofetz Chaim mosdos were asked to start a Bais Hamedrash in Montreal. It ran for about two years when a new Rosh Hayeshiva came in 1969 , R’ yoseph Rabinowits shlita, presently a rov in Flatbush . In 1970 R’ Zeffren and R’Glustein were asked to take over as roshei Hayeshiva. I was a part of the Bais Hamedrash from the time of R’ Rabinowitz through the first few years of the ” Telshe ” regime. At that time a yeshiva ketana was opened under the auspices of the Yesiva Gedola, as an alternative to the old Merkaz Hatorah. The old yeshiva subsequently closed as the community could not or would not support two schools . The old Merkaz Hatorah was also in a neighborhood abandoned by it’s clientele. The Yeshiva Gedola took on the name of Merkaz Hatorah for financial reasons, taking over some old family grants. It was not a merger in any sense of the word. None of the old hanholo remained.

    R’ Shmelczer shlita was a high school rebbbi for a number of years ( many years had passed in the interim ) . He was highly regarded , he taught two of my sons. ( I am getting old I reaqlize , as I reflect on this, as my sons are now in their 30’s and I have grandsons now in the Yeshive Gedola.) R’ Schmelczer moved to Miami about 14 years ago to serve as Menahel in R’ Y Zweig’s yehiva high school. He is now coming full circle back to Montreal. I wish him the best of hatzlocha and look forward to his “leibedikheit” and I am sure that he will, once again, make a good contribution to our kohol here in Montreal

    Thank you

    P. S. Dear Avreich amu”sh

    Do not be meyayesh on the position of rosh kollel in Miami. I am pretty certain that
    Rav Yehudah Kaploun will not be the new rosh kollel . I am also “in the know
    ” as is everyone else who knows what is going on in North Miami Beach. ( I have two married children living there and visit often ) kol hameivin yovin

  9. I know Rav Ely when we learned in the great Telshe Yeshivah in CHICAGO!Nice to see your picture after 30 years! All the Best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rabbi Leib Baron is Baruch Hashem very much alive and living in Eretz Yisroel with his daughter. He is YIbadu L’Chaim doing well. Please remove the ZT”L from his name….talk about misinformation


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