Photo Credit: Dr. Yitzchok Levine
Rav Shimon Schwab

One of Baltimore’s “favorite Jewish sons” was Rabbi Mordechai Gifter of Telz Yeshiva. He was a guest in our house on many occasions and spoke in shul many times. I remember having quite a spirited discussion with him at one Shabbos lunch concerning the topic of Torah im derech eretz. My father wisely kept silent and smiled at my sophomoric efforts in attempting to argue this philosophical issue with one of the great Torah leaders of the day. (I was about 15 at the time.)

There were many more Torah and lay leaders who graced our home and shul. These people – their greatness and the thoughts they expressed – contributed greatly to our education and growth in the home of my parents.


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Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He then taught as an adjunct at Stevens until 2014. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at [email protected].