Thursday, April 26, 2012

Remembering Rabbi Shepsel Broyde for his 25th Yahrzeit

Rabbi Shepsel Broyde, 1946
This year marks the twenty-fifth yarhzeit of Rabbi Shepsel (Shepard) Broyde, the rabbi of our shul from 1940 to 1950. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Rebbetzin Eleanor Broyde, Rabbi Broyde's widow, Rabbi Broyde's son Heshey, and two grandsons, Berish and Shloyme. I used the opportunity to learn more about Rabbi Broyde so that we could have a better sense of the rabbinic leadership of our shul during the decade that he was here. Rabbi Broyde's grandfather, R' Tzvi Yaakov Broyde, brought the family over from Dvinsk (Daugavpils) Latvia, around the beginning of the twentieth century. R'  Tzvi Yaakov became involved with the Jewish community and was the first gabbai of the Adas Yisroel Synagogue (later called the United Hebrew Community of New York). Rabbi Broyde's father, R' Yitzchok Yosef was five years old when the family left Latvia and moved to New York, where he grew up. Heshey Broyde explained that his grandfather was deeply involved in communal affairs and that his home was a bais chesed ve-rachamim - a house of kindness and mercy. As an example of this, R' Yitzchok Yosef filed affidavits of support for European Jews so that they would be able immigrate to this country before the start of the war.  Rabbi Broyde was born and raised on the Lower East Side, where he attended the Yeshivas Rabbi Jacob Joseph (RJJ). From 1932 to 1937, Rabbi Broyde studied (and presumably received his semikhah) at the famed Mir Yeshiva in Mir, Poland.

The Mir Yeshiva in Shanghai, 1942,
five years after Rabbi Broyde left.
In 1937, Rabbi Broyde returned to New York where he worked in his father's real estate company. In 1940, Rabbi Broyde became the rav of the Old Broadway Synagogue, a position he filled until 1950. During these years, the shul held gala 30th and 35th anniversary dinner celebrations. Isador Thornschein and William Joachim were the shul's lay leaders during these years. After leaving Old Broadway, Rabbi Broyde moved to Brooklyn where he continued to work in real estate. Later, he did kashrus supervision for the OK. Rabbi Broyde died in 1987.
!יהי זכרו ברוך May his memory be for a blessing!

Heshey, Eleanor, Berish and Shloyme Broyde