28 Sivan 5779, July 1, 2019
We are all saddened by the sudden passing of Mrs. Leah Steinhardt, ע״ה. G’veret Steinhardt, as she was known to her many hundreds of students, was a master teacher and an outstanding personality. She very proudly represented the best of the “old school”, simultaneously demanding excellence and exuding warmth. She always carried herself with dignity, and yet was always smiling and sharing banter. She wanted her students to develop perfect command of Ivrit and broad knowledge of the Torah. She was very “real”, and was as a result beloved and respected by all. Her loss is keenly felt by the Bais Yaakov community - where she taught for decades - and by her legions of students; by the community at large; as well as by our shul community, and - especially - by her extended family in the wonderful community of Chessed of the Windsor House.
Mrs. Steinhardt took great pride in her outstanding “Yichus”, extending directly to the great 16th century Posek, Rav Mordechai Yaffe, the author of the Levush Mordechai. She also took great pride in the many rabbinic branches of her family, with special appreciation for her nephews and nieces who would call her weekly. And she was profoundly proud of her beloved daughter and son, who are raising their families in Cleveland and Toronto.
Mrs. Steinhardt was the daughter of HaRav Mordechai Yaffe Schlesinger, ז״ל, who was the Rav in Tel Aviv to whose shul my mother and her family arrived when they escaped Hungary to Eretz Yisrael in 1943. Mrs. Steinhardt valued that connection and as a result, some 35 years ago when I was still a student at Ner Yisrael, Mrs. Steinhardt and her husband Walter ז״ל reached out to me and invited me to their home. She continued the connection when she joined our shul upon moving to the Windsor House, a number of years ago. Of late, she would see my mother whenever my mother visited Baltimore, would visit her when she was in Eretz Yisrael, and would call her periodically, especially around the Yamim Tovim. Our entire family - including all of our daughters who were proud to be her students - appreciated greatly her embracing warmth and truly rich personality. As such, we are very saddened by our inability to participate in her Levaya, as my wife and I are in Yerushalayim visiting with my mother לאוי״ט. We - along with so many other members of the community - will miss her greatly.
תהא נשמתה צרורה בצרור החיים.