Former Head of RCA Passes Away: Rabbi Max Schreier ob”m – an Appreciation


    By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for

    Once, about 70 years ago or so, Orthodox Jewry was nearly written off.  “The future is with Reform and Conservative!” – was the cry.  What saved the day were the unsung heroes of Yiddishkeit.

    They were the orthodox Rabbis who persevered and continued to teach Torah and Judaism.  They were not only shul Rabbis, but they taught in the day schools and in the Yeshivos.  And they stood staunch while society around them declined morally, and religiously.

    This was during the hippy sixties – with Timothy Leary, Woodstock, f.l., drugs, and all else that personified that generation.  Through it all, these Rabbis and these organizations saved orthodoxy.  Their students went on and helped fill the ranks of our Yeshivos.  Their children and grandchildren, and so many others, are remarkable Bnei Torah because of the path that they took.

    One such hero was Rabbi Max Schreier ob”m, who passed away Tuesday, May 16th.  He was 95 years old.

    His family presciently fled Stettin, Germany with the rise of Naziism in 1937. Stettin, an ancient port town near the Baltic, had been home to roughly 2,500 Jews at the time of the Nazi takeover in 1933. About half emigrated over the next seven years. The record shows that the rest of them, just over 1,000 people were rounded up on February 12/13, in 1940.

    Rabbi Schreier was at the tender age of 9 years old when his family left. He came with his parents, Sigmund and Regina, along with his two older sisters Ida, 16, and Betti, 14.  They met relatives in new York and soon, the family settled in Williamsburg.  Reb Max was studying at Yeshiva Torah V’Daas.  His menahel, interestingly enough was Rabbi Dovid Bender a’h, father of Rabbi Yaakov Bender (of Yeshiva Darchei Torah).  After Torah V’Daas he attended Yeshiva University and studied under Rav Yosha Ber Soloveitchik zt”l.

    Rabbi Schreier was a member of the YU smicha class of 1951.

    He was the moreh d’asrah of the Avenue N. Jewish Center in Brooklyn for some fifty years. He was a past President of the Rabbinical Council of America, as well as a past President of the Rabbinic Alumni of RIETS. Yeshiva University conferred upon him a Doctor of Divinity Degree for distinguished service to the Yeshiva and to the American Jewish Community. He was also a past President of the Va’d Harabanim of Flatbush. Rabbi Schreier was a member of the Board of Governors of the OU.

    Rabbi Schreier motivated and inspired so many people, young women, congregants, his Talmidim and Rabbis as well.   He was the Rav in Rochester, New York from 1951-1956, he continued on in Bridgeport, Connecticut from 1956-1963.   Ultimately, he became the Rav in the Avenue N Jewish Center from 1963-2013.   When he arrived in Flatbush he was also the chaplain in Coney Island Hospital.

    Rabbi Schreier was a brilliant Talmid Chochom, and Torah permeated everything he did.   He always had a pedagogical angle in everything he did as well.  Singing davening and zmiros was very much a part of his life.  Later in life, even one of his aides would hum along to the tune of Adon Olam – his favorite zemer.

    At the Levaya in Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Heshy Billet spoke of Rav Schreier’s remarkable midos and sensitivity toward the feelings of others.  He spoke of how, when teaching at BTA, he actually drove talmidim to Manhattan to hear Torah shiurim and even drove them back.

    “Rabbi Schreier was my Rabbi growing up. Just as important, he and his entire family were neighbors and friends. There are too many stories to relay here. The Rabbi was not only a spiritual leader but a caring and sweet man,” wrote Reb Buzzy Rosenthal.

    Dr. Dovid Krinsky commented, “I cannot forget, I will not forget, the caring patience that he showed to me over quite a period of time, When I needed somebody. Nor, that he taught this remarkable מדה to our beloved Zev.”

    Dr. Aaron Greenberg remarked, “I had the pleasure of growing up in Rabbi Schreier’s shul . I was bar mitzvahed there. He performed my wife Linda and my wedding ceremony.I went to school with his children I have wonderful memories of going to the Schreiers house for Shabbos meals as well as having enjoyable time at their summer bungalow in the Catskills. I will always remember Rabbi Schreier wonderful oratory as he always found to way to connect the parsha to current events and helped share with me and inculcate in me an unabashed love and defense of eretz Yisroel.”

    Rav Hershel Schechter shlita was one of the maspidim at the levaya in new York.  He is buried in the Etz HaChaim Cemetery in Eretz Yisroel.

    Among other things, Rabbi Schreier leaves a legacy of remarkable children and family members throughout Eretz Yisroel and America.

    The author can be reached at [email protected]

    The full levaya that took place in Eretz Yisroel can be seen https:// livestream. com/bti/rabbi-max-schreier-funeral

    Just remove the space after the dot and before the com.

    Below is the the levaya in an edited form.




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    R. Moshe
    R. Moshe
    4 months ago

    I grew up in the area but davened at the Muzsayer Shtibel which was nearby. I was younger but absorbed the tremendous respect everybody had to Rabbi Shrier AND the mutual respect between him and Grand Rabbi Rubin of Muszay. The mispallilim were totally different but everybody absorbed the lesson by example.

    4 months ago

    Nice to see that the Orthodox world is an antidote to the “decay” of the ’60s. But look at Rav Wachman’s plea a few article down in VIN. Who will stop the Orthodox decay?

    4 months ago

    Rabbi Greenberg of YI of Midwood died recently as well, we are losing the yesodim very terrible for us