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Rabbi Hillel Bisko (Bischko)

April 26th, 2010 · 37 Comments

Rabbi Hillel Bisko (Bischko)

הלל ב"ר

Rosh Yeshiva, Tiferes Bachurim, Lithuania

Date of Death: Sun. March 27, 1960 - Adar 28 5720

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Cemetery Details
1098 Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
United States

Phone: (732) 634-2100
Fax: (732) 634-9386


Cemetery Map:

Notes: Also, know as Woodbridge Memorial Gardens located along US Highway 1 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Gate hours are officially 8:30 – 4:30 but will remain open until sunset (6:30 during the summer). In addition, Beth Israel maintains computerized records and will provide a detailed location map upon request.

Directions to Kever: Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, NJ maintains computerized records and will provide a detailed location map upon request. Location: Chevra Sefard Anshai Poland, back row

Biographical Notes:

The Rav a prolific writer, contributed many articles to the Hamaor Rabbinical Journal and was a big proponent of Kedushas Bais Haknesses (the sanctity of the synagogue) awareness. At the time of his passing the Rav had two children one Adi living in Munich, Germany and another son stuck behind the Iron Curtain with whom contact was lost. It is also a strong possibility that the Rav had a daughter.

Background Information (See picture below):
It should be noted that it was intended for the Rav to be reinterred in Eretz Yisroel, however, to date it is believed that the Rav is still buried at the Beth Israel Cemetery, both according to the Cemetery Management and the legendary Rabbi Pinchos Mandel thus a tombstone was never erected. Another point of note is that at the time of burial the Rav’s coffin was placed in a metal transport container. It was suggested by prominent Torah authorities that at this point it should be left that way. In the coming weeks, the Beth Israel Cemetery Management will be testing the grave to assure that the Rav is still indeed buried at Beth Israel.

Credit: The empty plot as it stood for many years

Credit: Recently erected tombstone due to the efforts of Rabbi Yaakov Meuller, Lakewood, NJ

Credit: Rabbi Yaakov Meuller, Lakewood, NJ

Tags: Beth Israel Cemetery - Woodbridge, NJ · New Jersey · Rosh Yeshiva

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LL // Apr 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Crazy story, is the wife still alive?

  • 2 Admin // Apr 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Rebbetzin Sara Bischko died on March 1, 1953 (Adar 14) at the age of 66 and was also buried at Beth Israel. Ironically she too does not have a tombstone marking her kever.

  • 3 YD Miller // Apr 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

    The Matzieves surrounding this empty plot seem to be considebly later then 1960-5720 when Rav Bischko passed away.

    Here is what Hamoer wrote on his passing.

  • 4 Admin // Apr 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Some additional helpful information:

    The Rav who reopened his yeshiva in Williamsburg was very close with Rabbi Yonoson Steif. Soon after Rav Steif’s arrival to the United State he allowed him to use the second floor of his Bais Medrash where he started a minyan. Of course, Rav Yonoson went on to become the Viener Rav. He also assisted Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, Rav Shmuel Schechter and Rav Mordechai Yaffe with establishing the Kollel in White Plains, NY. In 1943 he worked alongside Rav Aaron Kotler in the establishment of Bais Medrash Gavoha. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Rav Gustman’s yeshiva.

    There is an affidavit on file from Adi Bischko who lived in Munich Germany and was visiting Tell Aviv at the time giving permission for the cemetery to reinter both the Rav and Rebetzin in Eretz Yisroel. However the cemetery has no records that it was ever done and they maintain that the kevarim are still there.

    A member of the Lakewood Yeshiva staff claims that many years ago a grandson came to the yeshiva and introduced himself as a grandson of Rabbi Bischko.

  • 5 Asher // Apr 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    which of these 2 plots is where Rav Bishka z”l is buried.

  • 6 binyamin // Apr 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    בעיר קיידאן היה מגיד, בשם ר’ הלל הכהן בישקא. הוא נזכר בספר זכרון יעקבל לר’ יעקב ליפשיץ כמה פעמים.
    האם הוא קשור?

  • 7 YD Miller // Apr 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    What was his father’s name?

    Reb Yeruchem from Minsk had a brother Reb Binyamin Bischko, can they be related?

  • 8 curios // Apr 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    “Reb Yeruchem from Minsk” – you mean the Minsker Gadol. Wasn’t that name part of his first name?

  • 9 YD Miller // Apr 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Yes I mean the Godol of Minsk, it may very well be that his brother had Bischko as a first name, not sure, Bishko is indeed mentioned in Bies Schmiel as a first name.

  • 10 curios // Apr 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    The Magis from Keidan was nifter in תרכ”ח, so it can’t be him. See Yizkor Book from Suvalk.

  • 11 curios // Apr 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Sorry, should say “Magid”.

  • 12 binyamin // Apr 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

    ברור שזה לא הוא.
    אבל אולי הוא מצאצאיו, או ממשפחתו הרחוקה.

  • 13 Admin // May 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    The cemetery probe came back positive which means that both the Rav and Rebbetzin are still buried in the cemetery.
    The next step is to get them tombstones, if anyone is interested in helping out please contact me directly.

  • 14 Asher // May 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Yes, please count me in. Why all of a sudden did they decide to check ’em out.

  • 15 Benmenachem // May 6, 2010 at 11:45 am

    See this week May 7 th Yated pg 88.

  • 16 Reuven Savitz // May 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I was asked recently as to my recollection of a minyon at R’ Hillel Bischko’s kever and whether I recalled a tzion.

    Rav Yitzchok Hutner Z”L brought a minyon to R’ Hillel Bischko’s kever Monday, the day after R’ Aharon Kotler’s levia. Rav Hutner stated, at the kever, that R’ Aharon Z”L had asked him, many years earlier, to do so l’achar mayo v’esrim. I was the person tasked by Rav Hutner to track down the bais olam and the mokom kevurah. When we arrived at the bais olam and were directed to the kever there must have been a tzion. There was no question as to where we were. One of those who was one of the minyon- when we spoke just a few days ago – confirmed my recollection of there having been a tzion.

    Reuven Savitz

  • 17 CG // May 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    The plot thickens!!!!!
    Perhaps they where removed in preparation for the move to EY.
    What happened to them?

  • 18 Benmenachem // May 27, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I asked Rabbi Dovid Cohen who was at the minyon with Rav Hutner and he said their was no tzion.

  • 19 BORO PARKER // May 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm


  • 20 Azi // May 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    @BP: I would hope there are some more pressing issues in the world right now that you wouldn’t be required to yell that question.

  • 21 Benmenachem // May 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    The cemetary issues permits for every tzion.They have no record of a permit for a tzion for the Rabbi or his wife. I belive that in Dec of 1962 when Rav Hutner went to the kever that a marker that is put by the kever by the chevrah kadesha was still there. That is why they were able to find the kever.

  • 22 Benmenachem // Jun 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

    The cost of the 2 matzavos will be $ 2000 each $4000 together. This includes the cemetary fees. Anyone wishing to donate should send checks made out to IJCAH and mail to:
    Baruch Amsel (Bisko)
    1760 53 Street
    Lower Lever
    Brooklyn, NY 11205

    Please email me for credit card donations.

  • 23 YaakovShalom // Jul 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Ben Menachem What is Your #?

  • 24 Benmenachem // Jul 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    My cell # is 908 783 2222

  • 25 raibstein // Sep 20, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Raw Hillel Bischko Z”L, was the brother of my mother Doba bat Schaul Z”L.
    According to what I was told Raw Hillel had only two sons Aharon (Adi ) Z”L and Yehudah (Yudke) Z”L Yudke was murdered by the Russians.
    Rav Yeruchem was not his brother.
    There are nieces and nephews still living in Israel
    My brother and myself would like to donate for the Matzewah

    Imanuel Raibstein

  • 26 Yaakov Mueller // Mar 23, 2011 at 9:37 am

    It’s been about 1 year since we discovered that, Rabbi Bisko and his wife were buried in Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge NJ, and they did not have Matzeivas on their Kvarim. With the help of many individuals, to name but a few, Dr. Hillel Peltz, Rabbi Mendy Rosenberg, Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfeld, Mr. Emanuel Raibstein and his brother, who are nephews of Rabbi Bisko, Boruch Amsel, Mr. Gershon Peltz, and Rabbi Avrahom Abba Freundlich, we were able to raise the money to put up 2 matzeivas, one on the Rabbi’s Kever and one on the Rebbetzins Kever.

    There was an eye witness, who was at the funeral, that said that he remembered that Rabbi Bisko was buried in a metal box. We tried working with the cemetery to open up the grave and if necessary rebury the niftar in the traditional wooden casket. The cemetery was very unhappy with this prospect and said that it would cost between 10 and 20 thousand dollars to do what we proposed. We therefore, decided to hire a company out of Pennsylvania that specialized in using ground penetrating radar to determine whether there was any metal at a particular location. I am happy to report to all of you that as of this morning, under the supervision, Rabbi Avrahom Abba Freundlich, from the Lakewood Beis Din, that the company conducted its scan of the kever and determined that there was no metal and confirmed the presence of a casket.

    Now that this is behind us, we are scheduling a Hakamas Hamatzava for both the Rabbi and the Rebitzen on Sunday, April 3rd at 12.15 PM at the cemetery. Please either e-mail me or call me if you can attend because we would like there to be a minyan and I will send you directions. Sunday, April 3rd is also the yartzheit of the Rabbi.

    Thank you all once again for your participation in this great mitzvah

  • 27 Cheskel // Apr 3, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Any U/D ?
    Is it going to be today?

  • 28 A Hoffman // Nov 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    There is a part of the story that people don’t know but Rabbi Bishko should get the credit for.
    My grandfather, Rav Yitzchok Hoffman, was from the original 8 talmidim who started the kolel in White Plains and then moved on to Lakewood. My grandmother told me how Rabbi Bishko first approached my grandfather in Williamsburg that he was putting together a group to start the kolel in White Plains which he did and for some reason they couldn’t stay too long in White Plains so they moved to Lakewood. At the time it was called Bais Medrash Gavoha Kolel Kovna and Rabbi Bishko was considered the Rosh and Meyased of the Kolel. Once they were in Lakewood they decided to look for Gadol to be the Rosh Kolel. First they asked Rav Yechiel Michel Gordon to come and he left after a short period of time. Then a delegation, my grandfather among them, went to ask Rav Ahron to come. I have the original Yeshiva stationary that lists Rabbi Bishko as the Founder and Rav Ahron as the Rosh Kolel of Bais Medrash Gavoha Kolel Kovna. Shortly thereafter there was a dispute between Rabbi Bishko and Rav Ahron regarding the mehalech halimud in the yeshiva. Rav Ahron felt it should be pilpul and Rabbi Bishko felt it should be quicker,similar to they way it was in Europe. Ultimately Rav Ahron won this dispute as he felt the bochurim would get more of a geshmak in the learning if they learnt derech pilpul. Today BMG and all the mosdos stemming from Lakewood proves his decision to be prophetic. Rabbi Bishko moved away from Lakewood as a result of that dispute. However after all is said and done we have to thank Rabbi Bishko for founding the base of Torah in America and thank Hashem for putting the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Ahron Zt’l at the helm.

  • 29 curios // Nov 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    This would explain the above mentioned story with Rav Ahron and Rav Hutner! Reb Ahron wanted mechilah from Rav Bishko after his 120. Now everything falls into place. Wow!

  • 30 YD Miller // Nov 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Dear Rabbi Yaakov Mueller,

    Why wasn’t his father’s name שאול (according to the Rabstein nephews) inscribed on the new Matzieve?

  • 31 Cheskel // Nov 29, 2012 at 12:15 am

    A Hoffman,

    Wasn’t Reb Nosson Wachtfogel there with them in White Plains?

    See comment #4

  • 32 Efroim Snyder // Feb 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am looking for a list of the members of the White Plains Kollel. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • 33 SG // Feb 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Efroim Snyder: Here’s who I know:

    Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, Rav Shmuel Schechter, Rav Shachne Zohn, Rav Yisroel Bergstein and Rav Mordechai Yaffe.

  • 34 Yaakov // Apr 6, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Yartzeit Tonight Of Rav Hillel ben Shaul Zichronoi Livracha!!! Zechusoi Yagen Aleinu. Amen!!!

  • 35 Asher // Feb 21, 2018 at 1:26 am

    He’s buried all the way in the 2nd to back row in the Vien chelka.

  • 36 Martin Stern // Apr 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Could I have a word please with a Family member of Reb Hillel Bishko .זצ,ל
    There is a project being worked on from the 1930,s where he is the most prominent person

  • 37 Martin Stern // Apr 22, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Could I have a word please with a Family member of Reb Hillel Bishko .זצ,ל
    There is a project being worked on from the 1930,s where he is the most prominent person

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