Rebbetzin Itka Berman a”h

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candle-small6It is with great sadness that we report the passing this past Thursday of Rebbetzin Itka Berman a”h. Rebbetzin Berman was the wife of Rav Abba Mordechai Berman zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Iyun HaTalmud, a great marbitz Torah who produced numerous talmidei chachomim in Eretz Yisroel and in the US.

After the war, many of the Mirrer talmidim from Shanghai settled in the United States, among them Rav Abba. He was one of the founders of the Mirrer Yeshiva in New York, where he delivered regular chaburos to the outstanding talmidim.

Rabbetzin Berman’s family, the Greenbergs, were from the few who clung determinedly to Torah observance in the inhospitable spiritual climate that then prevailed. Rebbetzin Berman’s mother always davened that her descendants should be great talmidei chachomim. She raised funds for Kamenitzer Yeshiva and once asked Rav Reuven Grozovsky zt”l to bless her with grandchildren who would be talmidei chachomim. He asked her, “Why don’t you ask for sons-in- law who are talmidei chachomim?” to which she replied that that was something that she didn’t dare ask for.

In fact, she merited two sons-in-law from Mir, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are talmidei chachomim and outstanding bnei Torah.

Rebbetzin Berman studied in one of the first classes in Bais Yaakov in America. From an early age, she davened constantly for a husband who would be a great talmid chochom. That was what mattered to her. After her sister married a talmid of Yeshivas Mir in America, she began inquiring as to who the best talmidim in the yeshiva were. When she heard about Rav Abba and his remarkable hasmada, she wanted to make inquiries about him, but her brother-in-law dismissed the idea telling her, “Ah, you won’t manage to catch Rav Abba.”

That was enough to convince her that he was a bochur of exactly the caliber she was seeking. She selflessly supported him throughout his life, devoting herself both to his own Torah learning and to its dissemination.

The Rebbetzin later moved with Rav Berman to Eretz Yisroel, where he started Yeshivas Iyun HaTalmud in Bnei Brak. The yeshiva moved many times, having been at various stages over the course of some 40 years in Bnei Brak, Far Rockaway, Monsey, Yerushalayim and Kiryat Sefer. All along the way, Rebbetzin Berman stood at the side of her illustrious husband, providing for all his needs so that he could continue to teach and spread Torah without distraction. Her devotion could very well be categorized as “sheli veshelochem shelah.

Rebebtzin Berman is survived by six daughters, all married to prominent rabbonim: Mrs. Rosengarten, wife of Rav Shalom Rosengarten, R”M in Yeshivas Ohel Torah in Monsey; Mrs. Altusky, wife of Rav Mordechai Altusky, one of the roshei yeshiva at Yeshivas Torah Ore; Mrs. Orenstein, wife of Rav Avrohom Orenstein, a R”M at Yeshivas Bircas Moshe; Mrs. Twersky, wife of Rav Moshe Twersky, a R”M at Yeshivas Toras Moshe; Mrs. Feldman, wife of Rav Eliyohu Feldman, a prominent avreich in Yerushalayim; and Mrs. Kagan, wife of Rav Chaim Ozer Kagan, a R”M at Yeshivas Ner Yisroel of Baltimore. She also leaves behind grandchildren and great-grandchildren carrying on her spiritual legacy. She is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Zivia Rabinowitz, wife of Rav Leibel Rabinowitz, of Flatbush. 

Yehi zichrah boruch.

 {Yair Israel/Dovid Newscenter}


  1. Rebbetzin Berman taught me on two opposite ends of the spectrum: She was my first grade teacher and then taught me years later in seminary.
    My father learned in Reb Abba Berman’s kollel as well.

    She was a very caring person and instilled much confidence in her daughters. She merited to raise very special children but she probably had a great hand in their successes k’ah.
    Yehi zichrah boruch!

  2. The Greenbergs had 4 sons-in-law – Rav Yaakov Moshe Leizerson, ZT”L, an alte Mirrer who was a Rebbi in Torah V’daas. R’ Avrohom Schreiber, Z”L of Monsey. Rav Abba Berman, ZT”L. YLCH”T – R’ Yosef Gartner, who lives in Eretz Yisroel.

  3. Rebbetzin Berman a”h is sorely missed. What an incredible woman she was. She had so much love for everyone and used her time to the utmost. May she be a meilitz yosher for all of Klal Yisrael.

  4. The Bermans are a wonderful Torah family and Rebbitzen Itke Bernman was a wonderful woman. It’s too bad that anyone who might know the daughters only by their maiden name now has no way to identify them, their first names have been wiped out only to be replaced by six sons in law. Grow up, boys, and give us some identifiable names, we can handle it.


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