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10 October in History

In 1910, today was the birthdate of photographer Julius Shulman. Born in Brooklyn, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, his family moved to a farm in Connecticut, where Shulman first developed a love of nature that, he said, awakened him to light and shadow and influenced his life’s course. When Julius was 10, his father moved the family to the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, which at that time was predominantly Jewish, and opened the New York Dry Goods Store. His father died of tuberculosis in 1923, leaving Julius’ mother to run the business and raise five children.

2 Cheshvan in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Elazar Simcha Wasserman (1992). The oldest son to his illustrious father, Rav Elchanan Wasserman, and a nephew of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, Rav Simcha learned at Novardok for several years, beginning shortly after his Bar Mitzvah, under the Alter of Novardok. He was also very close to the Chafetz Chaim. After his last visit with him, his father sent him to Strasbourg, France, where he started a yeshiva (at the time, the only yeshiva in France). He stayed until 1938, when he moved to America.

He first taught at Torah Vodaas, where he became close to Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. He worked closely with Rav Aharon Kotler in the Vaad Hatzalah during WWII.

In 1944, Rav Simcha established the Bais Yehuda Day School in Detroit, the first in Michigan, and appointed Rav Avraham Abba Freedman as a Rebbe. Their first Shavuot, they were the only two to learn all night in the Beis Midrash.

When Rav Simcha left in 1953, he left Rav Avraham Abba, who stayed another 50 years. He then founded the West Coast Talmudic Seminary (WCTS), or Ohr Elchanan (named after his father) in Los Angeles. He asked Chabad to take over the building and school in 1977.

In 1979, he and his wife (daughter of the Novardok rav, Rav Meir Abowitz) fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to the land of Israel. Together with Rav Moshe Chadash, he established Yeshiva Ohr Elchanan in Jerusalem. Rav Simcha and his wife never had children. Yet, Rav Simcha was considered by many to be a leading authority on the subject of child-rearing.

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