Ponevezh Yeshiva, often pronounced as Ponevitch Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבת פוניבז׳), is a yeshiva founded in 1908 in Ponevezh, Lithuania, and located today in Bnei Brak, Israel since 1944. The yeshiva has over three thousand students, including those of affiliated institutions, and is considered one of the leading Litvish yeshivas in Israel.
Founded in 1908, the yeshiva was originally located in city of Panevėžys (Ponevezh), Lithuania before the Holocaust. After the death of its founder, Yitzhak Yaakov Rabinovich, the yeshiva was re-established in Bnei Brak in 1944 by Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, who appointed Shmuel Rozovsky as dean, and some years later appointed Dovid Povarsky as rosh yeshiva.
The main study hall has an original 16th-century Italian wooden aron kodesh (Torah scroll ark), brought to the yeshiva in the early 1980s, and restored and re-gilded with 22 carat gild leaf.
The aron Kodesh (Torah scroll ark)
Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, second rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ponevezh
Rabbi Steinman with students of Little Yeshiva Ponevezh on Purim, 1960
Video from the Yeshiva in 1960
Split into two factionsEdit
During the 1990s, leadership of the yeshiva was the subject of a public disagreement between two of its leaders. Since then, the yeshiva has split and resulted in two yeshivas in the same building, with the students occupying different dormitories, though studying in the same learning hall and eating in the same dining room.
The Kahaneman faction of the yeshiva was led by rabbi Gershon Eidelstein and is led by rabbis Berel Povarsky (son of Dovid Povarsky) and Chaim Peretz Berman (a grandson of The Steipler, and a son-in-law of Kahanaman). The Markovitz faction of the yeshiva is led by rabbis Shmuel Markovitz, Asher Deutch, and Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler.
Rabbis who have taught at the yeshiva include:
- Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman (1886–1969), founder and rosh yeshiva in Lithuania and Israel
- Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler (1892–1953), mashgiach ruchani, author of the Michtav me-Eliyahu
- Yechezkel Levenstein (1895–1974), mashgiach ruchani, author of Or Yechezkel
- Shmuel Rozovsky (1913–1979), rosh yeshiva
- Dovid Povarsky (1902–1999), rosh yeshiva
- Elazar Menachem Man Shach (1899–2001), rosh yeshiva
- Chaim Friedlander (1923–1986), mashgiach, co-compiler of Michtav me-Eliyahu and author of the well known Sifsei Chaim series (not to be confused with the Liska Rebbe of the same name)
- Gershon Edelstein (1923–2023), rosh yeshiva and spiritual leader of the Degel HaTorah political party in Israel
- Baruch Dov Povarsky, commonly called R' Berel, rosh yeshiva
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
Dov Landau, Mashgiach of Slabodka
Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel
Alumni include the following rabbis:
- Shraga Feivish Hager, Kosover rebbe
- Dr. Mordechai Halperin, Chief Officer of Medical Ethics for the Israeli Ministry of Health, director of the Dr. Falk Schlesinger Institute
- Yaakov Peretz, rosh yeshiva of Midrash Sepharadi
- Yoel Schwartz, Torah scholar and author, senior lecturer at Yeshiva Dvar Yerushalayim
- Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman, rabbi of Ner Yisroel in Jerusalem, member of Jerusalem's Edah HaChareidis
- Kollel Avreichim — located on the grounds of the yeshiva in the Ohel Kedoshim building; intended for married students who have graduated from the yeshiva.
- Yeshivat Ponevezh Le'zeirim — a division for 200 high school students headed by Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, and was formerly co-headed by Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman.
- Batei Avot — sheltered accommodation established by Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman for children rescued from the holocaust, orphans and children from broken homes donated by Henry Krausher.
- Grodno Yeshiva - Beer Yaakov — an additional yeshiva located in Beer Yaakov.
- Grodno Yeshiva - Ashdod, also known as Ponevezh Ashdod — an additional yeshiva located in Ashdod.
- ^ "YIVO | Ponevezh, Yeshiva of". www.yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
- ^ "YIVO | Rabinovich, Yitsḥak Ya'akov". www.yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
- ^ "YIVO | Kahaneman, Yosef Shelomoh". www.yivoencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 2019-01-04.