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Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Wohlgelernter

March 10th, 2010 · 25 Comments

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Wohlgelernter

יעקב יצחק ב"ר ישראל אליעזר

Rosh Yeshiva, Eitz Chaim of Toronto

Date of Death: Thu. May 26, 1966 - Sivan 7 5726

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Cemetery Details

Directions to Kever: Roselawn Avenue Cemeteries in Toronto, Canada. Location: Section: Beth Lida

Biographical Notes:

Credit: IFJCAH

Tags: Canada · Toronto, ON

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rabbi Stern // Mar 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Was he related to Rabbi Shalom Pinchos Wohlgelernter of Seattle, Washington?

  • 2 curios // Mar 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    What do they mean “ואי”ה ובל”נ נעלה עצמותיו מזה אתנו”?

  • 3 YD Miller // Mar 10, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    It appears that he had a son Rab Yerachmiel Yitzchok Wohlgelernter, who married in 1936 Miriam Unger, any imore info?

    Rabbi Stern,
    Dont know if they are related, but RSP Wohlgelernter went later from Seattle to Chicago.

  • 4 curios // Mar 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    At the end of his life, RSPW moved to Eretz Yisroel

  • 5 Ben Bee Zee // Mar 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Sorry Rabbi Miller you’re mistaking. While I was searching on info on Rabbi Wohlgelerenter I came accross this Reb Yerachmiel Elimelach you mentioned (you wrote Yerachmiel Yitzchok it’s a mistake cause that’s his fathers name). The one you mention is the son of Reb Yisroel Eluzer. for more info (page 51 in Toldot Anshei Sheim)

  • 6 Admin // Mar 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

  • 7 Admin // Mar 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Two more:

  • 8 Ben Bee Zee // Mar 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Again there were many Rabbis probably also related with the same last name as Wohlgelerenter. However the first NYT article I mentioned is particularly on the Rabbi Wohlgelerneter posted on this page.

  • 9 YD Miller // Mar 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Ben BZ,
    you are right on the money, my mistake, so now we need to find the Wolgelehrenter of Detroit, and perhaps find a connection of these 3 prominent Rabanim with the same uncommon name.

  • 10 curios // Mar 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Well 2 of them we already know are brothers, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok and Rabbi Yirachmiel Elimelech (he later changed his name to Isamar). The question is only on the third one, RSP.

  • 11 Ben Bee Zee // Mar 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Reb Elchonen Yochenan Speigel son of the Ostrov Kalushiner Rebbe was a SIL of RYEV father of RYYV. RYEV was very close to the Sfas Emes of Gur.

  • 12 Jacob Gluck // May 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I knew his son Rabbi Israel Wholglernter who was the rabbi of Young Israel on W. 16th St., Manhattan, and now resides in Jerusalem.

    In the YI shul there were memorial plaques like in many shuls, and there was one for his father by the same name as appears on the tombstone above. Besides that I personaly spoke to Rabbi Wholglernter on many occasions about his family, and that his father was a chosid of the Sfas Emes of Ger, Poland.

    The YI of W. 16th Street does not exist anymore.

  • 13 Dovid // May 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    “ואי”ה ובל”נ נעלה עצמותיו מזה אתנו

    The Inscription reads (abbreviated)

    ואם ירצח ח’ ובלי נדר נעלה עצמותיו מזה אתנו

    “If G-d wills it and without swearing, we will bring his bones up (to eretz yisroel) with us.”

    It seems he was buried with a very specific condition that he could be exhumed for reburial in Israel.

    The last line paraphrases the language that Yoseph used when he swore the brothers to bring his bones out of Egypt.

  • 14 Feivel Wolgelernter // May 25, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Rabbis Yakov-Yitzchak, Shalom Pinchas and Yerachmiel Elimelech Wohlgelernter (in the order of their ages) were brothers, first cousins of my father. I knew all three. There was another younger brother Yehoshua and three sister. All have descendents living in the USA and Israel.

  • 15 Yossi Wohlgelernter // Jul 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Wohlgelernter was born in Charschniza Poland in 1901. He had three younger brothers – Rabbi Sholom Pinchas Wohlgelernter, Rabbi Yerachmiel Elimelech Wohlgelernter (Itamar) and Yehoshua Wohlgelernter and three sisters – Mattel Spiegel, Ida Shafir and Clara Kaufman.

    He grew up in a Polish Chassidic environment and was a sixth generation direct descendent of the Chozeh of Lublin – Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz. He was ordained in 1921 in Warsaw by Rabbi David Yitzchak Menzeritsky. He came with his parents and his wife and son to Toronto in 1922. His father was invited to come to Toronto by the Ostrovtzer Congregation to be their Chazzn and shochet.

    Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Wohlgelernter was a shochet and also taught at Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim after his arrival in Toronto. He became principal of Eitz Chaim in 1940 when Eitz Chaim was still an evening school (4-8 p.m.). He remained in that position until 1965. He was instrumental in bringing Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky to Toronto as Rosh Yeshiva in 1938. Rabbi Wohlgelernter was a very beloved principal and teacher.

    He had a masterful knowledge of Chassidic history and was invited by every Chassidic group to talk about their dynasties. He wrote extensively in Toronto’s Yiddish paper (Der Yiddisher Journal) and had a weekly parsha column in it. He also contributed to ‘Der Yid’ in Poland as its Canadian correspondent from 1921-1939. He had the largest private library of Judaic books in Canada.

    He was active in the founding of Zeirei Agudath Israel and the Beth Jacob School movement in Poland and was active in Toronto communal life. He was a founder of Hashomer HaDati Youth Movement (later called Bnei Akiva) in Toronto and was an active Mizrachi member. He was co-editor of the Sefer Hayovel Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim 1943 Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Book. He gave the weekly drasha from 1950 to 1966 at the Torath Emeth (Burnside) Congregation, a branch of Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim.

    He had four sons and amny grandchildren, most are in Israel and the rest are in the United States.

  • 16 YD Miller // Jul 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    A nice photo of the father of the Wohlgelernter brothers in 1925:

  • 17 BATYA STRICH // Aug 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm


  • 18 Litvak // May 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    he has a son, prof maurice known as the “Reb”. He was from RJBS earliest talmidim at YU. The Reb was an english professor for many years at YU. He lives on the Upper East side of NYC. Another brother David lived in LI and died at least 13 years ago. His son is a rav in La Jolla, Ca.

  • 19 Kevin // Oct 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

    The information about the Section of the cemetery is wrong. He is in the Ostrovitzer North West section behind the apartment building. His second wife is also in the same section. His first wife is on the south side of Roselawn in the Talmud Torah Eitz Chaim Section.

  • 20 YD Miller // Feb 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    R’ Yisroel Eluzer WG was the son of R’ Yechiel Isumer/Itamar, see more about them:

  • 21 YD Miller // Feb 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Hapardes on his passing:

  • 22 j kahanov // Nov 23, 2014 at 9:12 am

    My fathers aunt married sholom Pinchos in Winnipeg.

  • 23 Ezra Wohlgelernter // Nov 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I am the grandson of Harav Sholem Pinchas Wohlgelernter. In 1974, my grandfather came to Israel and resided near Yeshivas Torah Ore in Mattersdorf, Yerushalayim where I was then learning. I had the zechus of learning almost every day (second seder) with my Grandfather, ZT”L and heard many stories that he previously had not revealed regarding his work in Europe for the Vaad Hatzalah. I vividly recall as a youngster being menachem him on the passing of his brother, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok, ZT’L. I was zocheh to attend the wedding of his grandson-namesake Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Wohlgelernter, (1994) now an esteemed mechanich in Lakewood, New Jersey. Dor Holech veDor Ba.

    Ezra ben Harav Shmuel Koppel Wohlgelernter, Z’L.

  • 24 selwyn Rose // Mar 10, 2016 at 12:57 am

    I am translating a document from Miechow history and under the name of Rabbi Yisroel Elazar Wohlgelernter there is a refernce to a group or movement known as “Mishmeret Itamar” of which he is described as “ba’al””. Can someone please, please tell me what was this movement and the significance in this context on the honorific “ba’al”. I am not a frequent vistor to this site and would be grateful that any replies be directed to me at Thank you in advance for any information on this that will broaden my understanding of what I am writing about.
    Selwyn Rose

  • 25 YD Miller // Mar 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm


    “Ba’al” means that he was the Author “Mishmeret Itamar” is the name of the Sefer (Hebrew book) that was written/authored by Rabbi Itamar Wohlgelernter of who Rabbi Yisroel Elazar Wohlgelernter was a descendant.

    Here is a link to the Sefer Mishmeret Itamar:

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